Brad Feld on TechStars angel approach

Bambi Francisco Roizen · September 24, 2008 · Short URL:

Another acquisition gives the angel mentoring program another win

I've seen a number of pitch events, and I have to admit that the caliber of the presentations was really high at the TechStars event this week. Not only were the presentations informative and succinct, the presenters were articulate and personable.

Getting to this level of preparedness of course has a lot to do with the mentoring from David Cohen, who founded TechStars, a pre-seed mentorship program based in Boulder, along with Brad Feld, tech luminary, prolific blogger, angel investor, entrepreneur and co-founder of two venture capital firms, Foundry Group and Mobius Venture Capital.

TechStars has been around since 2006, and about 60% of the 20 companies that it has mentored have received funding. Two of them have been acquired. Socialthing was bought by AOL and Automattic announced its acquisition of IntenseDebate this week.

The Techstars model is pretty clever. Provide a little money and a lot of mentorship for a 5% stake.

The concept was born out of David's frustration of the angel investing process, which is typically - give a little more money and walk away without any real hand in nurturing the startups. 

In this video, Brad talks about the Techstars approach, whereby they select 10 teams out of hundreds of applicants for a summer mentorship program in Boulder. TechStars pay $5,000 per founder (up to three founders). For three months the entrepreneurs stay in a 10,000 square foot facility. During that time, TechStars whips them into shape and makes invaluable introductions to executives at Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, etc. For the accomodations in Boulder, mentorship and introduction, TechStars takes its fee of 5%.

Watch Brad share the TechStar story. 

Image Description

Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

All author posts

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Interviews" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

Super-size your comments!  By offering persistent identity, reply-by-email, and integration with social networks, IntenseDebate helps publishers engage their readership.  The result: commenters have a richer experience, and publishers see a dramatic jump in page views!

The Intense Debate comment system is built to enable conversation within the comment section. No longer do you have to try to follow the maze of conversations happening in the comments by means of "@ username" or "@ comment number". With Intense Debate the comments are threaded, allowing you to reply directly to an individual comment. The replies are then indented at different levels to make it easier to follow the various conversations.

 With Intense Debate, a user can set up an avatar to be shown whenever they make a comment on every site we power. Also find out more about the other commenters around you. Every user has a menu button providing links to their blog(s), profiles on other websites, and rss feeds of their comments. It's never been easier to connect with the other members of the conversation.




David Cohen

Joined Vator on


Brad Feld

Joined Vator on

Related News