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The Real TechStars of New York

The Real TechStars of New York

TechStars NYC Poaches Eugene Chung, a VC at NEA, to Replace David Tisch

Mr. Chung. (Photo: TechStars)

In December, after reports about an impending downturn in the accelerator boom, some local investors expressed concerns about the future of TechStars New York. Would the next Demo Day be the same parade of oversubscribed startups when much-hyped graduates were still stuck in beta? Were the lessons learned in TechStars enough to prepare companies for life outside the bubble?

David Tisch’s departure as managing director added to that uncertainty. But TechStars CEO and founder David Cohen dismissed those worries, pointing to “heavy inbound interest” in the role. Today, he announced his new hire from the 35 candidates interviewed: Eugene Chung, a former venture capitalist with New Enterprise Associates.  Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Investors Wonder About the Future of TechStars New York

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At any startup accelerator, Demo Days are a relentlessly upbeat affair–a parade of promotional pitch decks and stats about market size that somehow always reach up into the billions. But in New York City, Techstars’ biannual showcase takes the cake.

Founded in Boulder, the program launched in New York in 2011 (just as the startup scene cried out for tent poles to rally around) and easily fills auditoriums. Companies often announce “soft-circled” funding or even that the round has already closed. Mayor Bloomberg even called the number of investors who fly to New York to check out presentations, “proof positive that the TechStars is going to change this world and certainly change America and this city.”

Or as TechStars mentor Joel Spolsky put it before introducing one of the startups at Webster Hall: “Time to get my company oversubscribed.” Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

TechStars NYC Ships in Talent From Boulder to Replace David Tisch

Ms. Glaros (Photo: NearlyNicole.com)

TechStars NYC has been quiet since August, when managing director David Tisch announced that he would be stepping back from his day-to-day role at the accelerator program. Almost exactly a year ago, we profiled Mr. Tisch’s rise to prominence in New York’s startup scene largely through his role in building a satellite program for TechStars, which entered the local market just when it could benefit from a little infrastructure.

(Early observers will recall that the first class of TechStars New York was filmed for a reality show, but managed to escape the humorless vitriol directed at Randi Zuckerberg–probably because the TechStars version was for Bloomberg instead of Bravo, and involved about 100 percent fewer toga parties.) Over the past few years, Mr. Tisch has become a prolific angel investor through Box Group, and his name frequently shows up in seed funding rounds for New York companies–TechStars and otherwise. Thus finding a replacement who is as well-versed in the scene might be tricky. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

David Tisch Made At Least 15 Investments This Summer Before Stepping Back from TechStars

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My, how quickly they grow. It seems like just yesterday Betabeat was following TechStars managing director David Tisch around Union Square for a profile of the new crown prince of the tech scene. But in an unexpected August surprise, Mr. Tisch just announced on his blog that he would be stepping back from his day-to-day duties at the startup accelerator.

“The program was at a point of stability. I was incredibly proud of what we built over two years: three programs, 36 companies,” Mr. Tisch, who also invests personally through Box Group, told Betabeat by phone. “We were in between a big lull in the program, so it felt like the right time.”

Mr. Tisch’s new title will be cofounder of TechStars New York. “I’m still going to be involved and help with all the other stuff. It’s just not day-to-day anymore. I’m going to mentor, I’m an investor in the program. I’ll help with the selection committee and stuff like that and we’ll figure out where it goes.” Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Sneak Preview: Timehop’s Redesign Makes Nostalgia More Social

TimeHop beta

Timehop has always passed the explain-your-startup-in-a-sentence test with aplomb. It’s a daily email that shows you what you were doing a year ago today through Foursquare checkins, Facebook posts, and tweets. But simplicity isn’t its only charm. The service, which started out as a Foursquare hack by TechStars alums Jonathan Wegener and Benny Wong, switches out of social media’s only gear (realtime–i.e. what’s next, what’s new, what’s now) to look back fondly at the past.

Call us raging solopists, but it’s one of the few newsletters (old news letters might be more apt) that gets opened on arrival. The self-aware copy–upbeat, not cheesy–certainly helps, especially when they accidentally email you multiple times on the worst day of the yearRead More

The Real TechStars of New York

How to Ruin Your Wildly Successful TechStars Demo: Fudge Facts on Stage

Mr. Gaal

You know what they say about karma, so don’t make us repeat it. It looks like good intentions backfired with Karma, a 4G hotspot provider initially founded in Amsterdam that presented this morning at TechStars Demo Day.

In press materials for the spring class, Karma’s one-line descriptor was: “Simple, honest 4G provider,” a sentiment repeated throughout its introductory blog post. But shortly after Demo Day ended, Travis Kalanick, the CEO of request-a-ride car app Uber, tweeted that Karma’s CEO Robert Gaal had not been honest in mentioning a partnership with Uber during the company’s pitch in front of crowd of more than 700 at Webster Hall. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Everything You Want to Know About The Spring 2012 Class of TechStars for Demo Day [Slideshow]

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Wander (a beautiful way to share and experience the world)

After three long months of toiling away at 36 Cooper Square, TechStars NYC’s spring 2012 class is finally ready to say, “Hello, world.” Or rather, “Show me the money.” This morning, 13 startups will present their exhaustively-rehearsed pitches to a crowd of more than 700 for the program’s third Demo Day. (Check out our live-blog from Webster Hall.)

Back in March, managing director David Tisch promised us his most visionary class yet. “They all take big swings,” he told Betabeat. “I think the ideas are all going for something big. I don’t think there are  lot of safe bets or small bets.” Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Liveblogging TechStars Demo Day

Managing director David Tisch on stage at TechStars Demo Day at Webster Hall.

Don your robes, apply your waterproof mascara and prepare for an indulgent celebratory lunch at some place like the Cheesecake Factory: it’s graduation day for the Spring 2012 TechStars. Each of the 13 companies will be introducing their products to a slew of mentors, investors and reporters at today’s Demo Day, with the hopes of knocking their socks off and–hopefully, fingers crossed!–nabbing some VC bucks. The show starts at 8 a.m., folks, so grab your coffee and we’ll see you then.

The Real TechStars of New York

The One TechStars NYC Startup That Won’t Be Pitching At Demo Day Tomorrow

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In March, TechStars NYC announced that it had selected 14 startups from an applicant pool of more than 1,600 for the chance at 13-weeks of mentorship and $100,000. But only 13 companies will be presenting at tomorrow’s Demo Day at Webster Hall. Betabeat has learned that StockTouch, which described itself as “revolutionizing finance with mobile data visualization,” did not participate in the program.

Managing director David Tisch would only say that the decision was mutual. We have reached out to StockTouch for comment and will update the post when we hear back. StockTouch CEO Jennifer Johnson was one of five female CEOs (and six female cofounders) accepted into the spring 2012 class. Read More