75 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 • 38 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.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Ep 73: QuickHire Co-Founder & CEO on Raising Capital as a Person of Color

    Ep 73: QuickHire Co-Founder & CEO on Raising Capital as a Person of Color

    When we talk about a startup successfully raising money after being part of a Techstars accelerator, that’s not an unusual story. But did you know that only 0.3% of all venture capital funding goes to black women?
    For Deborah Gladney, co-founder and CEO of QuickHire, this was a reality every day as she and her sister built their company with not many connections, low-balled valuations, and many more roadblocks.
    “After we were able to successfully raise, what was so apparent was how rare it was because we didn't realize that we were actually the first black women in Kansas to even raise a million dollars or more in venture capital. It was 2021 and to be the first, that tells you the disparities that are apparent in the industry,” Deborah says.
    Listen as Deborah shares her experience as a black entrepreneur, how she utilized her advisors to advocate for her startup, and why representation is such an important area for both investors and startups.
    Also, don’t miss Deborah talk about the 2021 Techstars Iowa Accelerator that she was a part of and how the Give First mantra has helped to remove opportunity barriers for others through QuickHire.
    Follow QuickHire on Twitter @getquickhire
    Follow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohen
    Listen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.


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    • 20 min
    Ep 72: Endel CEO and Co-Founder on the Future of Sound

    Ep 72: Endel CEO and Co-Founder on the Future of Sound

    Imagine always having a soundscape that adapts to what you're doing and what you need to get done without the need to manually select a playlist. 
    This is the future with Endel, an app that utilizes circadian rhythms and the neuroscience study of how sound influences the cognitive state. 
    “It's an ever-present sound that follows you everywhere during the day across all channels and platforms Endel is available on. And it just proactively shifts between different modes, depending on what you're doing right now,” says Oleg Stavisky, CEO and co-founder of Endel. “The end game for me, in terms of how the product looks, is just this one play button. You press play, you go about your day.”
    Listen as Oleg found the Techstars Music Accelerator and how it cultivated his Give First mindset. In particular, Oleg had a life-changing experience with one mentor who introduced him to hundreds of investors and was very involved in helping him succeed. Now, Oleg is helping to cultivate the startup community in Berlin. 
    Also, don’t miss Oleg share Endel’s accomplishments, from being named the 2020 Apple watch app of the year and 2021 best of Google Play to the massive amount of user stories that tell of lives changed. “We get thousands of emails now. That’s what makes me come to work every day and say we are doing something very, very special,” Oleg says. 
    Try the Endel app for 3-months at no cost using this promo link: https://code.endel.io/?code=techstars
    Follow Oleg Stavitsky on Twitter @stvtsk
    Follow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohen
    Listen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 20 min
    Ep 71: David Cohen and Brad Feld Talk Mental Health for Entrepreneurs

    Ep 71: David Cohen and Brad Feld Talk Mental Health for Entrepreneurs

    It took decades for Brad Feld to understand his depression and mental health struggles. 
    “There was a period of time, pretty deep into this depressive episode. … Work was fine. Business was fine, but I would describe it looking backward as the complete absence of joy. There was no joy in anything that I was doing in any way I was doing it.”
    All the while, Brad was the founder of his own company while in his mid-20s, but he felt ashamed as the CEO because “the mantra that got thrown around for a while is that you can't show any weakness.”
    Listen as Brad discusses his diagnosis and how it helped him respond to his anxiety and depression. Brad and David also talk about mental health in the startup community and how to stop the stigma, both broadly and in the entrepreneur space.
    Also, don’t miss episode 20 of the Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, which discusses mental health issues facing entrepreneurs.
    Follow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohen
    Follow Brad Feld on Twitter @bfeld
    Listen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 29 min
    Ep 70: Recast Capital Co-Founder on Working With Emerging Managers

