To the New TechStars Boston Class

Congratulations on being selected!

I’m really excited to meet you all. Katie, Reed and Rohit do such a great job. Members of our firm have been Mentors since the program’s inaugural class, and we look forward to working with you.

After seeing other entrepreneurs progress through the program, here are 5 suggestions:

  • Be honest. Raising VC money may not be the right thing for your company at this time. Avoid the false impression that if you have not locked up VC funding by Demo Day, you suck
  • Seek authenticity. Chemistry with Mentors is critical. You must find someone with whom you can be totally honest and have really meaningful conversations. They can’t be mentoring sessions disguised as fundraising pitches
  • Find an alum. Critical. Find someone from a prior TechStars class. Ask for lessons learned. Find best practices
  • Make Mentors work. Have a specific “ask”. You want an intro to X. You need help with Y. Do not be shy
  • Understand the varying VC strategies. Multiple approaches work in VC. But, they differ.  And, you have to find the one that best fits your needs at that time. More at “A VC’s Strategy and ‘Kill Rate'”.  To better understand VCs, you might also find helpful: “How Are VCs Paid?”.  For one person’s view on raising VC money, here is a blog series here.

I look forward to meeting you. Congrats again!

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