Weeks Four&Five

Week four of Techstars felt like a transition week, the end and final goodbye to the first hectic weeks of the program and a moment to reflect and make decisions about the weeks ahead.

As a perfect example of this was the event of the week: the Mentor Mixer. Held at the prestigious Berlin Capital Club, it was an opportunity for mentors and founders to mingle, get to know each other on a personal level and also talk some business. The club was reached through an elevator entrance that brought us into an area that reminded many of an old school gentlemen’s club. We were welcomed with a glass of prosecco and encouraged to serve ourselves to some snacks displayed on a buffet table. The wine flowed and the same can be said about the conversations. Connections were made and we all got a chance to catch up with our favorite mentors and get the last chance to finalize our thoughts about which ones were going to be our lead mentors, decision which was due the day after the Mixer.

Choosing the mentors is not an easy and fast decision, there is a lot of elements that need to be considered. Naturally there needs to be some sort of feeling between the parties involved and possibly the mentor needs to believe in the product a little bit, at least enough to accept being a mentor for you. However, the most important asset a mentor has and which, in the end, plays a deciding factor is their network.

Week five was focused on how to get funding and meet with investors. Highlights of the week were a livestream presentation by David Cohen, one of the founders and the co-CEO of Techstars. David enlightened us on how to raise money and was available for questions, and a workshop on fundraising by Jens Lapinski, followed by individual office hours with him, for more specific questions for each individual company.

The topic of raising money is definitely fitting at this point. It is critical for most of the startups in the program and for some more than others. The clock is ticking and the pressure is on. The main focus is starting to become Demo Day, however, for some Demo Day is of less importance, since not having any investments by then would actually already be too late and Demo Day would then become more of a last resort, before an inevitable end of a dream. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the month of April is actually going to be the most important of the program, since it will allow the opportunity to get in contact and create a connection with potential angel investors.