Author Archives: Alex Iskold

Why PRODUCT DEMO is a secret weapon of every single startup

These days, startup founders spend a lot of time thinking about how to pitch investors. The problem is not simple—investors get pitched a lot, and most startups are either too early or don’t think that making their pitch stand out really matters. The problem is that most founders just pitch with words. The founders spend time […]

6 Ways Startup Founders Can Deal With Extra Stress

Last Thursday I came home from work at 10pm, opened the door and immediate heard my wife say how stressed she was. Her pharmaceutical company recently bought a biotech startup for a lot of money, and my wife is leading a very tough integration project. She works super hard, all the time, and is still behind on […]

Funnels for Startups: A Primer

Funnels are remarkably useful in many aspects of startup life. Whether you are trying to get users to try your product, or sell to an enterprise customer, or hire an engineer, or raise capital, you are dealing with a funnel.   Funnels are essentially inverted pyramids divided into stages. The objective is to move through the […]

12 Tips for Founders to Get the Most Out of Mentor Meetings

Techstars is a mentorship-driven accelerator. Our model is to help accelerate startups and help founders go faster by connecting them to world-class mentors—founders, experienced entrepreneurs, executives, and investors. At the beginning of each Techstars NYC program, we setup a so-called Mentor Week, a set of quick discovery meetings to figure out which mentors would be most […]

3 basic principles founders can follow to achieve quality results 

We are all in a rush these days. As founders, we want to literally do more faster all the time. As we rush, and get a lot done, sometimes we don’t do things right.  We forego quality in exchange for speed and quantity. Yet it is really important to pay attention to correctness and quality. When we rush […]

How to effectively use mailing lists to update mentors, team, current and prospective investors on your startup

Mailing lists can be a simple yet powerful tool to set cadence and keep people up to date on your progress. The advantage of having several mailing lists is that you can share the right kind of information with the right group, and choose the right cadence for each update. 1. List for Mentors Mentors, […]

7 Tips for Raising Capital in a Slower Market

We’ve talked a lot here about raising seed capital. Even when capital is readily available, fundraising is still not easy. But today, the markets are cooler, and according to Crain’s and Alley Watch, early-stage investment activity in 2016 in NYC is down compared to 2015. We’ve written about the slowdown back in August of 2015. Lack […]

What is the Customer’s Elevator Pitch for YOUR Startup?

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Moisey Uretsky, co-founder of Digital Ocean (Techstars ’12), a close friend, and one of my all-time favorite founders. Moisey is incredibly smart, thoughtful, and had one of the best product guts and chops out there. We talked about a lot of topics around engineering and startups, and one of the things that came […]

Introducing Techstars Weekly Diversity and Inclusion Office Hours for Founders in NYC

We wrote last week here about doubling our efforts to help founders. During these rather uncertain times, we at Techstars are committed to sending a loud and clear signal that we support our founders 110%. At Techstars we believe that actions speak louder than words. As an organization, we have made an important commitment to diversity and inclusion in technology. […]

Dear Founders, I Commit to Double my Support for YOU and YOUR Startups

There will be a ton written today about the future. I truly, honestly do not know what is going to happen, and so much is not in my, or any of our, control. I don’t want to waste pixels sharing with you how I feel, because probably many of you feel the same. Instead, I […]