44 episodes

In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone—especially entrepreneurs—with no expectation of getting anything back. It's the pay-it-forward principle that builds strong startup networks. Hosts David Cohen and Brad Feld—Techstars cofounders, lifelong entrepreneurs, and startup investors—talk with mentors and founders about what giving first looks like in action, and how it makes great entrepreneurship possible.
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Give First Techstars

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 31 Ratings

In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone—especially entrepreneurs—with no expectation of getting anything back. It's the pay-it-forward principle that builds strong startup networks. Hosts David Cohen and Brad Feld—Techstars cofounders, lifelong entrepreneurs, and startup investors—talk with mentors and founders about what giving first looks like in action, and how it makes great entrepreneurship possible.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Bruno Morency on the evolution of the Montréal startup ecosystem

    Bruno Morency on the evolution of the Montréal startup ecosystem

    Bruno Morency graduated from college in 2001 and started a company right out of school. It was a tough time for tech startups, but Bruno persisted, and he’s been part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Montréal ever since. 
    Hear Bruno tell Brad about how his adventures in entrepreneurship paralleled the growth of the startup scene in Montréal over the last 20 years, culminating in Bruno’s current role as Managing Director of the Techstars Montréal AI Accelerator, as interest in entrepreneurship in Montréal and throughout Canada continues to expand. 
    Brad and Bruno’s most urgent piece of advice for founders right now? Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep.


    Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars. Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.

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    • 21 min
    Rob La Gesse on being the opposite of risk averse

    Rob La Gesse on being the opposite of risk averse

    Rob La Gesse has had an interesting career. After high school, he joined the Navy and worked both as a combat medic and a neonatal respiratory therapist. He was a mayor in Hawaii. He taught himself programming and went into tech, just in time to help develop Wi-Fi. 
    On this episode of the Give First podcast, David Cohen talks with Rob about how helping people has guided him at every turn. 
    Rob tells the story of hiring a bartender at his tech company. Why this bartender? Because he was so helpful, and Rob saw potential there. “I can’t teach empathy. I can’t teach compassion,” Rob says — but he can recognize them when he finds them, and he can reward caring people with opportunities and assistance. 
    Follow Rob on Twitter @kr8tr

    Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars. Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 20 min
    Katie Rae on breakthrough tech that can change the world

    Katie Rae on breakthrough tech that can change the world

    In this episode of the Give First podcast, Brad Feld talks with his old friend Katie Rae, who was once the Managing Director of Techstars Boston. These days, Katie is the CEO and Managing Partner at The Engine.
    Launched by MIT, The Engine supports big ideas and breakthrough technologies — “the long shots, the unimaginable, the unbelievable,” as their website says — that have really big potential to make a big impact and benefit society. While others refer to this as deep tech or frontier tech, Katie prefers tough tech, and she thinks of it as the “convergence of breakthrough technology and leadership.”
    Listen for Katie’s story, which is inextricably entwined with the evolution of the Boston startup ecosystem, plus insights into how truly transformational technology happens. Some fun examples include fusion and deep geothermal energy.
    Follow Katie on Twitter @ktrae

    Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars. Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 19 min
    Crossover: Give First + Talking Through It! Neal Sáles-Griffin on giving first to grow Chicago’s startup ecosystem

    Crossover: Give First + Talking Through It! Neal Sáles-Griffin on giving first to grow Chicago’s startup ecosystem

    In this special episode, Give First host David Cohen and Talking Through It host Neal Sáles-Griffin take turns interviewing each other: it’s two Techstars podcasts in one. 
    David discusses with Neal on how giving first grew the Chicago startup ecosystem, and then Neal talks through today’s hot issues with David, including unicorn startups and cryptocurrency.
    If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the National Geographic documentary series City So Real, a portrait of contemporary Chicago, including Neal’s candidacy in the 2019 mayoral election. Also, check out Techstars Chicago's recent Demo Day, featuring the custom song discussed in this episode.


    Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars. Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 25 min
    Maëlle Gavet on helping entrepreneurs around the world create a better world

    Maëlle Gavet on helping entrepreneurs around the world create a better world

    In this episode of the Give First podcast, two of the original Techstars founders, David Cohen and Brad Feld, talk with the new Techstars CEO, Maëlle Gavet. 
    If you love Techstars, this one is a must listen, a passing of the torch from the first generation of Techstars leadership to the next. 
    If you want to learn about Techstars, listen for insight into what the company stands for, values, and does. 
    Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed — through accelerators, mentorship, and a worldwide network. And we do this because we believe entrepreneurs around the world can create a better future for all. That’s why David and Brad (and David Brown and Jared Polis — yes, Techstars had four founders, and one of them is now governor of Colorado) started the company. And it’s why Maëlle is the perfect choice to take Techstars to the next level. 
    Want to learn more about Maëlle? Read her book, Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It, which offers a stunning condemnation of the bad behavior of tech companies and CEOs — and solutions for a more empathic tech industry.

    Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars. Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 26 min
    Sean Paul Shanor on the joy of running Startup Weekends

    Sean Paul Shanor on the joy of running Startup Weekends

    In this episode of the Give First podcast, Techstars cofounder and Chairman of the Board David Cohen talks with Synergy Space Founder and Techstars Startup Weekend Facilitator Sean Paul Shanor about what he finds so compelling about Startup Weekend.
    Sean Paul has helped run over a dozen Startup Weekends in eight countries, and in addition has become a startup coach, using the expertise gained from all those Startup Weekends to help entrepreneurs keep going when they get stuck.  
    Listen for the story of how he transitioned from running golf tournaments in Dubai to helping entrepreneurs in his home country Norway, and beyond — and for insight into how Sean Paul truly lives Give First.


    Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars. Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

RubyJoy2020 ,

First Timer

This was my first time listening to this podcast because of James Oliver Jr. and ParentPreneurs Foundation and I am glad I landed here. I love podcasts for my morning walks and this one has been added to my rotation and I recommend you doing the same. Great information and awesome people plus inspiration to Give, you can’t beat that.

ChrysKey ,

Techstars walks the walk

Things changed after startup weekend. I only wish we found it sooner. We lived the experiences described in these startup lessons and the insight could have saved us a few detours. We are grateful for Techstars' #givefirst mantra and all their amazing team. 💚 Thank you!

KaceyRae88 ,

Great stories & advice

Great personal stories and advice from experienced entrepreneurs. Love the practical yet "feel good" stories demonstrated from the startup world and what people have learned.

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