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Broadening the On-ramp for Women-run Companies

Episode #14: VC Fundraising with David Cohen | Moving LPs to a Yes

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.



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