Internet Week New York brings out TechStars

Tisch is a seed stage investor.

New York City alumni of TechStars took the stage at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Thursday to discuss how startups can benefit from the business accelerator program.

TechStars provides the early-stage technology companies accepted into the program with three months of mentorship and the chance to pitch their ideas to investors.

According to David Tisch, managing director of TechStars in New York City, the program received more than 1,050 applications from startups for just 10 spots in the summer session which begins in July. “We’re harder to get into than Harvard or Yale,” he said.

TechStars is held in Boston, Boulder, Seattle and New York City. The first New York City iteration of the program began in January and culminated with Demo Day in April where startups presented their concepts to more than 500 potential investors at Webster Hall. Tisch said nine of the 11 startups that presented in April have thus far secured funding.

“We’re trying to make the early stage portion of the startup stage just a little more sophisticated,” Tisch said.

Red Rover, which developed a peer-to-peer learning platform for enterprise users, was among the graduates of the April session. The platform aggregates employees’ content to share knowledge among their colleagues. Kevin Prentiss, CEO of Red Rover, compared running a startup to competing in a soccer game. Participating in the TechStars program helped his team achieve a new degree of focus. “Being at TechStars is like suddenly having stands full of people who are paying attention,” he said.

Prentiss said the mentors in the TechStars program helped shape his company’s thinking beyond planning for the next six months to seeking the right ecosystem to be successful in the next five years. “It really changed the level of play that we brought to our company,” he said. “TechStars was a big part of our shift from a bootstrap mentality to a growth mentality.”

Though the application period is closed for the July session of TechStars in New York City, future sessions will be listed on the organization’s schedule.

About Joao-Pierre S. Ruth
New York tech correspondent for Xconomy, tech writer for Investor Uprising, and aspiring urban fantasy writer. I also make brownies and crème brulee.

One Response to Internet Week New York brings out TechStars

  1. Pingback: Startup Weekend NYC just the beginning on road to entrepreneurship « OpenBandwidth

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