Don’t go dark

I’ve had a couple of situations lately where a portfolio company founder or CEO went dark on me. They just stopped communicating. Sometimes takes me a while to notice it. When I do, I usually check in with the person and just ask something like “Hey – I haven’t heard from you in a while, …

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file under: Blog

Dropping an investor

I’ve seen a few cases recently where a startup decided to remove a particular investor from their regular “update” emails. The startups were doing this because they found out that the investor had invested in (or otherwise supported) another company that they viewed as competitive. Fast forward a year or so, and the startup needs …

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file under: Blog

Pitch Your Insiders First

Imagine you’re about to go out for your next round of funding. Who do you pitch first? It should be your insiders! Pitch first to those who have already invested. They are the most likely to give you direct and honest feedback to help you make your pitch better. They’re also more likely than anyone …

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file under: Blog, Startups, Venture Capital

Back from Sabbatical

I spent the last month completely offline, not working. I hadn’t done that in the 8 years since i founded Techstars. Last year, we raised a new venture fund and I was on the road twice as much as normal. When we closed it in January, I promised myself and my family some time for …

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file under: Blog, Personal

Giving up the ghost early

There is four times as much seed capital in the venture market this year as there was 1 year ago. Because of this, it’s easier to attract seed funding than it has been in the past. I’ve noticed a disturbing new trend and I think it’s related. Startups are “quitting” when the first year doesn’t go …

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file under: Blog, Startups, Venture Capital

Separated at Birth: Techstars and Startup Weekend

Today we announced that Techstars has acquired UP Global, which includes Startup Weekend and many other fantastic events and programs. Startup Weekend is my absolute favorite global event for entrepreneurship. If you’ve never been to one, you’re really missing out. At these events (there about 1,000 per year from Boulder to Mongolia to Chile to …

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file under: Blog