We Got Accepted Into Techstars & Turned Them Down

Yes, we were accepted into one of the nation’s most prestigious accelerator programs and turned them down. So are we crazy?

 

I’m sure there are those of you out there that think we are nuts for turning this opportunity down. That’s fine and you may be right. My goal is not to convince anyone that we were right or wrong or if given the chance, what you should do. Instead, I want to bring you an alternative perspective and hopefully give you some points to consider.

 

I am emailed about this topic regularly and asked questions such as; “Should I apply to Techstars?” I cringe when I receive these emails, as I’m not qualified to provide an opinion since I don’t know anything about you or your startup. Techstars has a lot of merit and I respect the people behind the program. I don’t want to create the impression that I am against Techstars or accelerators in general. This is not the case at all. I think they are great for certain startups and situations.



When we decided to create this blog, I knew we would eventually come to this portion of our timeline. I want to take this opportunity to tell the story and include our reasoning for making the decision we did. My hope is that you will read this article and and begin looking at all of these programs more critically, not just Techstars.

 

The Application:

After our initial product launch and acquiring our first customers, we began exploring our options and looked into funding opportunities. While speaking to several investors we were recommended to apply to Techstars Chicago. Eric and I knew very little about Techstars but we were aware that it was a highly celebrated program. That evening, we checked it out online and decided to put in an application.

 

Tip: I’m constantly asked about our application and what we did to get noticed. Honestly, we did not spend much time fine tuning our application or using any special techniques to get picked. If you have a decent product, strong team, and demonstrate traction, you have a good shot.

 

On 03/21/2014, we received an email explaining that our application had been selected and we schedule our first interview for 03/26/2014. I remember being quite excited to learn more about Techstars and knew the interview would be a great experience.

 

Our First Interview:

On the day of our interview, Eric and I traveled to 1871 in Chicago. 1871 is a co-working space that also houses the Techstars’ Chicago offices. When we arrived, it was hard to say if this was an environment where great work was being accomplished or just an elite tech social club. You definitely get the young tech entrepreneur vibe from this place and my guess is that it falls somewhere in-between. I couldn’t help but wonder if  the facilitators of the space were purposely trying to attract young founders that watched too many reruns of The Social Network. Regardless, we were here for Techstars and to see what they were all about.

1871_chicago

During our interview we met with the Managing Director Troy Henikoff and Director Steve Farsht. Eric and I were immediately impressed by both of them and we felt that they could offer immense value to Talkroute. Looking back, if the opportunity would had been to bring Troy or Steve onto our board as advisors, we would have signed that agreement with no hesitation. These guys knew their stuff and they were passionate about what they did. Without going into to much detail, I would say the interview went very well and we left the Techstars’ offices feeling positive that, given the opportunity, we would participate in the program. 

 

So What Changed?

The period between the first and second interviews was not very long but there was enough time do some research and speak to other founders/alumni who went through the program. As we did our research and due diligence on Techstars we discovered a few areas of concern that are worth noting:

 

No Large Exits: We were very surprised to find out, at the time of our application, that Techstars didn’t have any large exits (100m+). For a program that has been around for 8 years, at least one of their companies should have achieved this. Techstars is often compared to YCombinator but in this area, there is no comparison. YC crushes Techstars when it comes to large exits and dollars returned.

 

Progress Stats: The lack of large exits was definitely disappointing but I could live with it. I was really shocked to see that there were no stats regarding participating startup metrics. I was expecting to find validation such as; “Startup A began Techstars with 200 customers and $4000 per month in revenue. 3 months after Techstars, Startup A now has 2000 customers and $40,000 per month in revenue”. For a program that was supposed to accelerate your business, these types of stats were surprisingly absent. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I simply couldn’t locate the data and when I asked about it down the road, I wasn’t given a response.

 

Raising Capital Does Not Equate to Success: The one figure Techstars does like to tout is the amount of funding their average startup receives. Techstars claims the average funding per company is $1,968,414. While this number is impressive it doesn’t necessarily translate to success. It’s not about dollars raised but about dollars returned. As I pointed out above, Techstars can’t claim that.

 

Equity: I find how Techstars positions their offer to be very misleading. Techstar states the following:

techstars_equity

“Techstars provides $118,000 in seed funding, intensive mentorship, and an amazing network of mentors and alumni for 7-10% equity in your company.”

