Our Next Weekend:


February 8-11, 2018 March 22-25, 2018


THURSDAY 5-10p FRIDAY: 9a-10p SATURDAY: 9a-10p SUNDAY: 9a-5p


San Leandro, CA


Hear from four founders about their T-Group experience:


A T-group weekend is kind of like a hackathon: Intense focus and long hours over a single weekend. Lots of experiments and iteration that drive quick learning. A gathering of super smart, highly skilled and deeply passionate people who may have never worked together before.

But, in a T-group, the product you are building is you—a more self-aware, emotionally intelligent and effective-startup-leader version of yourself.

Over the course of one intensely productive weekend, you will gain several insights, including:
~ When and how you are most influential to others
~ What other people (really) think and feel about how you act and how you lead
~ What behaviors or attitudes from others trigger specific emotional responses from you

You will walk away from the T-group Weekend with stronger interpersonal skills that you can start using right away with your startup team. For example:
~ How to give feedback that actually motivates others to change their behaviors
~ How to express your emotions in a way that will elicit the response you want from your teammates/co-founders
~ How to regulate your emotions so you neither repress your feelings nor let your emotions undermine your leadership

There are various models of T-groups used in business schools, executive education programs and other organizational development/HR training programs. The model of T-group that we will be using is based on our training and facilitator experiences at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which has been operating T-groups as part of the MBA curriculum for 48 years.

You can read more about the legendary Stanford GSB “Touchy Feely” course and T-groups in this 2004 CNN Money/Business 2.0 article. 

Anamaria Nino-Murcia

Anamaria has a deep-rooted passion for startups and the entrepreneurs who lead them. A former entrepreneur herself—she was employee #3 at ElliptiGO—she now coaches founders full-time through her company Foothold Coaching. Anamaria believes that the world’s scrappy revolutionaries (read: entrepreneurs) should have access to the professional coaching & training usually reserved for corporate executives. That belief inspired her to bring her T-group facilitation experience at the Stanford GSB to the wider startup community. If you’re an entrepreneur with a desire to grow as a leader—she can’t wait to spend a T-group weekend with you!
Favorite Piece of T-group Wisdom: “There’s no way to think through your struggles. You can only act, feel, and talk your way through them.”

Michael Terrell

Michael has coached leaders around the Bay Area for the past several years through his company the Terrell Leadership Group. He has spent hundreds of hours facilitating T-groups at the Stanford GSB, and has repeatedly witnessed their amazing power to help people improve their self-awareness, communication, and influence. Michael strives to show up in the world with both thoughtfulness and spontaneity, (mostly) enjoys tussling with the written word (feel free to check out his blog or book), and loves unwinding on the hiking trail and the city-league bball hardwood. He’s incredibly excited that you’re considering opting in for this impactful weekend!
Favorite Piece of T-group Wisdom: “Really ‘stepping in it’ is often where the biggest learning happens, but whoever told you it’s fun getting doo-doo on your shoe was definitely lying.”



The next weekend will run from: 5pm Thursday, Feb 8, 2018 through 5pm Sunday, Feb 11, 2018. We also have another scheduled that will run from 5pm Thursday, March 22, 2018 through 5pm Sunday, March 25, 2018. Both will be held at a private residence in San Leandro, CA. We will be putting on these T-Group weekends in conjunction with our friends at Innerspace.
Intense! We will be meeting as a group: 5pm-10:30pm Thursday, 9am-10:30pm on Friday, 9am-10:30pm Saturday, and 9am-5pm on Sunday. While there will be some time allocated to meal/coffee breaks–it’s very important that you don’t plan any work calls or other commitments during our time together. You will spend 20+ of these hours in T-group and 5-10 hours in small-group discussion.
The cost per person to participate in the weekend depends on the duration of the weekend. Our upcoming T-Group Weekend will cost $4000.
Note: a limited number of discounted registrations are available for startups that are pre-funding.

This cost includes:
1) two expert facilitators to guide you through 20+ hours of T-group and 5-10 hours of content/seminar discussion;
2) dinner on Thurs, Fri, & Sat; breakfast & lunch on Fri, Sat, & Sun; snacks/coffee/tea during breaks; and
3) a truly unique and unforgettable interpersonal learning experience.

