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Lissy Hu is CEO and co-founder of Careport Health (formerly known as eTransitions/Med2Bed), an innovative web-based tool that connects patients, hospitals, and post-acute care providers. Careport Health was part of the second Techstars program in Boston in 2012.

Coming from a medical background, without any startup experience to speak of, we needed a lot of help.  We have been incredibly fortunate to find that help at Techstars in Boston. Two individuals, Rohit and Tuan, stand-out as exemplars of extraordinary Techstars mentorship. Prior to Techstars, Rohit had worked in consulting and venture and was CEO of his own start-up. His breadth of experience meant that he could guide us through any issue that arose — whether it was putting together the endless versions of our pitch deck or striking the right tone in an email. Tuan, the EIR at Techstars, was on loan from Silicon Valley Bank. Tuan is one of those rare people who comes with absolutely no agenda other than to help others succeed. He has the gift of knowing exactly what a team needs even before the team itself knows. Tuan is the ultimate connector. He made key introductions to individuals who had tackled the same challenges that we were facing and who could help us avoid potential pitfalls.

In startups, there are tremendous ups and downs. It is critical not only to believe deeply in your mission, but also to surround yourself with people who believe in you. There were moments — after a negative meeting with a customer or investor — that we doubted ourselves and our next step. During those low times, Tuan and Rohit were always there to remind us of our larger vision and why we are doing this in the first place. For us, it goes back to our patients, and our desire to improve how healthcare is delivered for millions.

Rohit and Tuan are the tip of the iceberg at Techstars. Katie, Reed, Bob, Jay and all the other amazing mentors we met at Techstars have been crucial in our development. In these three short months, Tuan, Rohit and many others became hugely important to us both personally and professionally. Beyond helping us to accelerate the growth of our company, we count them among our close friends. We loved going into Techstars to work each day, in part because of them. We spent time with each other’s families and friends. The prevailing wisdom of startups is that your founding team is critical.  Our experience at Techstars has taught us that the next layer, your close mentors, is just as important to your success.

At the end of the day, Techstars reminds me in many ways of some of the things I love about medicine; the opportunity to work with smart, motivated people who are passionate about achieving goals and the mutual trust, support and close friendship among individuals who spend a lot of time together in an intense, fast-paced environment.

The early application deadline for Boston is tonight, December 3rd, one second before midnight PST. The final deadline is December 21st. Apply now so we can get to know your team.

Lissy Hu