 

If this was true, this would result in an average pre-money valuation of $1,416,000 upon acceptance into the program. However, this is not the case.

 

Techstars takes 7-10% of your company and only provides $18,000 is seed funding. This gives your startup a pre-money valuation between $180,000 and $250,000.  If you are an early stage or established business, this is terrible. The other $100,000 is a convertible note that you may take advantage of at your discretion. If you decide to take the additional $100,000 note, this will convert to equity once you secure your first $1,000,000 in funding. Since most startups achieve nearly $2,000,000 in venture funding, the note will convert anywhere from 5-10% equity depending on the terms. This doesn’t include the equity that is given to secure the first round funding. Depending on the size of the round and the value of your company, you could be looking at anywhere between 10-90% of additional equity. Obviously this will greatly vary from startup to startup but I’m sure you can see where I am going with this.

 

By the end of the program and your first round of funding, you will be lucky to still own 51% or more of your company. I understand that it is better to own a piece of a watermelon than a whole grape, but come on… For most businesses, this is a crazy amount of equity to give up this early, when the value is at it’s lowest. For some, this is exactly what is needed to scale and make your startup successful. However, I personally believe this is the exception and not the rule.

 

Update: I have received several emails from those stating that the above “math” is incorrect. The funny thing about those emails is that everyone is giving me a different result and conclusion based on different facts. I can only provide the numbers based on what we were told at the time of application and deciding to accept or decline the offer. It is my understanding that Techstars has made many deals with startups that are different from each other. So one offer may not be the same as another. Also, if my understanding of the equity and investment is incorrect, it is just another example of how the program doesn’t properly explain this portion of the agreement. This is an area that should have complete transparency and as you look into it, you find conflicting information from multiple sources. So please take the above as our personal understanding of what was specifically offered to us in April, 2014. As it is clear that offers vary from startup to startup.

 

Mentorship Is Not The Primary Focus: Techstars has a lot to offer in terms of mentorship and their network. To be perfectly honest, this is the only reason Eric and I continued in the application process. However, the focus on raising capital is just too strong. I don’t blame Techstars for wanting to get you funded and achieve an exit. This is how they make money.

 

Unfortunately, VC is not the answer for every startup and Techstars doesn’t seem to care. The Letter of Intent that we received made it very clear that we would be participating in all areas of the program and that included “Demo Day”. So regardless of our startup’s position on raising VC, we were obligating ourselves to months of preparation for the pitch.

techstars demo day

In case you were wondering, Demo Day is a rock concert style production where each startup presents their company to a room full of investors. It seems like a great way to showcase your product and raise your first round of funding, if that is your goal. Again, this may or may not be the best course of action for your startup but you have to participate and spend precious time preparing for it regardless.

 

Our Second Interview:

Even though we clearly had our concerns, we proceeded to the second interview. We were excited to be meeting with Techstars Chicago board, which included Match CEO, Sam Yagan. Eric and I felt this was an excellent opportunity to not only show our product but also ask some direct questions. We hoped by getting some good answers we could prove that the mentorship alone would be worth the equity and our concerns would be addressed.

 

On 04/10/2014, we traveled back to 1871 for the meeting. The focus of this interview was on our product and we provided a formal demonstration. After the demo concluded, we fielded numerous questions from the board. Most of these questions were expected and I feel we had good answers for them. Then it was our turn to ask the board a few questions.

techstars_sam yagan

I presented two very direct questions to Sam Yagan and Adam Koopersmith. The questions were specific to Talkroute’s growth and won’t necessarily apply to other startups, so I will not disclose them. The important part to understand is that neither Sam or Adam had answers for us. To their defense, these were tough questions but they were the areas we were struggling with and one of the reasons we were considering participating in Techstars. We needed to know if Techstars could help us or not. A simple answer of “we don’t know but we will help you figure it out” would have been sufficient. Unfortunately, nothing we heard during the question and answer portion of the interview gave us any indication that we would solve these issues by participating in the program.

 

Walking out of the interview Eric and I barely said a word to each other. We didn’t have to. We both knew at that moment we weren’t going to participate in this program. It was actually quite heartbreaking. We were hoping the mentorship alone would justify the equity and time but it was clear that this was not the primary value that Techstars provided. Further, we knew we wouldn’t have unrestricted access to Sam, Adam, Troy, or Steve over the course of the program as they would be splitting their time with 9 other startups. As a matter of fact, we hadn’t even met the mentors we would actually be working with.

