Author Archives: Alex Iskold

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Founders first and other things I have learned during 3 years at Techstars

Three years ago I embarked on what, so far, has turned out to be the best job of my career. I am not just saying it, this is actually true—running the Techstars New York City program and working at Techstars has been the best, most humbling job I’ve ever had. Here is what I have learned […]

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How a seed-stage company can run a simple and effective board meeting

I am a fan of having a formal board right after the company raises seed financing. I’ve seen how helpful the boards are and how lost and disadvantaged the founders can often be without the board. To put it simply, a good early-stage board helps the CEO identify key future milestones, and helps achieve them. […]

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Meet 15 Startups from Techstars NYC Summer 2016 Program

We are delighted to introduce 15 Startups that are finishing our Summer 2016 Program today. As with our previous classes, this was a diverse group of founders solving a wide range of problems. In addition to 6 teams from NYC we had teams from Rochester, Atlanta, San Francisco, two teams from Philadelphia, a team from UK, […]

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Let’s face it, it’s time to upgrade the Pitch Deck to a Pitch Video

When founders get connected to investors, they are often asked to send the deck ahead of the meeting. We’ve written here why sending the decks, especially before the first meeting, is generally not a good idea. Startup founders cannot be defined by their decks. The main issue with a pitch deck is that it is […]