Day: October 3, 2022

The Power of Mentorship

This post is by David Cohen from Hi, I'm David G. Cohen

Techstars recently graduated its 3,000th company. We’ve helped our portfolio to raise $23.5 billion in total funding—and this year we’ll fund 700+ new companies through 54 accelerators around the world.

As many in the startup world already know, mentors are a key element of the success of Techstars-funded companies.

When I reflect on how we got here, I think it’s important to reflect on how important mentors have been to Techstars itself.

One of my key early mentors was Bill Warner. If you’ve ever edited a video, you’ve likely used the technology that he developed at Avid.

One night, when Techstars was barely one year old, I told Bill over dinner that I was unclear about how we would make money long-term. Perhaps Techstars was just a fun summer gig, I suggested.

Right then, Bill said something to me that truly resonated and has stuck with me ever since.

He told me that as long as Techstars stayed focused on its “center flow,” other “co-flows” would appear around it.

What did that mean?

What he explained to me was that the “center flow” was crucial. It was the passion or the “why” of Techstars.

I told him that our “center flow” was helping entrepreneurs succeed and that was the “why” behind creating Techstars.

Great, he said. Focus hard on that and stay focused over time and watch the co-flows appear around it.

And that’s the true power of mentorship.

A few words delivered at the exact right moment—and fully (Read more...)

Book: The Rise of the Rest

This post is by Brad Feld from Brad Feld

Steve Case’s new book, The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream, is out. I read it on Sunday, and it is outstanding. If you are interested in understanding how high-tech entrepreneurship has evolved from a primarily coastal phenomenon to one that covers the entire US in the past decade, grab this book now.

Steve is a great storyteller. While he tells the entrepreneurs’ stories, he has been part of helping create them. He created Rise of Rest and did the first of many bus tours in 2014. I was part of the one in Denver, and my partner Chris Moody was part of the one in Birmingham. They were each awesome experiences.

This is the story of what happened on those bus tours, people who were connected, companies that were amplified, financings that happened, and cities that were energized around entrepreneurship.

For the past dozen years, I’ve spent plenty of energy on democratizing entrepreneurship. I’ve worked with Steve and his team on multiple initiatives, including Startup America and Up Global. Steve’s supported me on several things I’ve done, including writing the foreword to Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City.

When I was a young entrepreneur in my 20s, Steve was a hero of mine. My AOL username was bfeld, which was where my Twitter handle (and everything else I signed up for on the web came from.) Now that I’m a middle-aged something or other (Read more...)