75 Quotes of David Cohen

” Strong community and mentorship are the lifeblood of any successful entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it’s exciting the Boulder is showing the world just what sort of impact these things can actually have. “
” In Boulder entrepreneurship circles, there is a genuine desire to see others succeed and a general belief that karma matters. There’s a sense that together we’re building something here, and that we’re all a meaningful part of it. “
” When fundraising, your network is critical. Leveraging it early and often is the key. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you need money to engage sources of capital. “
” If I had a do over, I’d indubitably start investing in startups earlier in life! “
” The two big startup killers are when there’s just no market for what you are doing, and team problems. “
” To have a diverse set of perspectives and backgrounds enables you to understand the market at large much more effectively. “
” The more you’re real with people, and the more you let people help you, the more they get to understand how you operate as an entrepreneur. The stronger that relationship is, then the more likely there’s a future together in that relationship. “
” I wish I had had more mentorship and more access, not only for capital, but the critical thinking. “
” Company naming is a key part of the branding process, but it’s subject to contrasting tastes and an illiquid domain name market that results in startups wasting their time during the branding process. “
” In innovation, you’re trying to create something from nothing. “
” Aspiring entrepreneurs are often advised to work at a startup for a couple of years first, to understand what’s involved. But often, each company’s approach to success is very narrow. So my advice is, ‘Just do it.’ “
” I think the best developers can learn any language; if they are a good developer, they can learn whatever. But the raw talent, the ability to learn it and do it and demonstrate the ability is helpful. “
” The rise of digital technologies has eroded boundaries: Anyone can participate, start a business, and reach a global audience. “
” My attitude is there are at least hundreds of interesting startups that are going to get going in every year. “
” Ultimately, we measure ourselves on the success of our investments. “
” I was lucky to have amazing mentors like Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. “
” If I’m an entrepreneur and I have an idea, and I don’t have the development talent around me but I need to find a developer, I would do my selection just like I would with hiring an employee. “
” Twilio is a great example of a company executing tremendously well on its vision and delivering a beautiful set of products that solves real problems. “
” Rules designed to ensure competition ensure that innovators with new ideas can challenge incumbents on a level playing field. “
” People look up to Techstars because they get funded by Techstars; they go through the accelerator. What we do impacts what they do. What we care about we hope has a meta impact on those entrepreneurs and how they think about the world. “
” Focusing on the right priorities can help you do more faster. “
” Meetings with no goal, also known as ‘coffee shop’ meetings, can be huge time wasters if you’re not efficient with them. ‘Always know why you’re meeting, and make sure it’s important – try to keep them to 30 minutes, max. “
” Going public is one step in the life cycle of a company; it’s not the last step. “
” Clearly, there is a gender imbalance when it comes to venture capital and entrepreneurship. “
” There are not enough female VCs in an industry so traditionally dominated by males. There are not enough female mentors who are actively engaged with female founders. We need women VCs and entrepreneurs to stand up, get loud, and help guide their peers. “
” I’ve done a bunch of consulting; I’ve actually spent time in Singapore, England, Denmark, all over. “
” I’ve done a bunch of consulting; I’ve actually spent time in Singapore, England, Denmark, all over. “
” Part of the thing that’s magic about TechStars is it’s about a community that wants to make itself better. “
” We’re pretty broad as investors. Our thesis is work with great entrepreneurs that believe they can change the world. “
” People are starting companies at young ages. They fail fast, learn a lot, and keep going. “
” The future is going to happen in Toronto or Berlin or Bengaluru and not necessarily in the Valley. “
” What Techstars is fundamentally a global ecosystem in which entrepreneurs are enabled and empowered to bring new technologies to the market. “
” Entrepreneurship transparency, I think, is important because there are so many problems that you just have to be real about them. There are so many ways for a startup to die, so the transparency attitude is key. “
” I’m an investor in a lot of things that have to do with human-computer interaction. “
” I’ve just always been interested in moving past the keyboard and mouse. “
” If you look at the history of innovation, the innovations coming through the defence department have been some of the most important innovations ever. Little things like drones, sensors, and the Internet of Things are defence-type initiatives, but the big one is the Internet itself. “
” We believe that startups can be built anywhere. “
” If you’re not working on something you’re passionate about, it’s a long, hard road. “
” For most people, their home is their most valuable asset. Yet most of us don’t take care of it. “
