Stories 5 Questions

5 Questions with Jenny Fielding

Feb 29th, 2020

2-min read

Jenny Fielding is the Managing Director of the Techstars New York City Accelerator , where she leads the program. She is also the founder of The Fund, a first check fund investing in local founders. Her portfolio includes more than 120+ companies. Jenny is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and Kauffman Fellow. Previously, she ran Corporate Venture at BBC Worldwide and has founded several companies including Switch-Mobile (acquired in 2009).

01. What are the key elements you look for when sourcing startups for the Techstars New York City Accelerator ?

Techstars NYC focuses on founders who have a deep connection with the problem they’ve set out to solve. We look for founders who are willing to go the distance and build world changing, impactful companies.

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

Running a startup is incredibly hard. I learned this first hand building my first tech startup in NYC in 2006. My key takeaways: build an incredible team, align the team around an impactful mission, and move super fast.

03. Why is growing diversity in entrepreneurship so important to you?

NYC is one of the most diverse cities in the world and our program should reflect that rich diversity. Diverse teams bring a unique perspective to the table and have been shown to produce better company outcomes.

04. Describe a situation with a startup founder or team where you felt like you made a difference.

When I went out to raise capital for my own startup, I had no advisors or mentors or friends who could guide me. I struggled. Now, I help hundreds of founders with fundraising and it’s an amazing feeling when I can fast-track them to better information and a clearer path to success.

05. What is your favorite thing about the New York startup scene?

The NYC startup community is surprisingly collaborative and supportive. Since we’ve been the underdog for so long, we have a scrappy, fighter spirit, and a sense that we can rise together.