My formal introduction to Techstars was in early 2013 shortly after Jason Seats moved to Austin to start the program here. Upon meeting Jason, two things quickly became apparent to me — first, that Techstars was going to be an amazing addition to the Austin startup community and second, that I wanted to become part of it! Jason asked me to be a mentor and I also become an LP in the first fund. From the very first program in 2013, I was hooked! At the outset, I expected that I might spend a little time with a company or two but over the next two years, I found myself increasingly involved – and in this last program, I spent time with about half the companies.
Many things impress me about Techstars. First of all, from top to bottom it is a very high caliber group of people. Every single person I’ve met, with no exception, is smart, articulate, passionate, experienced and clearly bleed green stars. This isn’t only the Techstars staff, but also the mentors and companies as well. It’s very clear that Techstars attracts the best people around.
When Jason announced earlier this year that he would be moving over to the Techstars Ventures Fund and looking for a replacement, everyone wondered how they would ever fill his shoes. Then one day over coffee, Jason and I discussed the possibility of me taking over the Managing Director role for Austin. I left that meeting both excited and flattered. Over the next few days as I thought about becoming the new Managing Director, I realized that it is the role I have been working towards for many years…
Over my 20 year career, I’ve been a part of six early stage companies, three of those as either founder or cofounder. I have been the fortunate recipient of some incredible mentoring and am extremely passionate about helping startups succeed. My new role with Techstars as Managing Director of the Austin program allows me to bring these learnings to the table to lead the next Austin class to success. I am so thrilled to get started and look forward to contributing as much as possible to the growth of the Austin startup community.
I’m excited to announce the next Techstars program in Austin begins in February 2016 with applications opening in September. I can’t wait to start recruiting more great companies to Techstars and Austin!