I am very excited to share that I am joining Techstars, and will be running the program in New York City.
Techstars is the #1 accelerator for startups, with a broad vision to create a world-wide network of entrepreneurs, startups, mentors and investors. New York City has become one of the biggest centers of tech innovation & startups in the world. For me, to have the chance to help build New York City node in this rapidly growing Techstars network is a one of a kind opportunity.
Here is the story of how this came about.
This January, I realized that I’ve been heads down running GetGlue, and raising my family. I didn’t have a lot of free time, and really didn’t do much outside of work and family. My sense was that I ought to get more involved in helping NYC startups.
I reached out to Brad Feld, whom I’ve known for years, since he became an angel investor in GetGlue. Brad and David Cohen agreed that it would be good for me to get involved in the current Techstars class as a mentor. I made a commitment to spend a couple of hours every week helping out.
During my first visit to Techstars office, I met with a six teams and immediately was drawn into this wonderful whirlpool of creative energy. It felt fresh and exciting to see these different companies work hard to turn their dream into reality. Because of my background in social networking it made sense for me to help out weeSpring – a community for baby products, and also Jukely – a social music app for concerts.
I jumped in and got involved, without expecting anything in return.
I helped with whatever I could, answered questions, made introductions, took calls – simply was there when these companies needed anything. Every week I spent a few hours face-to-face or on the phone with the teams, and helped them think through product, engineering, team, monetization, financing – whatever challenges they had and needed to discuss.
I loved doing it.
At the Demo day, weeSpring, Jukely and the rest of Techstars NYC 2013 class delivered great presentations and graduated. I kept in touch with the teams, and checked-in regularly to see if I could help with whatever they needed at the moment. When both companies asked me to formally stay on as an advisor, it was my pleasure to agree.
In early September I stepped down from my day-to-day role as CEO of GetGlue (I remain involved with the company as a board member). Brad Feld suggested that David Cohen and I seriously explore the possibility of me joining Techstars as a Managing Director in NYC. I was intrigued, and knew right away that this is something that I might want to do next.
I flew out to Colorado for a full day of meetings, and had wonderful conversations with David Cohen, David Brown, Molly Nasky, Daniel Feld, Nicole Glaros, Mark Solon, Ari Newman, and Brad Feld. During lunch David Cohen and I talked about Techstars’s vision – to change the way startups are built by arming them with a global interconnected network of amazing founders, mentors, and advisors.
I spent over a decade studying complex systems and networks in my past life. This vision of a dynamic network to help launch startups around the globe was both compelling and inspiring. When I got back home, I knew I wanted the job. I wanted to be part of Techstars vision and help create amazing companies in New York City. So when a few weeks later I got an offer in my inbox, I knew the stars aligned.
I look forward to working with founders, companies, mentors, investors, government – entire entrepreneurial community of New York City and Techstars around the world.
I am here to learn, contribute and connect the nodes.