Shipping up to Boston
Techstars provides the type of inflection point that changes the course of lives and companies. It’s also an experience that most founders finish with a feeling of excitement, gratitude and immense opportunity. As fellow founder, and with Techstars changing the course of my life dramatically on two distinct occasions, I can empathize. And as of today, share my excitement that I’m joining a close friend, and incredible team, to continue building Techstars in Boston as the Director.
In 2011 I moved back from France and joined a team led by Katie Rae and Reed Sturtevant. The charge was to deliver a world-class experience to a group of remarkable founders. The result was the 2012 Techstars Boston class; with non other than Clement Cazalot and his team at Doctrackr front and center. I worked closely with the portfolio, much of the Techstars organization at the time and went on to found the Startup Institute. We coached and trained people to be high performers inside of growth companies. Aka: the real-life manifestation of a ‘unicorn employee’. In 2015 I stepped down as the CEO and moved to Austin, TX to run a product design studio. I spent time learning the product design and experience world. We worked with some incredible companies: Honeywell, Facebook, Walmart, Dell, OpenTable and many others. Life was great, the barbecue was plentiful — but something was missing.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child; a startup has the best chance at health and success if the community plays an active role in supporting it. My new role with Techstars is to identify founders and companies across a number of key verticals and bring the community together to create an unfair advantage via the Techstars Boston program.
As part of this effort, I’m looking forward to exploring the relationship between large corporates and the early-stage companies we at Techstars know so well. I’ll be working closely with both to learn how more productive partnerships can be built.
So what now? If you’re a founder, regardless of stage — reach out. If you’re inside a larger company and wondering how you can engage with the startups that can change your company’s trajectory — reach out. Techstars is many things to many people, and just as I’ve figured out what it is to me, I’d like to help do that for many others. Thank you to those who’ve made this possible and for all the lessons learned along the way. Here’s to many more.