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Mentor Manifesto 18/18 - Have Empathy. Remember that startups are hard.

on Thu, 02/07/2019 - 02:14

This is the final post (18) of the Techstars Mentor Manifesto. As with item 17, Brad Feld let me complete the list with my own submission for this final item.

During one of the Techstars Boston cohorts where I’ve been Mentor-in-Residence, I worked with a 20-something CEO founder (code named Mary) who, shortly after raising a seed round of several million dollars, hired a high-powered exec, granting a significant equity option.

Founders: How are you making money & generating cash?

on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:58

Tech startups often do not think deeply enough about how they are going to make money. More focus on this would be greatly helpful.

During most of my weeks I'll meet with anywhere from 5-10 founders of tech companies to talk about their business. Many are looking for investment, and though I've invested in a fair number of startups, I've slowed down my investment rate quite a bit - and tell founders this prior to meeting. Those that still want to meet are simply seeking for feedback.

The privilege of seeing this many startups gives me a different perspective than I had when I was a founder.

Mentor Manifesto 17/18 - Be Challenging/Robust but Never Destructive

on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 14:29

Brad Feld wrote 16 posts detailing each item of the Techstars Mentor Manifesto. However, there are 18 items in the manifesto and he never got around to writing the final two.

I prodded him several times; but after a year without the posts appearing from him, I volunteered to write them; and he has graciously accepted them for the final two installments.

This is item #17 of the Techstars Mentor Manifesto.

This item on the list might sound very similar to #4, “Be Direct. Tell the Truth, However Hard.” But, it’s different. This item (#17) has to do with you, not the companies.

You have been