    Ep 70: Recast Capital Co-Founder on Working With Emerging Managers

    If an entrepreneur takes a seed stage investment from a very large brand-name venture fund, they’re unlikely to get very much of the venture fund’s time. However, when it comes to emerging managers, this group often comes up with very specific ways that they believe they can help you, says Recast Capital Co-Founder and Managing Partner Courtney McCrea.
    “To the extent that you're in the earliest stages of your development of your business, I would think that I would be looking for partners that could help accelerate the growth of my business, and often they are emerging managers in venture,” she says.
    Listen as Courtney tells David how Recast Capital is trying to help add diversity to the sea of sameness within the emerging manager community, not just on gender, ethnicity, and authenticity, but also backgrounds and experiences. 
    Also, don’t miss Courtney sharing how Recast Capital was started as a #givefirst initiative and as a result, it has given back to them in ways they could have only dreamt about.
    Follow Courtney McCrea on Twitter @courtneyrmccrea
    Follow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohen
    Listen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 21 min
    Episode 69: ESG Takeover: B Lab Community Engagement Manager and Project Canary COO on What It Means to be a B Corp

    Episode 69: ESG Takeover: B Lab Community Engagement Manager and Project Canary COO on What It Means to be a B Corp

    In this final ESG takeover episode, Dr. Mairi-Jane Fox, who helps lead ESG at Techstars, talks with B Lab Senior Manager of Community Engagement and Network Strategy Becca Quirk and Project Canary Co-founder & COO Will Foiles about what it really means when a business gets its B Corp certification and how it creates impactful changes.
    “Inherently, becoming a B corporation forces a founder to look not just at what we are accomplishing today, but what we are working to accomplish,” says Becca Quirk.
    Listen as Becca and Will describe the benefits of this certification for startup founders, such as thought leadership opportunities among the B Corp community, rigorous steps that showcase dedication to stakeholders, employees, and future investors, and a framework for solidifying the company’s mission.
    Will and Becca also answer commonly raised questions from startup founders about how much time it takes to certify, and if it really is beneficial for early stage and small startup businesses. 
    Lastly, don’t miss Will, a Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator founder, telling us whether getting a B Corp certification is actually worth it. 
    Listen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 22 min
    Ep 68: ESG Takeover: Soona CEO and UN PRI Head of Private Equity on How to Engage with Investors

    Ep 68: ESG Takeover: Soona CEO and UN PRI Head of Private Equity on How to Engage with Investors

    In this second ESG takeover episode, Dr. Mairi-Jane Fox, who helps lead ESG at Techstars, talks with Soona CEO and Co-Founder Liz Giorgi and UN-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment Head of Private Equity Peter Dunbar about different aspects of engaging with investors, including investor diligence, transparent conversations, and discussing ESG practices.
    First, Liz Giorgi explains the development of the candor clause, and how it benefits startup founders regardless of their identity. The candor clause helps facilitate open, honest conversations about investors' practices, and ultimately allows founders to make informed decisions about who they are taking money from.
    “That kinda conversation is unparalleled in terms of building a better relationship with that investor and just really understanding who you're going into business with in the long run,” Liz Giorgi said.
    Then, listen as Peter describes what it means for venture capital firms and investors when they become signatories of the UN PRI. Among other requirements, signatories generally work toward implementing six principles for ESG and responsible investing which founders can consider when pitching to them
    “Given the requirements of being a signatory and the principles themselves, VC signatories should really be looking to engage with startups and founders on ESG topics and be actively considering them in their investment decision-making processes,” Peter said.
    Follow Liz Giorgi on Twitter @lizgiorgi
    Listen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

naveedlalani2 ,

Love this podcast! Must listen if you’re a founder or work at a startup.

Love this podcast! Must listen if you’re a founder or work at a startup.

Ashi B ,

Great Pod

Drive a lot, and have this podcast on my regular rotation. David’s interviews are accessible and valuable to entrepreneurs at all levels.

Wonderful for both thinking through immediate up at night issues, and also future planning. Highly recommend!

KennethWajda ,

Yes!

Highly recommended! Great show!

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