 

The Offer:

That Saturday I received an unexpected email from Troy to schedule a phone call. Troy and I spoke and an offer to have Talkroute in the Techstars Chicago Summer Class was given. I was very appreciative of the offer but I think Troy could immediately detect the hesitation in my voice. Eric and I never “officially” decided on whether we were still considering this opportunity. Even though Eric and I both knew it wasn’t right for us, I still needed to hear him say it. So I politely excused myself from the call and explained that I needed to speak with Eric.

 

In the meantime, Troy sent over a Letter of Intent and explained that it needed to be signed and returned by Monday. I was very frustrated by this. You don’t send a legal document to someone over the weekend when their is no time for a lawyer to review it and demand it back by that same Monday. Whether it was the intention or not, this was a high pressure sales technique and just one more red flag.

 

Eric and I spoke very briefly before making our decision. The next day I wrote Troy an email that politely expressed our concerns with the program and declined the offer. We never even received a response to this email. Silence really said it all.

 

So Why is Techstars So “Successful”?

Before I can even begin to answer this question, we must determine what is success. Is success getting funded? Maybe it is getting acquired? Only you can answer that question for yourself but consider this:

 

Only 1% of applicants are chosen to participate in Techstars. The number of applications submitted ranges from 700 to over 1000 for each class. This means that Techstars is going through and picking only the best startups. The national rate of failure for startups is 75-90% (venture backed startups is even higher). So lets say it was a good year and Techstars Chicago received a 1000 applicants/startups to choose from. You know based on national averages that 750-900 of these companies will fail. That leaves 100-250 that will most likely “succeed”. Techstars is only taking 1% of applicants, which is 10 startups. Unless Techstars is picking poorly, they are selecting companies that are positioned for success from day one. These startups would most likely succeed with or without Techstars.

techstars_stats

If you look at these figures from this perspective, their numbers are not very good. In fact, I would go as far as to say that more than a few companies probably failed as a result of the one-size-fits-all program. The emphasis and push for venture funding this early can easily kill young startups that need time to find product-market fit and gain traction before raising anything more than a Seed round:

  • There are currently 333 active companies (77.62%)
  • There are currently 50 acquired companies (11.66%)
  • There are currently 46 failed companies (10.72%)

 

Over 10% of Techstars companies fail, 11.66% have been acquired or had an exit, and 77.62% are still active and their fate is not yet known. This means for every company that is acquired, there is a company that fails. For a program that is picking the best startups, this is not that impressive.

 

Should I Focus On Raising Capital?

There is no straight answer to this question. Raising capital in general is a good sign that a startup is healthy and moving in the right direction. My concern is that young entrepreneurs see getting funded as the end, when it is truly the beginning. Raising capital should be looked at as nothing more than a milestone for your startup. You still need to come back on Monday and work harder than you did the week before.

 

The question you should be asking is, “do I need to raise capital and if so, how much?” Every startup is different and if there was a secret receipt for success, everyone would be doing it. Chances are you don’t need venture funding. You may only need to find a few Angel Investors that get you to the next milestone. At that point, you may have enough revenue to grow organically or maybe decide to go for additional funding and you will give away less equity because your company has become more valuable. Talkroute was bootstrapped all of the way to revenue. We are growing 100% organically and at this time, we don’t plan to take on investment. This was not easy. Eric and I had to find part-time revenue streams to stay alive while we built this company. But if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions:

I can not stress this enough. Whether you are going through the Techstars application process or looking at outside investment, ask questions. I understand that it may be intimidating but remember that programs like Techstars are taking a portion of your company. 

 

One part of our story that I didn’t touch on was the meeting I had with Troy a few days after declining the offer. I had some questions regarding funding and he was kind enough to still make himself available. We talked about funding options for a few minutes and spent the remaining time discussing our choice to decline Techstars. I won’t go into too many details but there was a lot of back and forth regarding our decision. At the end of our meeting Troy unintentionally gave me a great compliment. I was told that I was an “anomaly” and that no other applicant, in the history of Techstars Chicago, had cared to raise any of these concerns.

