David C. Murphy, Founder & CEO
David C. Murphy is the Founder & CEO of TechFire, convening titans of tech for tech conferences and fireside chats. Techmeme has featured TechFire in its list of nationally and internationally significant tech conferences. TechFire attracts high-profile speakers -- many of whom also speak at TechCrunch Disrupt, SXSW, and DLD), including: Sam Shank (HotelTonight), Tony Conrad (about.me), David Lee ((then at) SV Angel), Josh Elman (Greylock), Howard Morgan (First Round Capital), Brad Feld (Techstars/Foundry Group), and many more. TechFire's events have attracted more than 3000 registrants, and industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies as sponsors, including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Deloitte, EY, CBRE, and more.
TechFire was founded in the heart of the Los Angeles region's thriving tech community, on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. TechFire's event series grew out of David's efforts spearheading the LA Tech Agenda, a report with recommendations for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, featured by Re/code and praised by the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
As a tech and social entrepreneur whose experience spans tech startups (having cofounded two venture backed startups himself) and the civic and political worlds, David has participated in the World Economic Forum's pre-Davos working group meetings on the Future of the Internet.
In 2012 & 2013, Elon Musk, Founder & CEO of Tesla & SpaceX, funded David’s social entrepreneurial cause, Angelenos Against Gridlock, which, which led to widespread local, national, and international media coverage (shown at right), from the front page of the Los Angeles Times to Good Morning America, and Bloomberg, Business Insider, KCRW’s “Which Way LA?” with Warren Olney, KNBC, KABC, KCBS, KPCC, KNX, LA Observed, The Next Web, TechCrunch, and most of the global tech press and the top media outlets in Los Angeles. At Angelenos Against Gridlock, David brought on partnering organizations such as Russell Goldsmith’s Los Angeles Coalition for Jobs and the Economy, CicLAvia, and NRDC, and advisors including former Congressman David Dreier (of the Annenberg-Dreier Commission at Sunnylands), and hosted events sponsored by Google, Uber, Lyft, The David Bohnett Foundation (whose founder created Geocities), The Eli & Edith Broad Foundation, and others.
David has cofounded multiple venture-backed tech startups, having gotten an early start on the founding team of Hotline Communications back in high school. Hotline was called a "major force in the online world" at the time by the Toronto Star, and its chat software was used by millions of loyal fans around the world, as well as companies such as Apple and General Motors. David has been passionate about the LA tech startup scene for many years, having co-founded and served as Co-CEO of an investor-backed tech startup that was based at Hollywood & Vine, and having won the Henry R. Kravis Award for Entrepreneurship.
David previously organized conferences & events, and handled government & public affairs for one of Los Angeles' leading business groups, the Valley Industry & Commerce Association, drafting public policy recommendations, hosting policy committee meetings, helping organize economic summits, and advocating on behalf of members ranging from Fortune 500 companies (including Microsoft, Warner Brothers, & NBCUniversal) to small businesses.
A native of the Washington, DC area, David has lived in Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Kenya, and spent extensive time in China as the recipient of the Avery-Durfee China Fellowship.
David studied government at Claremont McKenna College, where he first developed a love for hosting speakers series events, as a student responsible for hosting 75+ dinner lectures at Claremont McKenna College's renowned Athenaeum program, with everyone from a former Poet Laureate to a former US Ambassador to the United Stations, and where he conducted videotaped interviews of visiting leaders like the CEOs of Abercrombie & Fitch & Hang Seng Bank. Highlights of the Athenaeum's thousands of speakers over the years include Bono, Bill Clinton, Googler Jonathan Rosenberg, Thomas Friedman, Desmond Tutu, Spike Lee, and Mitt Romney.
David's career has also included stints working in Congress and at Space Adventures, the space tourism startup that sent the world's first space tourist, Santa Monica's own Dennis Tito, to the International Space Station.