Fundraising doesn’t come naturally to David Cohen, founder and co-CEO of Techstars. He’s an introverted, shut-up-and-deliver kind of guy, but he’s learned how to leverage his strengths and team to convince hundreds of LPs to invest in the venture capital funds that power the Techstars network. In this episode, he shares his honest and authentic reflections from his unique perspective as an non-natural fundraiser.
We’ve invested in several Techstars graduates and are big believers in the power of the Techstars network. I try to track Techstars’ progress, but it wasn’t until I prepared for this interview that I fully grasped how much David and his team have achieved. Techstars has grown to 43 accelerator programs from LA to Tel Aviv, with focuses from sustainable agriculture to blockchain, and corporate development-focused programs in partnership with companies like Barclays, Amazon, and Comcast. Of the more than 1600 Techstars graduates, over 87% are still active or have been acquired. Graduates have raised over $6 billion in funding and have a market cap of over $17 billion.
With $500 million under management, and portfolio companies like Uber, DigitalOcean, ClassPass and Twilio, it’s VC arm, Techstars Ventures, invests in companies built by Techstars accelerator companies and alumni.
Techstars also hosts Startup Studios, Startup Weekends and Startup Weeks across the globe, and supports underrepresented communities and entrepreneurs through its Techstars Foundation.
For more content from David, check out the recently released second edition of “Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons To Accelerate Your Startup” which he co-authored with Brad Feld. David and Brad also co-host The Give First Podcast. David writes about all things startups on his blog at DavidGCohen.com.
Since we are all wondering how COVID-19 will affect venture capital investment, I surveyed some of my Fund81 VC forum members to take quick pulse on their investment plans. Below is the data from the first 34 respondents.
I have battled anxiety for many years. In that journey, I've learned a lot about how to manage it and support others who battle anxiety as well. I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts.
We’re considering a few different fund administration solutions. I have a lot of questions that other fund managers may have as well. I invited Tiffany Cholez from CFO Fund Services to answer some of these questions live.
In this latest Fund81 podcast episode, I share my 2020 plans for the Fund81 forum and podcast, and a few reflections from my short bout of holiday depression.
I’ve now read over a thousand startup investor updates. The most effective updates — the ones that immediately grab my attention and heighten my interest — have similar characteristics. My advice is below, along with a comprehensive template for startup investor updates.
At MergeLane, we’ve been thinking about how changing market conditions may affect our fund in the future. I know many of our listeners are asking themselves that question as well. Our guest, Liza Benson, thrived as a VC through both the dot-com crash in 2000 and the 2008 financial crisis.
Beezer Clarkson invests in early-stage venture funds at Sapphire Partners (the division within Sapphire Ventures that invests in venture funds). In this episode, Beezer shares her perspective on venture capital trends, VC firm differentiation, and nonobvious mistakes for VC fund managers to avoid.
As an entrepreneur and startup investor, I have had many moments of feeling like I am pushing water uphill with a rake. Sometimes, I have kept pushing and have succeeded out of sheer grit. Sometimes, it was time to admit defeat. Two years ago, I had one of those moments.
Elizabeth Yin, co-founder and general partner at the Hustle Fund, shared her thoughts on how to assess a startup’s ability to “hustle”. Her thoughts are applicable to venture capitalists, startups and anyone who wants to work with hustlers.
Nearly every email I receive starts with “Sorry for the delay.” Our always-on culture has set an unwritten expectation that an email should be responded to within 24 hours. To prevent the perpetuation of this cultural expectation, I would like to make my thoughts clear.