Followup Comments on the Ultimate Startup Knowledge Base

Before I try to attack the next topic in the series—networks/connections—let me point out a few of the comments I’ve received offline on the last post. If you haven’t read that, read it first.

You’re back? Great. In no particular order:

*Excellent wiki efforts exist now to be copied/improved upon.  Specifically, there already is a good workflow and precedent established on GitHub for open-source guides, including this one on equity compensation. A new one is just forming to … Read More

The Ultimate Startup Knowledge Base

In “The New Virtual Accelerator”, we posited that all of venture can be broken down to knowledge, networks and capital. Today we focus on the first leg of the stool, knowledge. The problem is not that there is too little startup information publicly available–quite the contrary. The big problem regarding online resources are discoverability, quality control, maintenance, and to a lesser extent, access. This piece will not focus on those pieces of knowledge that you rent (e.g., legal services), … Read More

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

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