As the application deadline for TechStars Cloud looms, I sat down with Jason Seats this week to pick his brain about the upcoming program.
The deadline for TechStars Cloud’s inaugural program’s applications is November 7th. It’s already upon us! What has the process been like so far?
Busy! We’ve had tight deadlines for this program and it’s definitely been a mad dash to get mentors on board as well as get the message out to the types of companies we are looking for. I’ve found overwhelming support for the cloud focused approach and a lot of excitement from startups that want to be a part of this. The application pool is solid and the competition is getting fierce, so we’re thrilled to have tapped into such a vibrant vein of entrepreneurial activity.
You and Nicole Glaros will be managing this program together beginning in January. What do you hope to see the companies in the program gain from each of you?
Well to be fair, it doesn’t matter if they gain it from Nicole and I or from any of the mentors in the program, but I’d hope to see companies reach a point of clarity by April. That’s the goal to me, to really understand the opportunity, the market, your angle of attack and to understand it deeply enough that you can represent it succinctly. Einstein said that you don’t really understand something unless you can explain to your grandmother. We hope that by the end of the program our companies understand what they are doing well enough that they can phone Grandma.
I love that. What are you most looking forward to once the program actually begins in January?
I’m looking forward to being able to spend more concentrated time helping our class of startups. Right now my time and energy is spread thinly over a large applicant pool as well as tons of logistics around getting this program set up. I can’t wait to just dig in deeper.
How do you think the cloud program will be different than the other TechStars programs?
I think probably the biggest visible difference is that we’ll end up with a higher percentage of B2B businesses versus consumer oriented. That’s just a hunch and I may be surprised if that doesn’t end up the case, we do have some interesting consumer oriented things in the mix!
Tell us a little about TechStars for a Day on November 5th. What do you want to see?
The stated purpose of the event is to show companies a peak behind the curtain of what the mentors are like. That said, we have a lot of new (to TechStars) mentors for this program and I’m really looking forward to seeing them in action. The long term success of TechStars truly relies on mentors getting as much out of this as they give and I’m hoping that we can have an exciting and fun day and energize these mentors with the set of companies coming in to visit.
Thanks for talking with me, Jason. I look forward to seeing it all unfold.