What’s happening today at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021

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And we’re off to the races! Welcome to the official start of TechCrunch Disrupt 2021. Over the next three days, we play giddy host to icons, trendsetters and emerging technologies — plus a veritable panoply of innovative startups and the brilliant people behind them.

Settle in and get ready to mine Disrupt for knowledge, trends, inspiration and opportunities to learn, build, scale and achieve your business goals. The issue is, of course, where to begin? Day one alone offers more than 36 sessions.

While we’re sure you can navigate a conference on your own, we’d like to call your attention to just a few of the sessions scheduled for today. Check the Disrupt agenda for exact times — it will automatically reflect whatever time zone you call home.

Late-comers always welcome: Buy your full access Disrupt 2021 pass here. Just looking for a taste of Disrupt -- try out just the Expo and breakout sessions for free here.

Where to Cut and Where to Spend in First-Check Fundraising: Every time a founder raises financing, they usually have one goal: growth. But what does that actually mean? And how do you begin divvying up your new capital between your startup’s various goals? In this panel, which includes Harlem Capital’s Henri Pierre-Jacques, Equal Ventures’ Richard Kerby and BBG Ventures’ Nisha Dua, you will learn how to spend your investment the best way, balancing runway with classic startup rigor.

Pot, Pottery and Beyond: Somehow, we live in world where alcohol is sold in grocery stores and weed is considered a gateway drug. But that is rapidly changing. The legalized cannabis industry is estimated to be worth more than $13 billion in 2021, and major players from big food, pharma, etc. all want a slice of the pie. Hear from actor and comedian Seth Rogen on his well-known passion for pot, and how it led him to start Houseplant. Rogen will be joined by Houseplant chief commercial officer Haneen Davies and co-founder and CEO Michael Mohr.

Startup Pitch Feedback Sessions: Grab your note-taking method of choice and tune-in as startups exhibiting in Startup Alley pitch to, and receive feedback from, pitch-savvy TechCrunch staff. You’ll benefit from seeing how others present, and you might even pick up valuable advice to enhance your skills.

How to Cultivate a Community for your Company that Actually Lasts: There’s no doubt about it: the word of the year in startupland is “community.” In this panel, Community Fund’s Lolita Taub, Commsor’s Alex Angel and Seven Seven Six’s Katelin Holloway will extract buzz from reality and help founders understand the growing importance of chief community officers in startup culture and, ultimately, financial success today.

There’s plenty more startup goodness awaiting you, and don’t worry about any schedule conflicts — your pass includes access to video-on-demand. Go forth, explore, connect and collaborate. In other words, make TechCrunch Disrupt your own!

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