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
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
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
Never complain, and never explain.
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
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
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
One of the Techstars in the current class showed me this 6 year old post by Travis Kalanick of Uber on raising a seed round. Other than needing to sleep on a couch in Silicon Valley, everything rings true to me.… Read More
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
Techstars does lots of stuff just for fun to get the teams to know each other better. San Antonio organizes games of Werewolf, Boulder does hikes, and Boston did an Outward Bound adventure. My co-director Eveline proposed a mascot game where, like a Secret Santa game, each company draws another company at random and has to create a mascot. There are no winners and losers here, but my favorite mascot was done by Cuseum (which helps museums engage their visitors … Read More