After an awesome event in Boston, we headed down the coast to host a similar get-together at Techstars New York. Over 175 people registered for the event in a space that could hold around 75. The standing room only crowd added to the energy in the room as we launched into a conversation around the impact a Techstars program has on an entrepreneur and their business (and while doing that downed 40+ pizzas and a couple hundred beers…it was a blast)
Techstars [superstar] Managing Director, Nicole Glaros, addressed the crowd of entrepreneurs who are considering or have recently submitted an application for one of the upcoming programs. The entrepreneurs in the room had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel filled with Techstars employees, alum and successful CEO’s.
In Boston we talked a lot more about the “access” that the ‘powered by’ programs afford you due to the close affiliation with corporations like Nike, Microsoft, Kaplan and Sprint. The conversation in NYC centered on the powerful global network of mentors that comes with EVERY Techstars program.
Often know as mentor “whiplash,” the first month of the program is spent diving into your business, tearing apart assumptions with facts, getting into the mind of your customer with the help of people who have been there before. The panelists described this phase to be one of the hardest and most emotional experiences of the Techstars program, but also the most valuable. Taking this input and utilizing it to build a better business over the next couple months is what makes a Techstars company outperform the market.
The art of pairing up mentors is an organic process. There isn’t an assigned set of mentors to each team, instead relationships are formed based on expertise and interest. Over time connections continue to be made and these relationships last far beyond the bounds of the 3 month program…turning into lifetime advisers and friends.
The mentors volunteer their time because of their belief in the “give before you get” mantra at Techstars. A mentor who approaches a program with this mentality is there for no other personal gain but to help lend their experience to a new business. In reality, they’re taking just as much away from the experience as the entrepreneur, gaining a new perspective, finding a new partnership opportunity for their business or just a re-awakening of that impossible to describe entrepreneurial mojo.
For the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator, we’re lining up a HUGE network of mentors in the life sciences, mobile tech and entrepreneurial eco-systems (check out a portion of the list HERE). Every one of the people on our list is beyond excited to sit down and spend some meaningful time working with you and your business.
We’ve been talking a lot about unfair advantages lately. After hearing the alum talk last night, the Techstars network is the true power behind the program…unprecedented access to people who have faced the same problems you are, donating their time to speed you through those obstacles.
If this is the kind of unfair advantage you’re looking for in the mHealth space then APPLY NOW!!