5 Questions with Marius Ciocirlan, Managing Director of Techstars Seattle

Oct 24, 2022

Over the past 13 years, Techstars Seattle has invested in 132 companies who have collectively raised $2.5B in private capital. Today, we are excited to introduce Marius Ciocirlan, the new managing director of Techstars Seattle.

Marius is a product leader, serial entrepreneur and advisor who resides in Seattle. Early in his career, he won an Emmy for his filmmaking work at PBS. He then transitioned into product design and designed all of the Groupon mobile apps, which were downloaded more than 100 million times. 

For the last 6 years, Marius served as co-founder and CEO of the VC-backed startup ShareGrid, which was recently acquired by Backstage. ShareGrid is a peer-to-peer rental marketplace where over 150,000 filmmakers and photographers rent out more than $1 billion worth of production equipment.

The 14th Techstars Seattle class begins on Monday, October 31. We invite you to join us on Tuesday, November 1 to meet the founders and to meet Marius at our workspace at Startup Hall - RSVP now.

01. What are you looking for in startups for Techstars Seattle?

I will be looking for exceptional founders who are intelligent, energetic, ethical and are pursuing an ambitious goal in a field they are experts in.

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

Mike Tyson says “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the nose”. That quote perfectly encapsulates an entrepreneur's journey. As an entrepreneur, you will face many challenges. Your success and character will be a reflection of the actions you take in those moments. Perseverance and integrity are the keys to unlocking a successful outcome.

03. What is your favorite thing about the Seattle startup scene?

I feel the Seattle startup scene has an incredibly solid foundation of talent and support. Some of the largest companies in the world are headquartered in Seattle, and therefore are attracting some of the best talent. Meanwhile, we have numerous investment firms who are eager to support entrepreneurs who have ambitious goals. The opportunity to continue to grow is readily available.

04. If you could have coffee with any entrepreneur who would it be and why?

Definitely Steve Jobs. He is the prime example of perseverance and passion. He dedicated his entire life to crafting some of the world's best products. He seemed to have had the natural ability to operate from first principles, breaking down complicated problems into basic elements and reconstructing them from the ground up. Besides learning more about his operating principles, I’d love to ask him if he would’ve ever approved the design choice to make the camera on the iPhone thicker than the iPhone itself!? 🤦‍♂️😜

05. What can founders joining the Seattle Techstars program expect? 

Future founders joining our program can expect an absolutely focused, dedicated team keen on doing everything possible to increase each company's chances of success. We operate as a startup ourselves - our customers are the founders, and they are buying the increased odds of success in an industry with a high failure rate.

Applications for the next Techstars Seattle Accelerator program will open on April 9, 2023 and the program will begin in October 2023. If you are interested in applying for Techstars Seattle, reach out to Marius at marius.ciocirlan@techstars.com.