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Community First: Lessons for Early-Stage Startups

#sxsw #community

Tech startups have long known that a strong community will amplify a company’s successes, bolster growth, and make work worth waking up for. Today's unstoppable startups understand that putting community first means putting community management first. And yet, the field of online community management is still in its early days, and we haven’t stopped figuring it out as we go along. Through case studies and never-before-told stories of three veteran community managers from SoundCloud, Foursquare, and Airbnb, we’ll reveal what it takes to build a community to last.



Chrysanthe Tenentes Community Mgr Foursquare

Chrysanthe has worked in the location-based startup world since 2006. She is Community Manager at foursquare, with a worldwide user base of over 6 million. She is also a contributing editor & partner at Brooklyn Based, a local e-newsletter, and co-founder of the North Brooklyn Breakfast Club, a meetup group for entrepreneur and techy types. Prior to joining Foursquare, she was Community Coordinator for hyperlocal news aggregator She also helped start the tech networking group Digital Dumbo. She is a graduate of Haverford College and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

David Noël Community Evangelist SoundCloud

David Noël is the Community Evangelist of SoundCloud, the leading social sound sharing platform. SoundCloud enables anyone, anywhere to create and share their sounds on the web.

Since joining SoundCloud in May 2009, David has helped its community grow from 50,000 to more than eleven million registered users, a number growing exponentially every day. Leading a team of five Community Managers, his responsibilities lie at the intersections where users meet and interact with the product. David is SoundCloud’s external voice and its users’ internal advocate.

Prior to joining SoundCloud, David co-founded a web entertainment startup and has a background in marketing and the music industry, where he worked as an A&R and tour manager.

David is a Seedcamp mentor and is passionate about all things tech, start-ups and airplanes.

David was named Best Startup Mentor/Advisor of the year at TechCrunch Europe’s The Europas 2011.

Diana Kimball Special Projects Expert Novice

Diana is a longtime builder of local communities (including ROFLCon, techbookclub, and /mentoring—a distributed mentoring movement), she's fascinated by the challenge of keeping communities vibrant as they grow. She's currently a student at Harvard Business School, living in Boston and spending time in San Francisco and New York.

Ligaya Tichy Head of Community Airbnb

Ligaya has been developing communities for web companies since 2006, first as a Community Manager for Yelp and Global Head for Airbnb. Ligaya believes that done right, community initiatives can measurably impact the company and truly enrich the lives of users.

Ligaya has handled boa constrictors, tracked a Sasquatch, and led a team in nine countries, all in the name of community. Ever-fascinated by people, this interest fueled her studies in Anthropology and International Relations at Tufts University. She credits her childhood experience as part of a meditation community in Iowa to be the most enlightening case study on how to create a movement.

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