By Amos Schwartzfarb, Managing Director of the Techstars Austin Accelerator
I am very excited to announce the next Techstars Austin class which kicks off today, January 10th, 2022.
Before I get into sharing details of the new companies, I’d like to share a few exciting updates.
Firstly, we will be expanding our footprint in Austin and moving from running 1 program per year to running 2 programs per year. The first program kicks off this week and the second program kicks off in late August. Additionally, we will be moving from 10 companies per class to 12 companies per class in 2022.
In order for us to scale and provide the same level (or better) quality to our founders, we will be growing the staff as well. Firstly, Caroline Tosbath has been promoted to Program Director. She will be responsible for all strategy and execution in regards to scaling program operations including strengthening our founder, mentor, alumni and investor communities. I’m also delighted to announce the addition of our new Program Manager, Dani Rose to our team. Dani will be responsible for the day to day operations of the program and community.
In addition to Caroline and Dani, I will be adding a few additional roles in the coming year. Since we’ve never scaled like this before, I’m being very intentional about knowing that I don’t yet really know what all the other roles will look like. With that in mind, I am delighted to share that there are 5 exceptional people joining us on a contract basis to both help the companies as well as help me figure out where our best points of leverage and biggest challenges will lay as we scale. Trevor Boehm, Lander Coronado-Garcia and Brooke Bains will be joining as Entrepreneurs in Residence each working with 4 of the 12 companies. Kurt Rathmann will be working with all the companies on fundraising both via strategy and connections. Finally, Autumn Manning will be working with all the CEO’s on culture and operations.
I’m thrilled to get to work with everyone and believe we’re setting ourselves on a great path to make a bigger impact on a larger number of founders in Austin in the years to come.
Finally, just a bit about our curriculum. While we’ve always leaned heavily on the LEVERS process, I’m changing the delivery format a bit. In years past I’ve delivered the entire process in week 1 of the program and let the companies self-direct through the process. While this worked for many, it was harder for both the companies (and me) to leverage each other and stay on track. Going forward, we’ll be delivering an overview in week 1 and then starting in week 4 (after Mentor Office Hours) we’ll be covering one framework per week. Mondays we will deliver one workshop and Fridays each company will share a brief presentation on the work they have done. We believe this will give the companies the best opportunity to leverage both the entire process and each other.
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