Last week we heard from Murfie about the TechStars program in Boston. Below is a guest post by Mat Ellis, CEO and Founder of Cloudability, a company currently in TechStars Cloud that has already been through an incubator and raised $1.2M.
Last September we entered the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). It was a great experience and ended with a $1.2M seed round just before Christmas. While we were meeting with investors we were also competing for a place at the brand new TechStars Cloud program in San Antonio. Almost everyone asked us the same question: why another incubator?
It became a sensitive issue for me as I knew investor optics are a critical part of a good raise. I was concerned our investors might think we didn’t have faith in ourselves or even worse, that maybe we’d become like one of those grown up students who never want to leave college preferring the family home and job. Folks told me that other companies had raised money before going into TechStars but that didn’t ease my mind.
But two things about TechStars kept standing out. First, there was the amazing track record of TechStars companies. It’s been such a successful program for so long that I reckoned it couldn’t be just one big selection effect, there had to be something in TechStars that made these companies thrive as well. We discovered what the secret sauce was on our visit to the TechStars Cloud open house in early November: the program itself was awesome but the people involved were truly outstanding. We had to get in, and fortunately we did.
Four weeks and 50 mentor meetings later we’re still being surprised (in a good way!) on a daily basis. It’s been an amazing ride, not unlike being caught up in some huge updraft, exhilarating and a tiny bit scary at the same time. We have had so many successful and incredible individuals apply their experience and talent to think about what we are doing at Cloudability, and we are already seeing tangible benefits. There is not a single area of our enterprise that has not been touched in some way by the program, and yet we are only a third of the way through.
The future beckons and one thing is for certain: it will be brighter and more exciting thanks to TechStars.