Last Morning Before the Fun Begins

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Today’s the last day before the session starts. Here’s what’s gone on before lunch.

  • Got a call from one of the companies while I was on the subway with questions on HR issues. Arranged for a more proper call later in the day.
  • Got into the office at 8:30am…getting in after the CEO of a company with whom I was sending texts to at 3:00am last night (I had been asleep before and just woke up, but it’s unclear to me if he ever got to bed. See the last post from Slater on the need for sleep. We have to make sure this kid won’t kill himself…or me.)
  • Spent time with same team discussing how improving retention improves virality and lifetime value of a customer, suggesting better ways to track some of the numbers
  • Caught up with fellow staffers Semyon and Eveline about some of the new things we learned yesterday about the new crop of companies so we are ready for tomorrow. For one company, that means making sure that they get their provisional patents filed this week, for another it means refining their KPIs
  • Made an intro of one company to a mentor-in-training/mechanical engineer I met yesterday with a good skill match

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Beginning the day with my fellow Midd alum and TS Associate Muchadei Zvoma (@thezvo)

  • Checked in with 2 associates doing some tasks for me—one is pulling in data from AngelList and LinkedIn on the mentors signed up for Mentor Dinner next week, and the other cross-referencing our suggested “mentor matches” to help prepare the teams for who they want to look up at the dinner and beyond.
  • Interviewed a recent Brown graduate for one of the companies that is looking to hire someone to startup up a Boston office—she passed muster, and I passed along my feedback to the company. I think it’s a perfect fit–and it outlines an unfair advantage any of these companies have in hiring over the next week: any new hires will get to sit in on the Techstars program, become part of the network, and become Techstars for life.
  • One angel (by chance) and a VC (following up with one company they are tracking) stopped by pre-program. Made some other general intros.
  • Went through email, confirming which company would represent Techstars at a pitch-off at Boston Techjam next week.
  • Greeted two new companies coming in from Europe who are moving in, and spent some time getting to know two of the co-founders.
  • Rounded up some willing participants to join me tonight at the Business Model Canvas session being taught tonight by Alex Osterwalder and Michael Skok. I’ve done this exercise before, but eager to see how it gets taught by the masters.
  • Congratulated one of the teams on landing a strategic distributor, discussed some mechanics of actually closing the deal on paper, asked to review the LOI.
  • Talked with still another company that has already moved in about the bottlenecks in their onboarding process, suggesting they look at creating some training videos
  • Posted a video of TS mentor Brian Balfour from Hubspot onto Slack. He covered the items in #3 above far better than I ever could.

Later today I have a 1:1 scheduled, but then it’s time to try to nail down some of the circled dates for speakers coming into the class. First day tomorrow, No pictures yet, because we’re not unveiling the teams until Semyon announces them on Tuesday.

OK, back to work.


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