5 Questions with Laila Partridge

Aug 25, 2021
Laila Partridge Featured Image

2-min read

Laila is the Managing Director of the STANLEY + Techstars Accelerator.

Originally published on February 29, 2020 and updated on August 25, 2021.

01. What are the key elements you look for when sourcing startups for the STANLEY + Techstars Accelerator?

The accelerator theme is Electrification with a focus on how that transition will transform and disrupt Stanley Black & Deckers businesses. Thus, I am looking for passionate entrepreneurs and teams who want to drive electrification into industrial and consumer DIY applications, have a passion for sustainability, and want to build cool products and great businesses. If in doubt - apply! I love talking to and helping entrepreneurs.

02. What are some of the biggest learnings from your career and entrepreneurial journey that you bring to being a Techstars MD?

My startups taught me to be humble. They taught me the importance of mentors, and the thousands of little things that go into starting and growing a business. From my Intel Capital days, I learned how good stewardship of a relationship between a large company and startup can create huge market impact, as well as financial success. I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed!

Learn more about how Techstars mentors work: read the Techstars Mentor Manifesto.

03. What does our partner Stanley Black & Decker bring to the accelerator?

Stanley is a 177 year old company that has lived through three industrial revolutions and thrived. Innovation is in Stanley’s DNA and its leadership is committed to industrial innovation and digitizing manufacturing. At Stanley, the discipline of a well-run company is coupled with an openness to new ideas and experimentation. That culture permeates throughout Stanley, making it the ideal partner and collaborator for any startup.

04. What is your favorite thing about the Baltimore startup scene?

I attended the Baltimore Latvian Song Festival in 2017 and fell in love with Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Not long after, when Amazon asked for bids from cities for their East Coast HQ, I heard from Baltimore entrepreneurs eager to be chosen. Today, Techstars is working with UpSurge Baltimore to help ramp up the Baltimore start-up ecosystem. UpSurge is gathering entrepreneurs, local business leaders, world class academicians and many others with infectious energy and excitement. I am thrilled to be part of it!

05. What does Give First mean to you, and how do you apply it in your work and life?

When I started my first company, I was fortunate to have Zipcar founder, Robin Chase, spend an afternoon with me. She has been a friend, sounding board, and mentor ever since. That memorable sunny afternoon in Cambridge set the tone and put me on the path to #GiveFirst. I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed.

Learn more about the STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator here.

Learn more about Techstars accelerators and see which ones are accepting applications now.