The New Virtual Accelerator

The early stage venture environment has changed enormously in the last 10 years. It has never been easier to start a venture and access seed capital; nor, arguably, has it been harder to separate ahead of the pack in the overcrowded startup world, which may have reached Peak MicroVC and Peak Accelerator. Seed only funds barely existed ten years ago, but now number around 300. Likewise with accelerators, which have gone from single digits to over 1000 in the last 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

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

Last Evening Before the Fun Begins (Daily Double Bonus)

Rosa getting the Associates well prepared for the summer

To cheat on my sidebets about my blogging output, I am putting out an afternoon version. 2 blogposts in one day = half of my weekly obligations in my wager with Twitter’s very own @r2r.

In keeping with the fun of the morning, this afternoon kept up at the same breakneck pace. In short order I learned:

Read More

Blogging My Way through Techstars Boston Summer 2015

The Techstars Boston Summer 2015 class starts next Thursday, June 4, working towards Demo Day on September 1. As most of you know, I decided to join Techstars as a Director last December (for the personal reasons why, click here). Someone joked that I’m “working my way down the stack”, having started as a Limited Partner in the Boston program in 2011, then becoming a mentor, and now staff, where among other things I wash the dishes. (Which I … Read More

VIDEO: Leo Koenig of WooSports

Who doesn’t like startups who execute? Just 6 months ago, I wrote about investing in WooSports based mostly on gut feel. And as you’ll see in this interview, things are going great–contracts signed, shipping soon, looking good.

And if you want to see Leo’s German-inflected English in a cool interactive transcription, check out Averbach Transcription’s work on the link below: More

Video|Head of TechStars Boston, Semyon Dukach

You can’t not love(or if you’re a New England investor, not co-invest with) Semyon Dukach. I once wrote a blog called “And this year’s word is Co”; the only person I know of, who was my CO-investor in all 4 of those companies (CoachUp, coUrbanize, CoEverywhere, CommandIQ), was Semyon. Here’s a semi-complete list of what Semyon’s invested in.

Besides our taste in startups, we have some other things in common. We both did bizarre things out of school that people … Read More

The Power of … WOO!

My last angel blogpost was months ago as I threw in the towel and announced I would only be investing passively. So after this and this and this and this on why and how, I outsourced all early stage investing. And I have been pleased so far.

But now I’ve gone and broken my new year’s resolution, because I…just…had to. I met the firm I couldn’t resist–and it’s Woosports (nee KinematIQ). You can’t find out much about them, … Read More

The Investor Update Template

I always look forward to letters from my TechStars portfolio companies. They are short, informative, and to this eye, look like a combination of two strong Catholic traditions: 1) Confession (“Help me Father, for I have sinned”) and 2)the promise of greater glory to come. Here’s a sample. Copy at will, and all you portfolio companies, don’t forget to write! For more detail, check out the longer article Dharmesh Shah and I put up on OnStartups.

To:        Newco Investors Read More

Plated–(My Favorite Due Diligence Ever)

For those of you who love to eat, like to cook, and dislike or don’t have time to shop in the market, fasten your seatbelts. Or perhaps loosen your waistbelts. And angels, get ready to loosen the checkbook. Got a new favorite.

I’m fond of TechStars companies (it is such a great filter, with acceptance rates hovering around 1%), and even fonder of repeat, successful entrepreneurs. So when I heard of Plated, a TechStars NYC company where two HBS … Read More