HomeAustria-StartupsIn a couple of years, Techstars could have 6-8 locations in Europe

In a couple of years, Techstars could have 6-8 locations in Europe

Yesterday, I attended a fireside chat with Jon Bradford in Vienna. Jon is not only a funny guy, but someone who helps European startups as a mentor and investor.

Jon said he quit his job as Managing Director of Techstars in London, but will remain very close to Techstars. He was in Vienna to meet Techstars portfolio company Codeship and also to promote Techstars Berlin which is now opening and accepting applications. Techstars Berlin will be managed by Jens Lepinski (B2B genius) and Brian Daly, two smart and helpful mentors. Jon is also cofounder of f6s and tech.eu. He invests mainly via Eleven which he co-founded with some smart guys from Bulgaria.

Jon spoke about what he had learned from mentoring entrepreneurs throughout his career. Here are some notes I made:

  • Techstars could possibly run 6–8 programmes in Europe in a couple of years. Currently they’re in London and Berlin.
  • Apply to accelerators as early as possible. Too early is not bad. You can try several times but must show progress.
  • His focus is on 5 criteria — Team, Team, Team, Opportunity, Team.
  • Teams applying to accelerators should be confident that they want support.
  • Very young founders should seek the help of experienced mentors.
  • Techstars now works more closely with corporations. Corporate accelerators are cool as long as they are outside the company. Good accelerators are: Barclays (fintech, London for retail and NY for investment banking), Disney (entertainment), Qualcomm (robotics, drones) etc.
  • It is good when you move your startup team to a new location  —  less distractions.
  • Do not count on official applications, hustle Jon in person before the programme starts. That will increase chances to be accepted.
  • Learn from drug dealers  —  relationships with clients, product distribution, lifetime value of customer, etc.
  • Do not want to be afraid of NO answers. Avoid polite people who do not give true feedback.
  • What is hot? Fintech, connected devices, fashion entertainment. Now  —  internet behind piece of glass, future  —  “the Internet of everything”.
  • Be disruptive! Challenge the status quo!
  • One secret startup idea he gave to Austrians — Uber for condoms(!)

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Pavel Curda
Pavel Curdahttps://cz.linkedin.com/in/pavelcurda
Pavel Curda is an entrepreneur, marketer, storyteller and writer. With experience from various multinational companies, he now helps connect startups and corporates @pavelcurda www.investably.co https://www.linkedin.com/in/pavelcurda/

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