36 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

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0 • 28 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.
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    Andy Sack on Give First and Creating a Startup Ecosystem from Scratch

    Andy Sack on Give First and Creating a Startup Ecosystem from Scratch

    Andy Sack has been a technology entrepreneur, angel investor and venture capitalist for 25 years — and is one of the godfathers of the Seattle startup community. He was managing director for Techstars Seattle, founder and executive chairman for Lighter Capital, and cofounder of seed stage fund Founder's Co-op. He participated in the first Techstars Boston Startup Weekend and was so moved by the experience that he decided to run a Techstars Startup Weekend in Seattle. 
    As Andy says, “(I gave) a talk to the Techstars Boston class and it was supposed to be one hour. Three hours later after talking and answering questions, I left the building, and I was moved to tears.”
    He rallied the venture capital community in Seattle to support entrepreneurs through Techstars, creating a vibrant startup ecosystem that didn't previously exist. Three different unicorn startups (valued over a billion dollars) came out of Andy's 2011 Class of Techstars Seattle. 
    Follow Andy on Twitter: @AndySack
    Learn more about his favorite charitable organizations:
    Two Screens for Teachers - Gives teachers a second computer screen so they can see their students while teaching remotely.
    Rainier Scholars - Creates pathways to college graduation for hard-working, low-income students and provides access to transformative educational opportunities.
    REST - Helps women on the street get out of troubled situations and abusive relationships and gives them a place to live.

    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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    • 25 min
    Denise and Jim Franklin on how a scrappy startup grows into a thriving ecosystem

    Denise and Jim Franklin on how a scrappy startup grows into a thriving ecosystem

    Denise Franklin, angel investor and startup veteran, and husband Jim Franklin, former CEO of SendGrid and University of Colorado Boulder MBA Instructor for VC, unpack the mystery of the Give First ethos, from benefiting from the kindness of others early on in their careers,to using their good fortune to help fellow entrepreneurs. They were instrumental in the very first Techstars Startup Week Denver, and give practical advice on how to build a thriving startup ecosystem.   
    “If you’re a Series B or later founder or executive, you can pay it forward in a very important way, especially if you’ve been acquired by a large company," says Jim Franklin.
    Jim and Denise talk through the concept of philanthropic angel investing and creating your personal board of directors to help you navigate your way through life and your career.
    Follow Jim on Twitter: @jimfranklin
    Follow Denise on Twitter: @denisemfranklin

    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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    • 31 min
    Janine Davis on Executive Coaching in the Time of COVID

    Janine Davis on Executive Coaching in the Time of COVID

    Janine Davis began in engineering as a software developer. After 20 years in tech recruitment, she is now an executive coach and is a staunch supporter of the #GiveFirst concept, providing pro bono coaching for founders in the Techstars LA and Techstars Anywhere accelerator programs. As a board member for the Women Founders Network, she supports female entrepreneurs. She talks about why coaching is important for startups early on.
    As Janine explains, “The more you can follow (executive coaching) with leadership development and building your culture intentionally early, the less headaches and clean-up you're going to have to deal with later.”
    Janine also discusses the challenges of coaching during COVID and provides tips for startup executives during this time – balance empathy with accountability, have regular “check-ins” and “time outs” to reduce anxiety and internal conflict, and find time for self-care.
    Follow Janine on Twitter: @janineenerd
    Follow Evolution on Twitter: @EvolutionSvc
    Follow Women Founders Network on Twitter: @womenfoundersla

    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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    • 26 min
    Susan Standiford on the five traits of leadership

    Susan Standiford on the five traits of leadership

    Susan Standiford’s impressive career has progressed from “nerdom central” to helping startup companies “create a technology, ethos, and identity” for future growth. Her journey as a technologist has taken her from organizations like Disney Interactive, Travelocity, Oracle, Retek, Rue La La and Zeal, to her most recent position as CTO at IKEA in London. In this episode, she talks about her personal and professional growth with David Cohen, and of the value she has gotten back from being a five-year Techstars mentor.
    Standiford discusses the “Five Traits of Leadership”—to be smart, able to get things done, able to fight through ambiguity, empowerment of others, and humble leadership (to be curious and willing to learn from others).
    She talks about the three chapters of her life—coding and building systems, building teams, and then scaling those teams into successful companies with a “growth mindset.” Standiford’s special passion is helping women entrepreneurs succeed in tech startups. And she knows firsthand the importance of the #GiveFirst ethos.

    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
    Joy Taylor on taking the concept of Give First to the nth degree

    Joy Taylor on taking the concept of Give First to the nth degree

    Joy Taylor is a force of nature. Coming from a 20-year career in the banking industry (business development, coaching, and training), she now focuses on ecosystem building in her hometown of Toowoomba, Australia — and around the world. In this episode, Taylor shares her journey with David Cohen and talks about how giving first to her community led her to exciting worldwide experiences.
    At Canvas Coworking, Taylor runs programs and events for entrepreneurs. This includes the WiRE (Women in Rural, Regional and Remote Enterprise) startup bootcamp, Flare Incubator for female-led companies trying to expand internationally, and Zero to Startup for migrants and refugees. Her role as a Techstars Startup Weekend Facilitator evolved into Global Facilitator, where she has helps entrepreneurs around the world to organize their own events.
    Taylor talks about how one experience led into another, and how giving first came back to her along the way.
    Canvas Coworking: canvascoworking.com.au
    Elkei Education: elkei.com.au
    Connect with Canvas Coworking on Twitter: @CanvasCoworkInc
    Follow David Cohen on Twitter: @davidcohen


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    • 32 min
    Gus Balbontin on fighting momentum and setting up your own success metric

    Gus Balbontin on fighting momentum and setting up your own success metric

    In this episode, Gus Balbontin speaks with host David Cohen about the dangers of building momentum, and how it’s important for entrepreneurs to “look sideways” to meet new challenges. He tells stories about his own journey, from a small town in Patagonia, South America, battling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), to a dream job at Lonely Planet and a career of supporting and inspiring founders within the Melbourne startup ecosystem and around the world.
    Gus explains why it’s important to create your own “success metric” and not get caught in the trap of crazy momentum, so that you can quickly reinvent yourself and innovate to adapt to future realities.
    He’s about to launch the Unrealistic Foundation, dedicated to investing in companies looking to disrupt the education model.
    Follow Gus on Twitter: @gusbalbontin
    Follow David Cohen on Twitter: @davidcohen

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    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

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.

Ok pal ,

A Must-listen for anyone interested in startups

David and Brad have unparalleled experience in not only entrepreneurship and investing, but doing it from a place of genuine service. Great vibes on this one.

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