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#54: How Techstars Seattle Works & How Should Founders Think About It?

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In this episode Nataraj spoke to Marius Ciocirlan who co-founded ShareGrid, a marketplace for filmmakers and photographers to rent and sell their equipment. It was ⁠acquired⁠  by Backstage and is now Managing Director of Techstars Seattle. Techstars expanded to Seattle in 2010, and since then more than 130 companies have gone through the program & collectively gone on to raise more than $2.5 billion in capital.

Full Transcript:

[00:00:00] Nataraj : So Techstars is an, you know,

traditionally what we call as an accelerator, right? Yeah. Uh, so what are the

founders really getting outta, um, joining tech?

[00:00:09] Marius : Yeah, for sure. So, um, the Tech

Techstars program essentially, uh, falls into almost three phases. So it’s a 13

week program and it’s kind of, uh, set up in three phases. The first phase is

customer discovery, so we worked with you to ensure that like, , you truly

understand who your customer is and what are they buying from you.

[00:00:31] Marius : Like, you know, you, you would be

surprised how many people have an idea of who their customer is, but it’s not

clearly defined. They don’t really understand why that customer is interested

in their product. So even companies that are farther along, we find. , it’s

always good to like really reflect on who your customer is.

[00:00:50] Marius : So the first phase is customer

discovery. Second phase is go to market and execution, which is more important

nowadays, especially given the market [00:01:00]

situation. More important than ever to actually gain real traction in your

business and prove out that your business has some product market fit. And

product market fit can mean different things at different stages.

[00:01:12] Marius : But at least in your initial M V P,

there needs to be some product market fit. And then the third phase is we’re

preparing you to go out in front of investors. So we’re working on your pitch

deck, we’re working on your delivery, we’re working on all of your documents,

uh, getting you ready to ensure that you’re ready for, uh, investors and

putting you in front of investors.

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