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Jake Knapp

2023 UX Speaker Series

headshot of Jake Knapp

Jake Knapp

Inventor of the Design Sprint
Co-Founder, Character Venture Capital
Author, Sprint and Make Time

JANUARY 6, 2023
11:30 A.M. - 12:20 P.M.

The Design Sprint (or: How I Tried to Be a Painter and Ended Up an Investor)

Jake will tell the weird story of his design career: from the basements of UW to hawking sunglasses in Southern California to pushing pixels at Microsoft to building products at Google to investing in startups. Along the way, he'll share the history of the Design Sprint and illustrate how it upends conventional wisdom about collaboration and decision-making.

Jake Knapp is a designer, investor, New York Times bestselling author, and the inventor of the Design Sprint. Early in his career, he helped build products like Microsoft Encarta and Gmail and co-founded Google Meet. In the past ten years, he's coached hundreds of teams at places like Miro, Slack, LEGO, IDEO, NASA, MIT, and the Harvard Business School. In 2021, Jake co-founded Character, a venture capital firm where he helps startups find product-market fit with Design Sprints. Jake is a UW grad, but just barely: He dropped out of the painting program because it was too hard, then managed to come back and finish an art degree a couple years later.


The UX Speaker Series is hosted Fridays in winter quarter by the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. Presentations are open to the public.

Depending on the speaker's preference, a recording will be posted to this webpage after the event. View the full schedule at