Category Archives: TechStars

Screw serendipity – make it happen!

I’ve heard these stories of startup founders where great stuff just happens to them. They’re telling a friend about their latest idea and are overheard by some angel who immediately writes them a check or they create some neat tool in their spare time, while holding down a real job, and then become superstars earning millions and flying around the world to speak to their screaming throngs, or they create some neat little tool in a weekend and end up selling it a month later for $10 million.

All crap, seriously. I don’t believe any of it. Sure, there might be some fantasized retelling of a startup that starts with these lines, but there not reality. Maybe I don’t believe them because they haven’t happened to me. Maybe I’m just a doubting Thomas after all.

Last spring when we applied to TechStars with the original, now long-dead idea for TempMine, we were very excited to make it through the first cut from a  500 or so companies down to fifty.  But making the first cut wasn’t the goal and we weren’t in yet.  We still had to beat out 40 other teams to get a slot.

I then saw a tweet that Shawn Broderick, the Director of the soon to be first Boston class of TechStars was going to be at Andala Cafe for OpenCoffee the following week.   Did I wait around for someone to overhear me talking about TempMine?  Did I sit in my house and code, code, code hoping to get noticed?  Did anyone buy TempMine for $10M?  No, no, and sadly, no.  I got off my butt, skipped a few hours of work, and got in Shawn’s face.

Applications for TechStars Boston 2010 are now open and getting into TechStars is hard.  The odds are quite literally stacked against you.  Tilt them a bit, go meet Shawn.  Go meet some of the TechStars alums who are going to be there too.  Go find out why I jumped at the chance to leave a great job and chase my dream.

Come learn more about TechStars as Shawn hosts an Info Session at 10:30a on Wednesday, Dec 2nd at Andala.

Screw serendipity – make it happen.

Writing about my summer in TechStars … or not.

When I started this blog it was with the intention of saving some of the great summer experiences for myself and sharing them with my friends / family who weren’t seeing a lot of me.  But then, every time I tried to write something, I couldn’t divorce it from the fact that the reason I was among the missing was that our company, TempMine, had been accepted to the inaugural class of TechStars Boston.

We’d decided that it was best that we keep mum as the word about our TechStars  participation because you only really get one chance to make that first impression.  And frankly, for most of the summer, our product and business model were in such states of flux, we didn’t even know what sort of an impression we wanted to make anyway.

So I started posts, and then left them, to wither on the vine – something that is very easy to do as you have so many other things going on whether it be big sessions with mentors, one-on-one’s with mentors, pitch sessions, weekly updates with Shawn (Broderick, the Director of TS Boston), meetings with potential customers and users, or just plain building something.

When in TechStars you have no time. Everyday is jammed. Crazy jammed full of things that you just can’t miss. Meetings that are far to valuable to skip. So taking time to blog, just didn’t happen, especially when I felt like everything I wanted to say wouldn’t have made much sense without the word “TechStars”.

But now, we’re graduates of the program. We’re TechStars alums – a very nice club to be in btw. We’ve longs since had that first impression thanks to TechCrunch (TechStars Debuts Nine Startups In Boston).

We’re actively raising funding. We’re working on our MVP. We’re talking to customers and users. We’re building our company. But now, now I’m going to take a bit of time to catch up on some of those things I wanted to talk about during the Summer of ’09, but just never had the time to.