Category Startup Advice

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]