And Now for Something New and Different… Announcing the New Techstars NYC Managing Director

In 2006, I left the corporate world to launch my first startup. At the time, most people thought I was crazy, walking away from a promising career in law and finance to pursue a dream. People more familiar with startups encouraged me to move to Silicon Valley, where venture capital money grew on trees and tech talent congregated in cafes. So I made a few pilgrimages West but ultimately decided to stick it out in NYC and cobble together whatever resources and community I could find. These were the days before accelerators and coworking spaces, when you had to pay the local angel groups just to pitch. Needless to say, running a startup in NYC had its challenges.

Techstars launched its first NYC program in 2011, and in so doing helped to catalyse the local tech ecosystem. I remember meeting David Tisch, the original Managing Director for Techstars New York, and feeling encouraged that the burgeoning tech scene had a new resource that was founder-friendly and fueled by #givefirst.

Fast forward to now, when NYC is well known as a thriving startup ecosystem and the highest performing startup city outside of Silicon Valley. Local startups can now attract world class talent, and they have plentiful access to venture capital, corporate partners, and customers. Techstars has played an important part in the development of the local NYC startup community, having run 23 accelerator programs in the area, helped more than 265 companies #domorefaster, and supported nearly 500 local alumni founders including Plated, Classpass, DigitalOcean, Pilot, Latch, Chainalysis, and many more.

So, what’s next?

Today, I’m pleased to announce that I will be doubling down on my commitment to the NYC tech community as the next Managing Director of Techstars New York, continuing the work and incredible legacy of my long time colleague and friend, Alex Iskold. Having run several Techstars corporate programs including Techstars IoT, Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in NYC, and Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, Powered by Techstars, I’m now excited to focus on the people and institutions that make up this dynamic city.

My goal is to build even deeper ties with local organizations that foster community and promote inclusivity. I cofounded The Fund, a community focused venture fund investing exclusively in New York founders and supported by some of the brightest operators in New York—making me fully convinced that the next wave of great companies will be built here. New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and Techstars is committed to having founders, mentors, partners, and program staff who reflect this mix of people and cultures. Further supporting this mission of inclusion, Techstars continues to deepen relationships with the many universities and civic initiatives that foster innovation. My own experience teaching undergraduates at Columbia University, as well as the Techstars partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad, underscores both my and Techstars dedication to inspiring and encouraging the next generation of young innovators.

New York, I can’t wait to see what we do together next.

New York is one of the most dynamic cities in the world, where the possibilities are endless and the resources plentiful. Techstars New York opens applications on January 7, 2019, and the program kicks off in mid-July. If you want learn more about the program or be involved in building the future of Techstars New York, our doors are open! Please be in touch.








Office Hours: Techstars NYC (Boston)

Who: Startups looking to apply to Techstars NYC

What: Office Hours

When: Feb 18

Where: Boston

Details: Click here to register for office hours!








Office Hours: Techstars NYC (D.C.)

Who: Startups looking to apply to Techstars NYC

What: Office Hours

When: Feb 17

Where: Washington D.C. 

Details: Click here to register for office hours!








Office Hours: Techstars NYC (Philadelphia)

Who: Startups looking to apply to Techstars NYC

What: Office Hours

When: Feb 16

Where: Philadelphia, PA

Details: Click here to register for office hours!








Three Basic Principles Founders Can Follow to Achieve Quality Results 

This post was originally published on Thoughts on Tech Startups and Venture Capital

We are all in the rush these days. As founders, we want to literally do more faster all the time. As we rush, we may get a lot done, but sometimes we don’t do things right. 

We forego quality in exchange for speed and quantity.

Yet it is really important to pay attention to correctness and quality. When we rush and make mistakes, we then have to go back and fix them. When we go faster and miss things, we have to go back to fix them, and that usually takes more time.

It pays off to spend a bit more time and get things right. 

Over the years, I’ve adopted a few simple principles to make sure that the work I produce is quality work. I learned these principles as a software engineer and now apply them to all things I do.

These principles are: simplicity, completeness and iteration.

Simplicity 

Always make things as simple as possible.

Ask – what is the simplest most straightforward way to get something done. How can I describe something, or make something happen in the simplest possible way?

For example, is the email or blog post I wrote simple? Can I take away sentences or words to make it simpler? 

Or when working with founders and thinking about their business, ask if the founders articulate their vision in the simple way? Can we simplify? 

