Why Demo Days Have to Change

 

I’ve attended dozens of Demo Days at 9 different accelerators. But this past Friday was my most comfortable one ever. And I didn’t even have to show up.

Thirty years ago, every Wall Street firm sent out their own research individually to investors. Investors hated the pile of reports, and the firms hated maintaining all the mailing lists. Then came a startup named FirstCall, which bundled them all together, coordinated the release of materials and let the investors choose … Read More

Overcoming the Odds: 7 Tips to Ace the Interview with an Accelerator

So you applied to that coveted top accelerator and have been selected for a interview? Congrats! While you’ve progressed from 100:1 odds down to maybe one in three to five, it probably all comes down to that 25 minute final interview. As one of the three votes on admission for the Techstars program in Boston, I’ve sat in on hundreds of these. Here are the tips that will definitely work well on me and my colleagues, and most all other Read More

So You Want a Job in Startups?

Dear X: We met for breakfast last week, when you told me you feel unfulfilled with your job. You want to work in the startup arena, either for a promising young company or for a VC, but at anything that will get you a foot in the door. I promised that I would write a blogpost for you with my thoughts, and here they are: 1)Get Educated on Startups; 2) Network; 3) Publish; 4)Dive Deep; and 5) #GiveFirst

Get Read More

How 19 Year Old Harry Stebbings Became a Venture Capital Star

This past week, Brad Feld, Fred Wilson, Roelof Botha and Marc Andreessen all separately praised the journalism of Harry Stebbings. Who is this guy?

While every Harvard MBA is trying to find a way into venture capital, how did an unknown Brit cut ahead in line and become a go-to-source and door-opener? To paraphrase the cartoonist Peter Steiner, it helps that on the internet, nobody knows you’re a 19 year old.

I was introduced to Harry Stebbings’ work Read More

Every Imaginable Damn Startup Podcast Reviewed

As a long-distance commuter, I listen to a LOT of podcasts. And given the explosion in podcasts on tech startups, it’s hard to keep track of them all. There really isn’t a good discovery source, although Product Hunt and The Podcast Wire come closest.  So here’s the survey we’ve been missing. I have left out general business podcasts and most of the podcasts for small business (although I kept those few specializing on women entrepreneurs, whose focus is mostly on … Read More

Quick Health Update

Folks wondering why my blog cut out suddenly, here’s the reason: I contracted oropharayngeal cancer, and pretty much just dropped out to deal with it. I’ve been treated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and have recently finished both chemo and radiation treatments. Everything to date seems to have gone as scheduled, with a 70% chance of recovery (defined as no re-occurrence of cancer for 5 years.) UPDATE 1/26/16: I’M GOOD! DOCS GIVING BEST POSSIBLE NEWS, NO MORE SIGN OF CANCER.

I … Read More

Demo Day vs. Investor Day @Techstars Boston

The rubber is about to hit the road. It’s like a Bar Mitzvah, Debutante Ball, and college Commencement Day all rolled up into one.  Demo Day, where the companies nervously and/or proudly strut their stuff for the assembled press and public. Insiders have already found their favorite companies and backed them–that’s one of the great advantages for being a mentor, is getting to know the companies in an intimate way that makes for far more informed investing decisions than is … Read More

Boston Creme de la Creme Pie: The Standout @Techstars Mentors

150+ mentors have gotten their hands dirty so far with this summer’s class in Boston at Techstars. Who has had the most impact? We measure it a few ways.

From net promoter scores done by the companies after each mentor session, we get a quantitative view.

Mike Surilov of DataXu Bill Warner of Warner Labs Bob Mason of Project11

For the broadest impact–meaning that you had to have made a meaningful dent on a LOT of companies: three standouts … Read More