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How to Retain Customers, Create Raving Fans & Make 'Em Beg for More

As you move through testing ways to find product/market fit and acquiring new customers as you scale, every startup runs into the not-so-unique problem of how to RETAIN those customers once you've acquired them. 

Building a system for customer acquisition often ends up being much easier than building a model to make sure your customers are engaged, loyal and coming back for more of your product or service. Not to mention telling everyone they know.  

At this meetup, you'll learn how to test and build for retention and referrals, the most elusive pieces of your business. 

RSVPs are open!


Many thanks to our June sponsor, SourcePad!

SourcePad - We build ideas.  Since 2008, we've helped 100 startups, small businesses, and venture backed companies turn their ideas into Web sites and mobile apps. Contact us today at [masked] or visit us at


Donna Khalife, Co-Founder & CEO of Surprise Ride will discuss: 

• Building customer loyalty as a top priority for subscription-based products

• Minimizing churn vs maximizing renewals; how the two goals are different

• Our recipe for creating product experiences that get customers talking and wanting more

Donna Khalife is CEO and co-founder of Surprise Ride, a leading provider of activity boxes for kids. The company designs hands-on projects that foster creativity and encourage a love of learning. From the wonder of photography to the hidden treasures of Ancient Egypt, each month explores a new theme. Surprise Ride has received numerous accolades and was featured on ABC's Shark Tank. 

Donna’s experience spans both the business and creative fields. Donna left a career on Wall Street and completed her MBA at Harvard where she fell in love with entrepreneurship. After graduation, she bought a one-way ticket to Hollywood to reconnect with her creative side. As founder and CEO of Surprise Ride, Donna aims to help kids explore the world creatively, and make the lives of parents a tad easier along the way. @donnakhalife

Ken Ward, Founder & CEO of Fireside21 will discuss: 

• Core values and leadership as drivers of customer support/retention

• Business/operations metrics related to customer satisfaction/retention

• Product metrics as indicators of customer satisfaction

• Crisis management best-practices

Ken oversees all facets of Fireside21’s operations by providing strategic oversight for new projects, ongoing software development and interface design. He spearheaded the development and expanded capabilities of our Fireside Email and Fireside CRM services.

Ken’s unique blend of Capitol Hill insight and technical expertise has helped a number of our clients win Congressional Mouse Awards for excellence in online communications.

Ken earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Georgetown University and has previously served as a Legislative Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary for former member of Congress.

Outside of the office, Ken enjoys golfing and sailing. A California native, Ken currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Erin, and daughters Madigan, and baby Brennan.

Daniel Hanks, co-founder and CEO of SnapDash, will talk about: 

• Listening to your users, instead of your gut. Users take your product where they want it to go. Trust them.

• Optimizing for engagement vs. retention. These two are not the same - are they at odds?

• Picking the right viral loops for your product. In a perfect world, you build a viral, organic rocketship - how do you give yourself the best shot?

Daniel Hanks is the co-founder and CEO of SnapDash, a Washington, DC-based consumer mobile app that blurs the line between photo utility and social game.  Prior to launching SnapDash, he had a 10 +-year career in finance, tech investing, and corporate strategy.  On the side, he had a (very) short stint as a mediocre stand-up and improv comedian, and he now channels this desire to make people laugh into the broader vision for his company.



Metered spots or Colonial Parking garage on 18th St just south of M St NW.


Dupont Circle (red line). Utilize the Connecticut/19th exit and travel south down 19th St (away from the circle) for 2.5 blocks. Turn left at M St NW and at 18th St NW turn left. [masked]th St NW is the 4 door entrance next to the Daily Grill.

Farragut West (orange line). Utilize the 18th/I St NW exit and travel north on 18th St for 4 blocks. [masked]th NW is the 4 door entrance next to the Daily Grill just north of M St NW.


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  • gary

    3 solid presentations and interactions.

    June 17, 2014

  • Marc D.

    Thanks for a great event tonight!! Lots of great takeaways!

    June 17, 2014

  • Jin Z.

    Hi Everyone,

    Wanted to share some VIP passes to the Women 2.0 Crystal City launch with the Lean Startup community (bc you guys are awesome!) It will be next Thursday evening June 26 at the Crystal Tech Fund in Crystal City. Women 2.0 City Meetup is open to both women and men. Speakers include Women 2.0 CEO Shaherose Charania, as well as Brooke Salkow from Disruption Corp and Angela Fox from Crystal City BID.

    Women 2.0 City Meetup creates an inclusive community for anyone working, innovating, or investing in technology. City Meetup Crystal City events will be held every other month.

    Hope to see you there! Jin

    June 17, 2014

  • Irean S.


    Can you pay at the door? When I clicked the pay online I did not see hoe to process my payment.

    June 17, 2014

  • Khuram Z.

    Yo, if any spots open up, holler!

    June 17, 2014

    • Khuram Z.

      Got a spot, thanks homies! See everyone tonight.

      June 17, 2014

  • Irean S.

    I plan to be there.

    June 16, 2014

  • Lezhi I.

    Can anybody open the door?

    June 10, 2014

    • Rebecca H.

      Hi Lezhi! The event is next Tue, 6/17 - sorry!

      June 10, 2014

  • Lezhi I.

    Locked outside

    June 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      You're a week early unfortunately.

      1 · June 10, 2014

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