Or is our process for matching founders with investors simple? What can we do to simplify and be more effective?

By actively asking this question, you focus on and achieve simplicity.

Completeness 

Secondly, ask if what you created is complete.

Sometimes things that are too simple don’t fully solve the underlying problem. 

As Einstein pointed out, things should be as simple as possible but no simpler.

Look at your document, presentation, task, piece of code and ask – does it satisfy fully what you’ve set out to do?

Is it complete?

Iteration

Iteration is the third key. 

Look over your work and check again for simplicity and completeness. Like a great editor, revise it and make it better. Like a great sculptor, refine and touch up.

Iterate until you can neither take anything away (simplify) or add anything (make it more complete).

When this happens you are finished, at least for now. Tomorrow or even a year from now things may change and you may need to iterate and improve again. 

By applying these simple principles, by looking critically at your work, by polishing it a bit more, by asking if it makes sense, if it is simple, and complete, by looking at your work from an outside perspective you get to a much higher quality.

It takes a little bit more effort to learn and put this into practice. But once you master it, it will just become a second nature. The speed and quality will be happening automatically.

Quality doesn’t have to take more time, it just needs the right approach.

And now please share your principles and ways you achieve quality in your work.








Info Session: Q1 2017 Programs (Seattle)

Who: Startups interested in applying for the Austin, Barclays Cape Town, Barclays London, Barclays Tel Aviv, Berlin, Boston, Boulder, Cloud – San Antonio, Healthcare in Partnership with Cedars-Sinai (Los Angeles), New York City or Seattle Accelerator.

What: Info session

When: September 29

Where: Startup Hall – 1100 Northeast Campus Parkway #200, Seattle, WA 98105

Details: Click here to register for the event.








Office Hours: Barclays Accelerator (New York)

Who: Startups interested in applying to the Barclays Accelerator

What: Office Hours

When: September 16

Where: Rise New York, 43 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010, United States

Details: Click here to register for the event. Please ensure you have watched the webinar before this meeting to ensure that the most is made of the time. You can find it on the calendar invite.

 








Info Session: Techstars Healthcare (New York)

Who: Startups interested in applying for the Techstars Healthcare Accelerator

What: Info Session

When: September 7

Where: Galvanize NYC Pop Up – 315 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

Details: Click here to register for the event.








Office Hours: Techstars Healthcare (New York)

Who: Startups interested in applying for the Techstars Healthcare Accelerator

What: Office Hours

When: September 7-8

Where: New York, New York

Details: Click here to register for the event.








Announcing the Barclays Techstars NYC Class of 2016

We are thrilled to introduce the ten tremendous companies that are joining Techstars for the 2nd annual Barclays Accelerator in New York! Today kicks off the start of a 13-week intense program, capped by a Demo Day in September.

To help guide the companies through the unique FinTech landscape, we’re fortunate to have many of our 2015 alumni on the ground, as well as 100+ incredible mentors from all facets of technology and financial services.

Please join me in welcoming the 2016 Barclays Techstars companies:

Logo acuteIQ

acuteIQ  acuteIQ uses artificial intelligence to power customer acquisition throughout the sales cycle leading to a 4x improvement in performance.

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Alpha Exchange – Alpha Exchange transforms the way institutional participants interact, share knowledge and discover investment insight by creating the first open network for the capital markets community.

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Bloomfield – Bloomfield’s platform for commercial real estate transactions allows brokers to efficiently market deals to lenders and negotiate the best financing package.

Chroma_Logo_V

Chroma – Chroma is the only platform that enables non-accredited investors to put their money into the local economy using a managed Virtual Private Fund.

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Create – Create builds smart 3D maps enriched with millions of data points on the urban environment for investors, brokers, and service providers.

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Ernit – Ernit created the world’s first smart piggy to allow modern parents to teach children how to give, save and spend money wisely.

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Morty – Morty empowers home-buyers to find the right mortgage with a modern, online, and fully-digital experience.

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Painless1099 – Painless1099 simplifies tax season for independent contractors through a smart bank account that eliminates the guesswork from tax savings.

piercematrix

PierceMatrix – PierceMatrix improves company security by identifying and orchestrating the removal of hackers from the network leveraging artificial intelligence to power recommendations.

WindrushLogo

Windrush – Windrush makes it possible for non-technical employees to bring data to life as fully-responsive, well designed, interactive online documents.