March 1st, 2020
David Mendez currently serves as Managing Director for the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator Powered by Techstars, in Amsterdam, focusing on smart city and infrastructure technologies. He also was cofounder for Good Growth Capital, an early stage venture fund based between Charleston, SC and Boston, MA, and currently serves as Venture Partner.
We are looking for startups that drive digitization and innovation in the design and engineering of infrastructure projects, such as large urban developments, public spaces, airports, and other transportation hubs. Included are new ways to take a more human-centric approach to infrastructure.
Being a cofounder of a venture-backed startup in the early days of “SaaS” and B2B software, the mid-1990s, I have seen how technology has made innovation more accessible, but also more competitive. I have experienced how difficult it is to sell a real true value proposition, as well as how difficult it is to raise capital. I can relate to almost every struggle a startup will experience at the earliest stage.
In addition to funding the program, Arcadis brings strategic value to the program, including their sector expertise, industry mentors, fast track to pilots, and proof of concepts within Arcadis or on joint projects with Arcadis and their customers.
Delivering content, making introductions and basic mentoring are what all Managing Directors can bring to the table during the program. I think the most valuable thing I can bring to a founder or team is transparency, honesty, and practical insight into the challenges they face, as well as staying with them after the program, as a trusted advisor, mentor, and investor in their business. In one case, with others to come, I facilitated the fundraise for a company’s Series Seed, including putting together the investors, and helping all parties proceed to the closing. This was a process that began during the program, but extended into the subsequent six months after Demo Day.
Learn more about how Techstars mentors work: read the Techstars Mentor Manifesto.
Amsterdam has one of the most vibrant startup scenes in Europe, and it continues to grow at a fast pace. The Dutch culture has always been very welcoming, innovative, and efficient, which works very well in creating an ecosystem that is very supportive for entrepreneurs.
Learn more about Techstars accelerators and see which ones are accepting applications now.