Techstars FounderCon Europe 2017

Techstars Accelerator founders from Europe are coming together for the second annual Techstars FounderCon Europe in Berlin on June 21st-22nd, 2017.








FounderCon 2016 Recap

Techstars’ annual founder conference, FounderCon, took place this past October in Cincinnati, Ohio. This year we also had the Americas Summit running at the same time which meant we hosted 1,159 founders, community leaders, investors, corporates and friends from all around the globe!

Additionally, we had 799 people from the local community attend some of these events. We showcased how global we truly are. From conversation to connection to convention…in my view, this is the best global entrepreneurial network in the world and we’re just getting started!

Why do we do this? Because Techstars is committed to building a powerful global network to support founders on their entrepreneurial journey.

The Techstars’ ecosystem includes more than 7,000 founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, and more than 8,000 community leaders who work together to create a worldwide network of support for founders. Our FounderCon event is one way we connect this network and strengthen our amazing community: Techstars is for life.

Together we learned a lot, made lasting connections, and many of you even drummed up new business and partnerships. We’re excited to share this video with you from the event and can’t wait to see you all, plus more friendly founder faces everywhere we gather including CES, SXSW, Web Summit and future FounderCons!

Want to be a part of it? Apply to Techstars today.

 








The Hustle and Bustle of Techstars’ FounderCon

Wikipedia defines accelerators as “fixed-term, cohort-based programs, that include mentorship and educational components and culminate in a public pitch event or demo day.”

Does this mean accelerator programs end on demo day? Not quite. Amos Schwartzfarb, our Managing Director from Techstars Austin, remains fully engaged with Casabots (Austin ’16) even though the program ended several months back.

He recently introduced us to a great hire and keeps connecting us to customers. We have periodic mentor sessions with Techstars Ventures’ superstars, who invested in us. And last week, we were at Techstars’ annual conference, called FounderCon, which ended up being quite useful.

Now, let me tell you about FounderCon…

123-1-1024x562

 

FounderCon started off with a touch of glamour. The Mayor of Cincinnati addressed us at the home stadium of the Cincinnati Reds, the first pro baseball team in the United States. Following that, Techstars companies that exited over the past year were recognized, providing ample motivation to the rest of us to work hard, grow a successful company and provide good returns to our investors.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-4-19-11-pm

 

Then, it was party time! Yes, every evening had at least 2 parties. I’m not normally the partying kind, but these parties were fantastic networking opportunities – you cultivated relationships with employees whom you could hire later and with investors who were attending FounderCon.

Perhaps most importantly, you got to spend quality time with fellow founders in your Techstars class. You have a special bond with these founders, probably because they experience the same day-to-day hustle and bustle. Spending time with them helps you cope better with the 18 hour workdays, constant learning and intense multitasking that’s typical for a startup.

FounderCon had three days of educational programming running in parallel to other events. These talks helped coach us for the next stage of our startups.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-4-27-09-pm

 

As many of you know, Techstars has more than a dozen accelerators around the globe now. Each of these programs has a Managing Director who is superbly connected within his or her city. FounderCon is a great place to meet Managing Directors of other Techstars programs and leverage their contact networks to build your sales funnel or investor funnel.

One of the days at FounderCon was called “BizDev Day” where we could meet bigger companies Techstars has relationships with. These included names like Target, Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, McDonald’s, Best Buy, Instacart, Microsoft, Intel, Google and many others!

One of the cool things about our product, a salad making robot, is that we can potentially place our robot in all these companies’ cafeterias. So, we got a great set of potential customers to talk with, who felt Techstars startups were top-class and were eager to explore collaborative opportunities.

During Foundercon, they had one afternoon allocated to “Investor Day” where startups had 30 minute sessions with investors. We met a bunch of cool investors who were superbly connected in our space. A bunch of our current investors were in Cincinnati for Investor Day too… I got a chance to pick their brains about our project.

We aren’t fundraising right now, but it always helps to meet future investors early and have them observe your work over a period of time – it lowers their investment risk.

It’s always a good sign when your existing investors say they like your progress and want to invest in your future funding rounds too – 3 investors I met during FounderCon said that! Which was cool.

Not many people think of Silicon Valley as slow moving, but regular work in San Jose seems slow compared to the intense 3 days of hustling at FounderCon!

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-4-29-26-pm

 

This post was originally published on Casabots’ blog.








FounderCon 2015: The Power of the Network

Techstars’ annual founder conference, FounderCon 2015: Back to Our Roots, took place a few weeks ago in Boulder. Close to 700 Techstars’ alumni, staff, and mentors descended on Colorado from all over the world to network, do business together, learn from each other and have fun. Over three days, we had panels on how to close a deal, hiring for culture fit, diversity in tech, M&A, how to find funding, success stories, founder burnout and much more. BizDev Day offered a huge opportunity for founders to meet with executives of over 40 big brands (Google, Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Target, Sprint, etc.) to talk partnerships. We also had two bands, a circus, happy hours, hikes, a schwag swap and late night games of Werewolf!

Why do we do this? Because Techstars is committed to building a powerful global network to support founders on their entrepreneurial journey. The Techstars’ ecosystem includes more than 7,000 founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, and more than 8,000 community leaders who work together to create a worldwide network of support for founders. Our FounderCon event is one way we connect this network and strengthen our amazing community: Techstars is for life.

Big thanks to the sponsors who made it all possible: Sprint, Distil Networks, Localytics and SendGrid! And a shout out to our very own John Hill and Jacqueline Hughes for a phenomenal event — which was powered by a super cool community app that allowed everyone to know where they needed to be and to easily communicate with each other.

Check out the video below to see what it was like to be at FounderCon 2015. Want to be a part of it? Apply to Techstars today. 








#givefirst

FounderCon is our annual event for all Techstars companies with two full days of keynotes, breakout sessions, and tons of opportunity to network with almost 400 Techstars founders and alumni from across our 36 programs to date. We held FounderCon 2014 in the great city of Austin. It’s always fun to hear some of the amazing stories that have come out of FounderCon from founders, speakers, corporate partners and sponsors. If you have any stories about how FounderCon helped you realize the power of the Techstars network, please let us know. Make a game-changing connection? Find a new business opportunity? Hire a new employee?

Below is a short recap video showing off this wonderful event. Want to see the keynote speakers, watch here.

Thank you to all who attended and participated in FounderCon! If you
have thoughts on FounderCon 2015, please share. You can check out the buzz at #FounderCon.