- Startups - David Cohen, Founder and CEO TechStars-TWiST #323





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Published on Jan 22, 2013

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On this episode of TWiST Jason sits down with David Cohen of TechStars. The two gentleman discuss the Series-A Crunch, what makes a good VC, and the future of TechStars.


0:30 Hey Everybody, this is going to be a great episode, welcome David Cohen of TechStars stick with us!
4:15 Our next Live TWiST Event will be with Dave McClure 2/8 in San Francisco!
5:35 ShareFile by Citrix! Enter the code TWIST for a free 30 Day Trial!
7:30 How many programs does TechStars have now?
9:00 Did you think it would be this big when you started it?
9:20 How did you get the brand partners that you have today?
11:00 As a startup how do you balance the startup culture versus your massive brand partners?
13:45 What is the optimum size for a TechStars class?
15:00 What would you define the Series A-Crunch as?
15:40 If the quality of companies is better than it was 10 years ago, then why is there a Series A Crunch?
17:15: What does a startup have to show to get a VC's attention?
18:00: What is social proof? Unpack it.
19:50 What happens to the companies that graduate and don't receive additional funding?
21:00 Do you feel there is a sense of entitlement with startups to receive an A Round?
21:45 Are people gaming the metrics now?
22:30 Let's talk about valuations.
24:20 So optimizing for valuation may not be the best idea for the long run?
25:45 Let's thank our long term friends MailChimp! The free plan is always free!
29:20 How does it feel that you have helped you graduates pull in $200M in funding?
30:00 Why so much transparency with your companies?
31:10 In the last couple of years what is a company that you instantly now they were a winner by meeting the founder?
33:50 What's happening with GroupMe?
34:20 What is something a founder could say that would turn you off to that company forever?
35:15 Are you surprised how often you can tell if someone is dumb or stupid?
36:45 What is the toughest thing about being a founder?
38:30 What is the biggest mistake young founders make after they receive founding?
39:45 What is a party round?
41:20 How much does the stock market effect startups?
42:00 What impact has AngelList made?
45:40 Are acqui-hire deals scaring away Angel Investors?
50:45 Would you ever let Facebook into TechStars to take a look at the companies?
51:25 What do you think about Google in terms of M and A?
51:50 What do you think about Yahoo and Marissa?
52:50 Are there too many startups in the ecosystem now?
53:50 What is the biggest mistake you've made by not funding a company?
54:30 Why is Boulder so filled with superhumans?
56:25 What is about New York and Boston that have lead to an explosion in startups?
57:30 When you have a great company who do you take it to first?
57:45 What make Brad Feld such a great investor?58:25 What is it about those guys that sets them apart from the rest?
58:45 What is the right work that investors need to do?
59:20 Jeff, the superfan, how long have you been watching the program?
59:40 Who are your favorite guests?
60:00 What exactly do you do?
60:30 Do you envision a future where incubators become gatekeepers?
62:45 Does it worry you that a lot of people who run incubators are failed entrepreneurs?
65:45 Do you envision a time where you will open up in the Valley?
66:20 What are the next 2-3 cities you are considering?
68:00 What is the benchmark for success today?
71:45 Have you had companies come in with exact copies of existing companies?
82:40 Do you think the crowdfunding thing is going to work?
74:00 Do you think small companies will ever go public again?
75:30 What trends do you think we will see this year?
77:00 What's coming next from Nike?
77:35 What are the next couple of things we will know about our bodies?
79:50 David thanks so much for being on the show, continued success with TechStars!
80:50 Super fan how much have you learned from these interviews with these founders?
85:50 Thanks to Citrix's ShareFile and MailChimp! We'll see you next time on This Week in Startups!

Follow On Twitter

Jason: @jason
David: @davidcohen
ShareFile: @sharefile
MailChimp: @mailchimp

Special thanks to the members of the TWiST Backchannel Program!


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