Humble, but awesome. Eating food that makes you happy and keeps you healthy is a very important part of the T-group Weekend. We will survey T-group members in advance in order to accommodate any allergies/dietary restrictions and understand more about how you each define comfort food. Anamaria is a vegetarian who makes her daughter’s organic baby food from scratch, and Michael has an unhealthy obsession with meat, french fries and Mexican food. Between the two of us we will make sure to have something for everyone.
Our expectation is that you will sleep on site at the retreat location in San Leandro. We’ll be meeting in a very large, spacious home and will have comfortable sleeping accommodations for everybody.
Ling Lam, our trusted T-Group facilitator/counselor behind the scenes, is available over the weekend or afterwards for follow up. In addition, we will do a follow-up coaching call with you approx one month after the weekend to help you reflect on the learning from the weekend and how to best integrate it into your day-to-day leadership and life.


Our T-group weekends are open to any startup leader who is interested in learning more about interpersonal dynamics, feedback and emotion regulation through a unique and intense experiential learning process. A “startup leader” could be an early-stage founder, a startup CEO/senior executive or anyone who is responsible for leading and managing people at a startup. The weekend is open to leaders from startups of all sizes and ventures at any stage. (Note: If you’re fired up to do a T-Group weekend but don’t qualify as a startup leader at this time, please check out other introductory t-group weekend programs.)
For the most part, we prefer to have only one participant from a given company per retreat. We have found that the absence of other work relationships really helps participants open up and take the risks they want to over the weekend, without having to worry about what their colleague is thinking. Occasionally, we allow two people from the same company to participate if they meet the following criteria: 1) Their relationship is strong and they are not wanting to use the weekend as a forum to hash out longstanding differences or conflicts and 2) They are at the same level of the organization (neither reports to or has management status over the other). If you’re a founder and you and your co-founder (or you’re a VP and you and another VP, etc) want to participate in the same weekend, please go ahead and both apply and we’ll follow up with you as we read applications.
Complete and submit your application below.
We expect to have more interested applicants than we will have spots available so we will use the application responses to select the individuals who we think will generate the most powerful learning experience for themselves and their fellow T-group members. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers on the application—so please be sincere, honest and authentic in your answers to our questions. If you are not selected this time, please consider re-applying for a future weekend.
Bummer! We’re sorry we’ll miss you. We will run other T-group weekends soon. If you’d like to join the mailing list for our future T-group Weekends, please add your basic contact info to our mailing list and we’ll let you know as soon as we open our next round of applications.
Sure! Send all your questions about the T-group Weekend or the application process to Anamaria at: anm@fortlight.com
I don’t really think of T-Group experience as optional. I think for you to be an exceptional leader, it’s something that you must do.
Dara Johnson, Founder & CEO of Neucloset
By connecting better with yourself and your thoughts and feelings, you will be able to connect much better with your co-founders, team, investors, and all other people on your journey. This will increase the chance of your startup’s success and make the journey much more enjoyable and meaningful.
Greg Tseng, Co-founder & CEO of if(we)
T-Groups for Startups provides an excellent foundation for growing as a leader of your business. T-Groups for Startups builds awareness of leadership strengths and blind spots, builds authenticity, and strengthened my belief that I am a leader worth following.
Vanessa Green, CEO & Co-founder of FINsix
If a Founder or CEO is looking for a refreshing perspective on how to run their company and interact with their teams for maximum potential, then give T-Groups a try. It’s transformative … and I’m not saying that lightly.
Charles Michael Yim, Founder & CEO of Breathometer
T-Groups for Startups will help you improve your emotional intelligence and ability to form meaningful connections with others. It will give you great training and practice in delivering feedback in a compassionate and effective manner.
Annie Chang, Co-Founder of Lolapps, Head of Product at Homejoy
We keep saying that defining culture is the most important role of a startup executive, and yet most of us tend to forget the emotional component of startup culture. Startup life is a continuous rollercoaster and a marathon, and we need to be in touch with our own feelings as well as understand others’ in order to succeed. T-Groups for Startups will help you grow these skills.
Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork


We are now accepting applications for our upcoming February 8-11, 2018 T-Group Weekend, which will be put on in conjunction with our friends at Innerspace. We will review and accept applicants on a rolling basis.

If you are interested in applying, please click the link below and follow the instructions on the page it takes you to. We will get back to you shortly.

We’re excited to receive your application!