 

If you take anything away from this article, please take this; It is your responsibility as a leader to question anyone that is taking a portion of your company in exchange for what they deem valuable. This was not a simple matter of investment for equity share. Techstars claims their true value is in everything else they offer. So asking questions or bringing up concerns should never offend or cause one to become defensive. If it does, then you may have identified an issue with the opportunity that you are considering. Just because someone tells you what they have is valuable, doesn’t mean it is.

 

Conclusion:

I hope those of you that sent me emails about this subject understand why I wanted to take the time to write this article before offering a detailed response. There is a lot to consider and the answer to apply to Techstars or not will be different for every startup. I can only offer you our experience and personal point of view. I believe that Techstars would be a good option to consider if your goal is to go big and secure a large round of venture funding. This is clearly the focus and primary goal of the program. Those of you that are still questioning whether or not funding is the right direction for your startup, I would recommend exploring other options. The key is to make sure your goals align with the goals of whatever program you are considering.

 

We hope that you will continue to join us as we help you start, run, and grow your business. Our blog is 100% free and you don’t have to be a Talkroute customer to benefit from our materials. However, if you would like to try Talkroute for free, you can sign up for a trial here. See you next week.

About The Author

Paul Howey is the CEO & Co-Founder of Talkroute


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talkroute3We Got Accepted Into Techstars & Turned Them Down
  • ken

    I heard they are offering an equity back guarantee now. Would you guys have gone through the program if that was available?

    Thanks in advance for answering

  • Alam

    Absolutely great article… the equity ($100k + $18k conv debt/equity) part was especially useful, thanks!

    Also love talkroute’s product offering.. if (when) my company grows enough to actually need a proper business phone solution, you’ll be the on the top of the list.

    • Paul Howey

      Thank you for the kind words! We look forward to working with you in the future 🙂

    • http://www.asoftwarestartupguy.com David Miller

      Check out Conjecta. It’s a free learning tool to see the effects of dilution over multiple rounds (www.conjecta.com).

      Raising equity is very confusing to many entrepreneurs. This tool helps clarify things.

  • http://Www.linkplugapp.com Edwin Espinosa

    Paul great article. I particularly loved the point that you should only take/shoot for what your company needs to get to the next milestone. I think sometimes we get wrapped up in the excitement we let our emotions reduce rationalism.

    What are your thoughts on the networking that Angels are able to provide opposed to Accelerators or Incubators.

    Keep up the great work just signed up for talkroute to check it out

    • Paul Howey

      Thank you for the comment, support, and question.

      I think the networking that an accelerator program will provide will be much deeper. Accelerators generally have a huge network of people that you can connect with, including Angel Investors.

      There are Angel Investors and Investment Groups that also have good networking. But if we are comparing the two, I would definitely say a good accelerator program is generally going to give you the best networking.

      That is an area in my article that I failed to touch on. The networking Techstars provides is incredible.

  • http://lawnstarter.com Steve

    Quick clarification point, Techstars takes 6% for the 18k (sometimes less %). They then provide a 100k convertible note that is between a 3-5mm cap. So the 7-10% is inclusive of the two.

    You have some interesting points for sure, but I would argue until the end of the earth the value of TS or YC.

    If you aren’t opinionated though you are just plain fucking boring haha.

    • Paul Howey

      Steve,

      Thank you for the comment and additional info. I actually added an update to the article in the section I address the equity concerns. Hopefully that further explains where I was coming from.

      I agree that both TS and YC have value. I just believe the programs are tools and should be looked at as such. My goal in this article is not to take anything away from these programs. I just want to encourage critical thinking.

      Best,

      Paul

    • Guillaume

      What if you never raise and your note is never converted? Then you’ll really have gotten $18k for 6%, and that’s a scenario that TS doesn’t really advertise anywhere…

      • Paul Howey

        I think your question is best answered with a better understanding of convertible notes. A Convertible note is technically a loan that either converts to equity or debt. The equity that will result of the note converting is based on the Valutation Cap and Discount Rate. I won’t go into what these exact figures are because there is simply too many conflicting sources.

        All notes have a maturity date. This is a fixed due date for repayment of the total amount borrowed, plus interest.

        To answer your question; if you except the 18k for X% equity and the convertible note for 100k but never convert it, this can be a terrible scenario for a young startup. I would only recommend taking the 100k note if you are fairly confident your will raise a series A or if you absolutely need the cash to reach profitability.

