Our AMAZING Techstars alumni community

I woke up this morning with a single thought stuck in my head – the community that we are building together here at Techstars in NYC and around the world is so incredible.

In life, when you bump into something special you just know it, you can just feel it. And I have this feeling right now about whats happening around Techstars in NYC.

When KJ and I took over the program back in 2014 the community we basically started from scratch. We knew some founders from 2013 program, but we didn’t have strong ties to the broader group, or broader tech community in NYC.

We reached out, and started building the relationship with alumni, and also started growing our own alumni network.

Fast forward to now, we backed 80 companies, and this multi-year effort is giving fruits, and they are just awesome.

This summer, we had ALL TIME high participation from alumni during the program. At least 3 dozen alumni were deeply engaged and actively mentoring, while the rest were available for calls, questions, introductions.

Think about this – 50+ alumni were actively helping 12 new companies. This is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

Look at the list of our top mentors, 11 top mentors out of 15 are alumni. Thank you Christine Carrillo, Alexandre Winter, Jade Huang, Kevin O’Brien, Sarah Adler, Erica Jain, Cem Kozinoglu, Thierry Schellenbach, Adam Johnson, Alexandre Borve, and Brandon Paton — you are awesome.

We also had a set of super insightful panels during the program with our alumni. Nick Devane, Danielle Cohen-Shohet, Rob Douglas, Joe Ellis, Erica Jain, Andre Laurenceau, Kevin O’Brien, Susannah Vila, and Adam Johson – you were raw, authentic and helpful.

Alumni came to pitch practice, and gave great advice on how to make the pitches shine. Joe Ellis, Sarah Adler, Nathaniel Harley, Nat McNamara, Jason Baptste, and Danielle Cohen-Shohet, Daniel Schwartz  — thank you!

Last night, at the alumni party we had awesome surprise appearances from Romain Lapeyre, Scott Galant and Jordan Patterson. Erica Jain, Cavan Klinsky, Andre Laurenceau, Nat McNamara, Jason Baptise, Alejandro Dinsmore and Casey Hancock and Alex Bratianu also came out to celebrate. On Thursday, many of you came out to NYTM to support the founders. I don’t know how many people where there, but I know that when I turned around, Romanos Fessas was sitting right behind me, and Daniel Lee was close by 🙂

And here is another thing thats so amazing and delightful – alumni are using each other’s products!  When I asked Susanne Mischke from MindMate how did they find an apartment in LA, she said on Flip! We all CAN NOT live without Gorgias extension. Techstars email is being protected by Greathorn. Erica & Cavan from Healthie just signed up for Parakeet and VItally. This summer many of us smell a lot better because of Hawthorne, and feel healthier because we are drinking Matcha.

Last, but definitely not least – wow, so many alumni are sending us AWESOME companies, and many went through the program because of alumni referral! Massive shout out to Nick Taranto from Plated for consistently sending us incredible referrals. Sarah and Mackenzie – thank you for always thinking about us. Jade Huang, Rebecca Harris, Thierry Schellenbach, Rob Douglas, and many others — we are really grateful.

None of this is an accident, instead it is a fundamental law of the network growth and you all know it as a NETWORK EFFECT. The power of the network increases with each additional node. The Techstars NYC network, and the broader Techstars network is more and more powerful and valuable every single year. It truly is incredible.

We LOVE seeing all of this. Seriously this is one of the highlights of our lives and a MASSIVE source of energy and inspiration.

Please continue to be amazing, and connect, and help each other the way you do, selflessly and generously. It is a wonderful thing.

Whenever you ever need anything, please think network first. Think of reaching out to us, to your fellow alumni. The bet is you will get to what you need faster, because the network is the shortcut, the network is the accelerator.

We want to continue to create as many opportunities and touch points and opportunities for you to connect and lean on each other through your entrepreneurial journey.  We are thinking about how we can do that better in 2018, so please reach back out to us and let us know what we can do better.

Thank you again to all of our alumni for being awesome, for being around, for giving a damn, for inspiring us and each other, and thank you for living a life worth living on this planet.

We are super proud of all of you and so fortunate to be along for the ride.


Alex Iskold View All →

Engineer, Immigrant. Vegan. 3x Founder, Managing Partner @2048vc. Previously ran @techstars in NYC. I write #startuphacks: http://alexiskold.net .

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Dear Alex, such a heartfelt article, thank you for sharing. I have personally met some of TSNYC alumni and I have to say they truly embrace the #givefirst spirit. They genuinely are devoted to be there and support other founders to grow. Thank you for these words that encourage us to work as hard as we can, and MORE to make it worth.