Mark Passalacqua, Seasoned Startup Advisor & Mentor


This post is by Founders Space from Founders Space – Startup Incubators, Accelerators & Venture Capital

Mark has been a Mentor with Founders Space since 2015. Mark mentors start-up companies at all levels – from inception to market, and beyond. Mark has met with hundreds of companies during the past five years – helping them prepare pitches and presentations; with understanding the opportunity in respective markets and positioning as such; creating and/or revising targeted plans, providing creative direction/ideas, and much more. If you were to come to one of our mentoring days, you might see teams waiting (sometimes hovering around) to meet with him. On the days Mark is mentoring, it is not unusual for him to spend entire days at Founders Space, having follow up meetings with the companies he had met with prior, that same day. For the companies he has felt were/are on the right track i.e. product/service, team, structure, culture, maturity, passion, etc., he has agreed to join on respective advisory boards. When Mark joins a company as an advisor/mentor, he provides a valuable insight that can help take that company to a new level.

Mark’s entrepreneurial experience extends over 20 years – from Founder to advisory positions, and everything in between. His focus is primarily on consumer related products and services. He has served as Founder/CEO, General Manager, Business Development Head; VP Sales & Marketing; Creative Director, COO, etc. in ventures relating to sports programming, video/streaming technology and content, sports nutrition, events, entertainment, app technology, efficiency products and services, and toys & games. Prior to engaging as an entrepreneur, Mark was an advertising agency executive and manager. He is currently working in financial services as a financial advisor.

Education: Mark is a graduate of UCLA, where he received his BA in Economics.

David Haubert, Sales, Marketing & Brand Management


This post is by Founders Space from Founders Space – Startup Incubators, Accelerators & Venture Capital

David Haubert has been helping companies succeed since 2010 when he started Trinity Consulting after completing a successful 20 year career in sales, marketing and brand management for multinational companies like Nestle, IBM and Safeway (now Albertsons) where he held roles of increasing scope and responsibility.

Extending his training and learning at these large traditional companies, David brings an extensive and comprehensive experience base of knowledge in new product launch, project management, and sales negotiations. David helps companies, entrepreneurs and CEO’s in all stages and sizes to write business plans, raise startup capital, develop new market entry strategies, evaluate product development opportunities and grow their business with hands on business development assistance. This often spans functions from proof of concept development to full commercialization.

Over the years David has gained deep and broad experience in creating and commercializing technology based solutions for real-world problems. Roles included Director of Manufacturer Collaboration, VP or Strategy and Innovation and SVP of Business Development.

David not only advises and consults with companies but often joins their executive team and sometimes participates in an equity position.

David earned an MBA from UCLA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He also serves as Mayor in the East Bay area city of Dublin, California and a member of the Northern California District Export Committee, a division of the US Department of Commerce.

Cynthia Seymour, Global Marketing, Business Development, New Market Analysis & Operations

Working with tech start-ups and visionaries (including Elon Musk), Cynthia is delighted to share her wisdom and expertise with entrepreneurs. She started her own company Care Navigate after the last economic meltdown and knows success takes execution, tenacity and reinvention, not just great ideas.

Most recently director of international implementation at eXp Worldwide Holdings, a global real estate company, Cynthia was chartered with launching new markets from scratch in under 6 months. She accomplished this rapid roll-out by collaborating with more than a dozen functional teams and coaching country leaders, building a repeatable, sustainable process for future countries.

Cynthia is advising companies at the intersection of technology, real estate and other sectors. One recent example is VirBELA, a cloud-based workspace redefining how people can effectively interact across cities and the world.

Cynthia has almost always had international added to her role. With global expansion easier now more than ever Continue reading Cynthia Seymour, Global Marketing, Business Development, New Market Analysis & Operations

Announcing Techstars AngelList Funds for Mentors and Alumni

A key ingredient of Techstars accelerator programs is our experienced and engaged mentor community. Mentors embrace the Techstars “Give First” philosophy by offering founders their time, advice, and connections. We treat mentorship seriously – you can read about it in our Mentor Manifesto and my blog series on the mentor manifesto. And, my book Give First, coming out at the end of 2017, will cover mentorship in depth.

Our global network now consists of over 5,000 mentors, including many successful Techstars alumni. As Techstars continues to selectively expand into new geographies and industry verticals, our mentors are important as ever.

Serving as a mentor is intrinsically rewarding on multiple levels. Guiding founders through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship creates a deep sense of contribution. It provides an outlet for mentors to engage in their local startup communities and keep a pulse on emerging technologies. It’s a chance to learn

Continue reading Announcing Techstars AngelList Funds for Mentors and Alumni

Mentors 12/18: Know What You Don’t Know. Say I Don’t Know When You Don’t Know

Techstars Boulder Demo Day is this week. It always marks the true end of summer for me and it’s a reminder that I stalled out on my Techstars Mentor Manifesto series of blog posts.

The last one I wrote was #11: Clearly Commit To Mentor Or Do Not. Either Is Fine. It’s an important life rule – either commit or don’t commit – but choose! Mentor Manifesto #12 is also a good life rule: Know What You Don’t Know. Say I Don’t Know When You Don’t Know.

We all know Mr. Smartest Guy In The Room. I find him insufferable and have nicknamed him Mr. Smartypants. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Mr. Smartypants in my world as he inhabits the bodies of some entrepreneurs and the souls of a lot of investors. Regardless of who he manifests himself in, he’s still tiresome and when there are two of him in the

Continue reading Mentors 12/18: Know What You Don’t Know. Say I Don’t Know When You Don’t Know

Mentors 11/18: Clearly Commit To Mentor Or Do Not. Either Is Fine

I’m been staying with Morris Wheeler and his family for a few days in Cleveland. I first met Morris through my friend Howard Diamond, currently the CEO of MobileDay (which I’m on the board of). Both Morris and Howard are extraordinary Techstars mentors, so I was motivated this morning to knock out another post in my Deconstructing The Mentor Manifesto series as foreplay for me starting to work on my next book, #GiveFirst.

When we started Techstars in 2006, the concept of a mentor was very fuzzy. There were many people who called themselves “advisors” to startups, including a the entire pantheon on service providers. While the word mentor existed, it was usually a 1:1 relationship, where an individual had a “mentor”. It was also more prevalent in corporate America, where to make your way up the corporate ladder you needed a “mentor”, “sponsor”, or a “rabbi.”

We decided to

Continue reading Mentors 11/18: Clearly Commit To Mentor Or Do Not. Either Is Fine