        This is a good article on this topic:
        http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/13/convertible-note-seed-financings-part-3/

      • ithinkerer

        I think you’re a bit confused about how it works: TechStars gives you $18K for ~6% and $100K with a convertible note. In total, what hits your bank account is $118K, so regardless if the conversion event happens or not, you still got $118K.

        As Paul Howey explained, the “loan” of $100K converts into equity once a trigger occurs, and that trigger is called the conversion event. It is usually when a certain amount of cash is raised and it has a cap. Paul’s post is fairly detailed, so I’ll leave it at that.

  • http://iconicbook.com Jon Zufi

    Great read and thank you for sharing. This will undoubtably be valuable insight for others. Best of luck with your journey.

    • Paul Howey

      Thank you!

  • Roy Kolak

    Right on the mark about 1871, not a great place to build.

    • Paul Howey

      Thanks for the comment. I agree.

      • http://westloopventures.com Jeffrey Carter (@pointsnfigures)

        Why is 1871 not a great place to build? I would need more clarity on what you mean by “build” as well.

  • Alex Rutenburg

    This is a very good article and something everyone considering Techstars (or any incubator) should read. I think we do forget that these programs are looking for a return on their investment. I also think its important to be aware of it so that you can make informed decisions based on what the course is pushing.

    Great read and thanks for sharing!!!

    Alex

    • Paul Howey

      My pleasure! My goal for this article was to remind entrepreneurs that these accelerators are businesses with a plan to achieve profitability. If your plan to achieve success lines up with theirs, then it can be an excellent relationship.

      Best,

      Paul

      • Alex Rutenburg

        Good point. I agree, as long as the startup is heading in the same direction of the accelerator it could be beneficial.

  • Paul Noel

    I read the article until I hit the funding issues and it was clear what is going on Tech Stars is designed to keep a startup in that dangerously under funded zone. What this does to a business is prevent their growth and when they do start something to work they get into trouble. This makes them an easy target for Tech Stars investors to play Vulture Capitalism on them. I have funded a startup myself. The biggest issue is to make sure the money is well managed in the startup but also that the people actually have enough money to succeed. I could have funded the startup a bit lower, it would have gotten into trouble and then it would have been easy pickings for me. I don’t operate that way. I want success.

    Bluntly this is the problem with too much capital investment structures. They set people up and just as they start to succeed they pull the rug out from under them with capital limits and drive them to failure. The poor business then must submit to being eaten or it dies. This is why the Tech Stars firm doesn’t have the big success you discuss. Hopefully this answers your questions. Tech Stars is a Vulture Capitalism firm that eats the young it starts up. That makes them “rich” but it doesn’t produce success and in the end it will destroy even Tech Stars.

    • Paul Howey

      Thank you for this excellent comment. You bring up some great points. What do you think of the argument that is made by many investors that they under fund or fund “just enough” to keep the founders scared and working hard?

      I personally think it is a horrible way to build a company.

    • Bernard Moon

      I think you are misunderstanding the process and stages of startup investing. Techstars doesn’t get “rich” from paper valuations and equity on paper. There isn’t anything tangible until there is an exit. A factor with Techstars is that they haven’t located in Silicon Valley where all the big exit acquiring companies are located. Google and Facebook primarily acquire companies in the Bay Area. This is why YC eventually moved to SV and a big difference between the two besides YC being the pioneer in this category.

      Techstars intent is to get each company to a big Series A and Series B and so on until they are acquired or go public. If they are only seeking to keep a company under funded than, this doesn’t make sense because there is no good outcome for them of such a master plan or intent.

      If they pulled the rug from under these companies as you said, then how do they achieve their goals? I assume you know their goals are to return capital to their investors. Paper gains do not return gains to their investors.

  • http://www.livestorefronts.com Steven Benjamin

    Thank you for sharing your point of view. I appreciate it and I will consider it when making accelerator application decisions.

    • Paul Howey

      You are welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

  • Jernej

    Tx man. Just negotiating with few of them, have exactly the same dilemmas.

    • Paul Howey

      You are welcome and best of luck!

  • Michael Angeletti

    Incubator companies are a class of investor that specializes in hype and networking with investors – the result is a 7-10% transaction fee.

    In other words, the application process and demo day *are* their main functions. They find valuable companies and put them on stage for investors. The “seed money” and “advice” is incidental.

    • Paul Howey

      Great point! I believe you are absolutely correct.

  • http://www.uniwise.dk steffen skovfoged

    Fantastic write up!

