Nicole is both an entrepreneur, and has been mentoring, supporting, and investing in entrepreneurs for over 15 years. Nicole got her entrepreneurial start in the 4th grade, orchestrating cousins into theatrical plays and charging neighbors admission. While earning her masters degree at the University of Florida, Nicole co-founded a tech startup that retailed products to the property management industry. It was there she developed her lifelong passion for supporting tech entrepreneurs.
She took her learnings of how to scale and applied it to CTEK, an incubator supporting tech startups, that she grew from 1 to 5 offices across the state, and was an early catalyst in developing the startup ecosystem in Colorado. Most recently, she is the Chief Innovation Officer at Techstars - a global network and investor in early-stage web software companies. She’s been with the company since it’s earliest days, yet has been instrumental in its growth from one office a global powerhouse, featuring investment offices in 18 cities worldwide, events in over 500 cities globally, with $265M in capital under management and a market cap of over $5B. Through Techstars she’s invested in over 90 startups, most of which she still supports to this day.
In addition to her role at Techstars, she’s also on the board of Pana
, Simple Energy, and the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado. Previously she’s been on the boards of Owlet and the Application Developer’s Alliance. She was named one of the "Coolest People in New York Tech
” and an Extraordinary Woman in New York Tech
by Business Insider, Marie Claire named her one of the “NewGuard
”, and Entrepreneur Magazine named her One of the Most 7 Powerful Women to Watch
Her talks have been featured at SXSW, TEDx, WebSummit, Pioneers Festival, Arctic festival, the University of Colorado, and many, many more.
Nicole blends the strategic with the tactical and loves pushing her own limits and the limits of those around her. She’s been a competitive swimmer, triathlete, and boxer. She’s summited Mt. Rainer, has guided adventure travel trips, She loves traveling to places radically different than home and mourns the spread of the western culture across the globe. She lives the mantra #GiveFirst and does one philanthropic thing every year, and is always looking for new ways to learn, grow, and help others.
When not working with startups, you’ll find Nicole smothering her husband and two kids with kisses, or hiking, biking, skiing, reading, and lamenting how little time there is to do everything she loves.
Nicole has entrepreneurship in her blood. As a second generation American, with both her father and grandfather starting companies, she learned at a young age that being an entrepreneur means being in charge of your own destiny. She got her entrepreneurial start in the 4th grade, orchestrating cousins into theatrical plays and charging neighbors admission. Since 2002, she's been mentoring and funding early-stage web software companies. Most recently, Nicole is a Partner and Chief Product Officer at Techstars, a global ecosystem for entrepreneurs based out of Boulder, Colorado. She’s been with Techstars since its early days in 2009, has run 8 programs and has close to 90 companies in her portfolio. She helps spin up new programs, train new managing directors, and is always on the lookout for companies that are a great fit for the Techstars Venture Fund. She's on the Board of Directors for SimpleEnergy, Owlet, and the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado. She was named one of the "Coolest People in New York Tech” and an Extraordinary Woman in New York Tech by Business Insider, Marie Claire named her one of the “NewGuard”, and Entrepreneur Magazine named her One of the Most 7 Powerful Women to Watch. You can see her at various speaking engagements like SXSW.
Nicole graduated with her Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Florida and has learned that the same principles of sport apply to startups. She is married to the love of her life and has 2 young children under 5 who keep her honest, humble, and acutely aware of how short and precious life is.
When not thinking about startups or her family, you’ll find Nicole on her bike, on a trail, or on the slopes, hanging with her big fat greek family, traveling, or generally making a fool of herself to entertain others. Follow Nicole at www.nearlynicole.com or @nglaros