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Last week we had the first TechStars Smackdown, a unique and fun unjob fair where TechStars companies pitched for people.  Each team got 5 minutes to plead their cause utilizing 20 slides that autoadvanced every 15 seconds.  It was a playful event – the teams poked fun at one another, trying to demonstrate why they would be the company of choice.  (Just remind me to never let Greg Keller watch my cat!)

If you didn’t get a chance to attend, but are curious as to what happened – let me summarize it for you – the do more, faster way.  Bullets!

  • 250 people attended, nearly 200 more on the wait list.  (thanks Silicon Flatirons for the space!)
  • Attendee breakdown = 50% technical, 50% business, 90% job seekers.
  • Lots of questions around work/life balance.  Answer = it doesn’t exist, but is well worth the sacrifice because you’ll love what you do.
  • Lots of questions around compensation/benefits/training.  Answer = not as good as a big company, but the upside can be much better.
  • Questions around job security.  Answer = its more transparent at a startup, and you’re more in control of your destiny there.
  • Position in highest demand = design/UI/UX.  If you’re looking for a career change, consider it!

Links to each company’s presentation (thanks Journey MultiMedia!):

And finally – given it was a Smackdown… was there a winner?  I give Graphic.ly 2,147,298 points for hilarity,  BlipSnips gets 1,999,879 points for enthusiasm and energy, Next Big Sound gets 2,148,074 points for quality of presentation, and Rezora gets 3 points for looking dangerously similar to Michael Jackson in his high school photo.

Nicole Glaros
Chief Product Officer at Techstars. She’s been with Techstars since its early days in 2009, has run 8 programs and has close to 90 companies in her portfolio. Follow Nicole at www.nearlynicole.com