    I believe we should all make an effort to celebrate the startups that are build on paying customers. When they show great progress in their revenues, that is the time they should be on the frontpage of all the startup and entrepreneur news site. Now a days its only about this or that company raising so and so much.
    Cudos to those companies if its their strategy, but it should really be a means to the end and not the other way around.

    • Paul Howey

      Excellent point!

    • Gnosis Media Group

      You’re right. It’s definitely a lopsided focus in the tech blogs.

  • Paul Verberne

    This will be an invaluable post for many. Much thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

  • Guillermo Jimenez

    Thanks. Definitely good input to take account when coming up with a strategy to get funded.

  • http://www.cablelabs.com David Barron

    Thanks for taking the time to write an incredibly detailed blog post Paul. I am frankly surprised that more start ups don’t ask the hard questions before signing up fro these programs. As you point out, the primary objective or success metric of most Accelerators is to achieve additional rounds of funding, but have you seen any Accelerators that you believe primarily focus on building the businesses going through the Accelerator programs rather than just preparing them to look more attractive to investors?

    • Paul Howey

      David,

      Thank you for the kind words and taking the time to read this article.

      Great question and I personally have not found an accelerator that doesn’t focus on preparing a startup for funding. That isn’t to say they are not out there. I understand an accelerator’s desire to get a startup funded and achieve the largest exit possible, as quickly as possible. This is how accelerators profit. I do think that accelerators need to be more transparent with the agenda of their program.

  • http://westloopventures.com Jeffrey Carter (@pointsnfigures)

    “Over 10% of Techstars companies fail, 11.66% have been acquired or had an exit, and 77.62% are still active and their fate is not yet known. This means for every company that is acquired, there is a company that fails. For a program that is picking the best startups, this is not that impressive.”

    I’d actually say for a seed investor, that’s pretty damn good. They have a positive exit/failure ratio, with almost 80% of the companies still in the batter’s box.

    • Paul Howey

      I respectfully disagree. It would be impressive if these startups were not the top 1% of 1000 applicants. These startups were positioned for success from day one. Regardless of Techstars interaction.

      The question that is not being asked is if the 10% that failed were the right fit for the program. After speaking with some of these failed companies, I would say the answer is no. They were a poor fit for the accelerator and the emphasis on funding at the stage they were at was not healthy for the particular startup.

      My goal is for startups to consider if they are proper fit for the program. Since programs like Techstars focus so heavily on funding, deciding if your startup is at the right stage to raise capital is a very good way to gauge your compatibility with an accelerator.

  • http://flavonese.com Bobbie Chan

    Thanks for the great write up Paul. Our company is in the midst of planning funding strategy.

    I always hesitate to give out company shares but for someone like us without any connection to angel investor or VC, incubator seems to be a better way to get “connected”.

    Your article gave me a much better insight. Now we have more information to consider before making this choice. Most importantly, you gave me a re-boost in the confident in our company. A great concept sells itself.

    Thanks again.

    • Paul Howey

      Bobbie,

      You are welcome!

      Incubators and Accelerators can be a great resource if your plan is to raise capital. You will get access to their network of Angels and VC’s. That alone can be worth the equity they take.

  • Thomas Franklin

    TREMENDOUSly helpful and insightful article. Let the truth out. Participants…beware!

    • Startup CEO

      Agree.

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  • Startup CEO

    Why haven’t I read this story in the tech blogs?

    • Paul Howey

      Accelerators are a big supporters of most major tech blogs. Stories like this are generally more trouble then they are worth.

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  • http://www.bcprevis.com Marianne

    Great article, nicely crafted.

  • Gnosis Media Group

    This was … truly refreshing to read. Really a disruptive article. I admire the courage it took to write it, to not jump on the Silicon Valley bandwagon (which, I must confess, we hopped on). But we hopped on precisely because of all the rave in the major tech pubs about “Techstars this and YC that”. As a good Hegelian, it’s good to have thesis *and* anti-thesis. Thanks for writing this.

    • Paul Howey

      It is was my pleasure to share! It’s funny to look back on this more than a year later and be even happier with the decision today then we were back then 🙂 It was definitely the right move for us but that doesn’t mean it will be for everyone else. I still hold firm that accelerators have their place and if one is to view them as funding accelerators, instead of growth accelerators, they can be an invaluable asset to those seeking capital.

      Thanks again for reading!