The Mascot Exercise

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

@Techstars Mentor @PaulFord

Paul Ford is not your typical suit. He has one of the 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).

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


James from Shearwater International

I am pretty sure that what most of the teams need on July 4th is to catch up on their Zzzzzs. Me too. Happy 4th, everyone.

Sal from SmackHigh Sal can sleep anywhere. It’s just that he so rarely does sleep…

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@Techstars Day 35; The End of Mentor Madness, and One Last Workshop before the Holidays

As we approach the 4th of July Weekend and finish the first month of Techstars Boston S’15 session, the focus will be on hitting our weekend KPI: 8 hours of sleep for 3 nights in a row.

@austinfish finishing up Part 2 of her workshop on hiring. Who you gonna call? Julia Austin (and at least 10 engineers for everyone you hire) Cai Rintoul of Provender relaxing after another round of meetings with someone who’s been there and done that,… Read More

Just Another Day at @Techstars: Wednesday July 1

Keith Frankel laying the knowledge on ThriveHive and Kwambio

We are in our fourth week at Techstars, with this week marking the end of “Mentor Madness”. Techstars traditionally starts off with the first third of the program intentionally focused on networking within the community, in what becomes known as “Mentor Madness”. Techstars is at its core a mentorship-driven program, where companies begin by networking like crazy, talking with mentors with whom we’ve matched them according to our read of each … Read More

Brad Feld’s @Techstars Talk on “Work Life Harmony”

One of Techstars’ co-founders (and current hero of Foundry Group’s limited partners due to the spectacular success of his investment in Fitbit) is Brad Feld. Brad took some time today to answer questions from the current Boston Techstars, with the theme being “Work Life Balance”. Below are my rough notes on the topics. I’m not trying to accurately portray his talk as a reporter, but more give people a sense of what it’s like to be in Techstars.
Brad … Read More

Knowing You Belong–Startup Lessons from Cycling

This week while walking to work at Techstars, I got a phone call from a young bike racer who had just competed in a big-time bike race. It was her first time riding with a professional team, in a race featuring European and North American pro teams, Olympians, and four national teams. She was still in happy shock by the sudden appearance of all the glamorous externalities that indicated she “had arrived”: dedicated team mechanics who took care of all … Read More

E Pluribus Unum, 3 Musketeers, and the Magic of Techstars

“Out of many, one.” Most Americans know the phrase E Pluribus Unum from US currency. As far as I can tell, the exact phrase was first used by St. Augustine in his Confessions, and there is substantially the same usage far earlier from a poem attributed to Virgil.

E Pluribus Unum is exactly what I’m seeing taking form after the first full week of the Boston Summer 2015 session at Techstars. Twelve separate companies gradually blending into one team.

I’ve … Read More

6 Points for Mastering Meetings with Mentors

Next week starts the formal “Mentor Madness” portion of Techstars, where our companies dive into their new network. Our twelve companies were just announced Tuesday night, and many mentors have already scheduled their office hour visits and have indicated who they are interested in working with. 25 minutes are booked for each visit, with the typical mentor taking 4 meetings over 2 hours. Like dating, some mentors take meetings just for fun, but the goal is to find a special … Read More