I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be joining the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars as Managing Director in Philadelphia in 2019! Let me tell you a little bit about how I got here.
In 2013, when I joined Techstars as Director of Techstars NYC, I had to appreciate the irony: several years before, I had applied to the inaugural class of that very program. At the time, I was working on a financial literacy startup with my brother. We submitted our application, but didn’t really expect to hear anything back. I was shocked when I saw an email from David Tisch, then Managing Director for the NYC program, asking thoughtful, tough questions about our company—and I was blown away by how accessible and helpful everyone at Techstars was during the entire application process. That venture didn’t end up working out as hoped, but I was left with a strong affinity to Techstars. When the opportunity presented itself to be one of those immensely helpful people on the other side of the table, I jumped at it.
During my very first program as Director, I worked with some of what became the most iconic Techstars NYC alums, such as Plated and Bluecore, and I got to help them refine their messaging, connect with investors, and hire their first employees. If I’m being completely honest, I initially took the position with the intention of learning how the sausage was made, and then applying those learnings to my own future startup. But as it turned out, working with entrepreneurs from the Techstars NYC programs became the most rewarding work I’ve ever done.
In the past six years, I’ve run 10 mentorship-driven accelerator programs—the most of anyone at the organization (I’m very proud of this). I had the privilege of working with Alex Iskold, serial entrepreneur and former Managing Director for Techstars NYC, for eight of these programs, and I learned more from him than I could ever have imagined. So when I heard that Alex was moving on, I decided it was also time to consider what was next for me. That’s when I heard about the opportunity with the program down in Philadelphia.
I’ve been intrigued by the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars and the value it offers both startups and these media giants. The startups get amazing access, industry insights, and mentoring from the corporations. It’s a different model of accelerator, and I wanted to give it a try. Plus, I knew we would be an unstoppable team when we combined my six plus years of experience and knowledge of the Techstars approach with Comcast NBCUniversal’s significant expertise in the connectivity, media, and entertainment space.
I’ve spent the last several weeks getting to know the LIFT Labs team at Comcast NBCUniversal in Philadelphia, and the energy and enthusiasm regarding the accelerator program from everyone, including the team’s senior executives, was intoxicating. I’m thrilled to tell the world that I’m joining the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars as Managing Director and continue my path and passion in supporting founders and helping to nurture and grow startups across the globe.
Applications for the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars open today, January 7, 2019, and the program will kick off this summer in mid-July. If you’ve got questions, you can message me on Twitter, or request office hours with me to learn more about the program, or if you’re ready, apply now!