Excited for the future…

Techstars Chicago has evolved tremendously over the last 7 years. From Sam Yagan hacking together an amazing first program back in 2010 when we were called “Excelerate Labs”, to us becoming the anchor tenant at 1871, to our merging with Techstars in 2013, I have had a front row seat. Whether it was co-managing the program with Steve Farsht or Brian Luerssen, or selecting teams with Adam Koopersmith, Nick Rosa and Sam, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey and learned so much along the way from so many amazing people. Most importantly, we have graduated 70 companies here in Chicago which have raised over $100 million along with hundreds of founders and employees who are now much better equipped to start and build businesses.

We are proud of our progress, but like many start-ups, we need to take advantage of new ideas and new people to keep pushing the program forward. Therefore, we have decided to bring on a new Managing Director, Logan LaHive.

Logan has been an integral part of the Chicago startup community since we founded Excelerate Labs, providing mentorship to our program at that time while at Redbox’s Innovation Group. His lessons learned as CEO of Belly will also be invaluable to Techstars Chicago. He has taken an idea and grown it into a national brand, raised institutional capital from Andreessen Horowitz, NEA and Lightbank, and most importantly, seen the ups and downs of founding a company. Such experiences put him in a great position to attract and mentor new teams.

Speaking of mentors… ours have been instrumental to building this program. Their time and engagement over the years have made such a difference. They have lived by the Techstars’ creed: Mentorship and #GiveFirst are the foundations that Techstars and entrepreneurship are built upon. I cannot express enough gratitude for their contributions.

Techstars Chicago has a bright future built upon a rock solid foundation. New leadership from Logan will drive new ideas, new energy and new opportunities. These are very exciting times. While I will no longer have a formal role in the program, I will continue to provide support and mentorship in any way I can. I’m excited to dedicate more time to co-managing MATH Venture Partners and to teaching at Kellogg, two activities that I love doing, both of which also help entrepreneurs. But I will always look back at the years of building Excelerate Labs/Techstars as some of the most exciting, exhausting, energizing, educational years of my career!

P.S. Read more about what Logan has in store for the future…