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
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
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
colorful backgrounds of our mentors–from being one of five official “Entrepreneurs-In-Residence” for the United States to his time as a paratrooper jumping out of airplanes in darkness and blowing things up (necessary skills for any founder).
Paul Ford is not your typical suit. He has one of the more
This is why I love being involved with Techstars–meeting entrepreneurs like Paul. For now, Paul is an at-large mentor, traveling all over on behalf of (Techstars 2009 Company) SendGrid as a … Read More
I finally have time to write about Mentor Dinner many weeks after the fact. But first, let’s recap how we got there. As you recall, we had had at least half of the class move in prior to the official start date. June 4 started two days of “getting to know you” sessions, followed by an Outward Bound event on a Sunday just with the co-founders and staff. Companies from Techstars Boston 2009-2014 came for an “Ask … Read More