Start-Ups Get a Jump-Start with TechStars

Start-up businesses generally carry an increased level of risk, but they also present the opportunity to get in at ground level and reap the rewards of success. In the fast-moving and unpredictable world of technology it is not an easy task to predict how the consumer will respond to a product or service on offer. For example, around five years ago, quite a number of the original investors in the start-up company Odeo, which had Twitter as a side-line project, decided to cash in their investment, reportedly for US$5 million. However, had they held on for a while longer to see Twitter take off as a valuable social interaction service, they may very well have doubled that amount. When Twitter broke away as a separate venture, some of the original angel investors re-invested in the new start-up company and continue to reap the benefits.

Entrepreneurs who have been assisted by the TechStars program, which has been running since 2007, agree that, while the seed funding is important, the one-on-one mentoring offered through the program is invaluable. TechStars mentors include a wealth of talent, street-smarts, courage and enthusiasm. Combine this with determination that program participants display, and you have a recipe for success that investors would do well to take note of.