” Every year, it seems to be there are more people right out of college who are willing to jump into a start-up. “
” Because Techstars is an intensely productive three-month program in which product development and iteration are primary goals, we’re constantly looking to streamline our program to help entrepreneurs avoid recurring obstacles. “
” Techstars has done a great job accelerating and providing venture capital to the most promising companies to make the biggest long-term economic impact. “
” I think there are ways that perhaps organic partnerships can occur in local geographies with groups that are extremely focused on their communities. That’s really how Techstars began, as a grassroots movement in Boulder, Colo., that happened to catch fire and expand around the world. “
” Our goal is simply to make entrepreneurship more accessible to everyone around the world throughout the entrepreneurial journey, from inspiration to IPO. “
” I’m often asked what it takes to be ‘Series A ready’ in terms of metrics, progress, and traction. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. “
” If you’re in a squeeze for capital and you have a solid, mutually beneficial relationship with a VC, your chances of raising will increase dramatically. “
” You may have a small network, but growing that network has become easier with the use of social tools. LinkedIn, Conspire, even Facebook and Twitter allow you to grab branches that may have previously seemed out of reach. “
” When we talk about Techstars, we think of it as this worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. “
” We’re pretty broad as investors. Our thesis is work with great entrepreneurs that believe they can change the world. But there are specific areas that we get excited about – areas like hard tech, deep tech, companies that deal with really difficult technology, etc. “
” I had done six or eight traditional angel investments and basically just thought it sucked. “
” I think just calling up a VC and saying ‘I want to pitch you’ is an enormous waste of time. “
” I think entrepreneurs should demand transparency for startup accelerators. “
” We’ve been publishing the TechStars data fully since the beginning on TechStars.com. For every single company, you can see if it’s a failure, success, how much they raised. Entrepreneurs deserve that sort of transparency from accelerators, and it’s not hard to do. “
” San Francisco is a great startup community that you shouldn’t even try to model yourself after because it’s just special. “
” Twitter needs to become more of a platform on the web. If Twitter went away today, people would just turn to Facebook. If Facebook went away, people would start screaming – it’s so universal. “
” If you’re pitching to investors for the first time and expecting them to be so blown away by how thoroughly amazing your pitch is that they write a check on the spot – well, prepare to be disappointed. “
” Consumers have zero time for products that are not simple, intuitive, and attractive to use. This is especially true with Internet products, where clean and useful design is a prerequisite to keeping anyone on your site for more than 30 seconds. “
” The Internet is full of choices, and nobody is going to make the choice to use a product that is hard to use or unattractive. “
” Deciding whether or not to bring in an outside CEO is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions that a founder will ever need to make. “
” Because one of the main jobs of a CEO is to set the vision and strategy for the company, I’m a big believer in making one of the founders the default CEO. “
” There’s no law that says you have to do what your mentor suggests. And the sooner you learn how to say ‘no’ confidently, the easier it will be to manage these key relationships. “
” At TechStars, I have the privilege of working with hundreds of the best and brightest start-up mentors on the planet. We coach our mentors to take a Socratic approach and to provide data rather than decisions. “
” The best mentors present their opinions simply as data and not as direction. “
” Ultimately, even if you follow the advice of a mentor or board member, it’s still your fault if they were wrong! “
” TechStars is mentorship-driven. “
” There is no doubt that Boulder was a supportive and open-door community well before TechStars ever existed. But one of the things that I’m most proud of is that TechStars has provided a real focal point for this sort of activity and has brought attention to just how impactful one community can be when it works together. “
” I think motivation and drive, coupled with raw talent, help make founders successful. “
” I’m most proud of helping so many others achieve their dreams as founders. “
” I had to quit a ‘real job’ to start my first company. “
” Quality and a great product matters, in startups, and in accelerators. “
” I think entrepreneurs really appreciate directness and honesty, coupled with empathy. “
” In the rare cases where I’ve had to cut a company loose, I just tell them why and wish them luck and hope they learn something from it. I don’t spend more mental energy on it than I have to, and I try very hard not to hold a grudge or try to negatively affect them either. It’s just done for me. “
” The hot deal is often the one that does not work. “
” We think of the Techstars product as not really the accelerator but the network. That’s what entrepreneurs should be valuing here. I think it’s the most undervalued thing that many entrepreneurs don’t get. “
” There will always be a capital shortage from the perspective of entrepreneurs. “