"I am 51 years old and have never had a job interview“

David Brown is Managing Partner of Techstars. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded three startups and been involved with two others. He cofounded Techstars in 2006 and has been an investor and advisor to the company since inception. We talked to him about his personal story, his motivation and his startup experiences.

Being one of the founding fathers of Techstars – when did you start to work with startups? Please tell us your personal story.

I have been an entrepreneur my whole life. It started in college when I won a contract job working for the government, and I knew I didn’t want to do that. But my supervisor was starting his own business and I joined him and never looked back. Crazy story: I am 51 years old and have never had a job interview in my whole life!

Why is it thrilling to work with startups?

I love what I do because I get to work with smart people every day who are chasing their dreams to change the world.

What is your greatest founder’s story over the past years?

I love great pivot stories. Of course one of the greatest ones is Sphero, who came into Techstars with a prototype of a garage door opener and now is making BB-8, the new droid in the upcoming Star Wars movie.

You have teamed up with METRO to look for tech startups who are relevant for the hospitality industry. What is your perspective?

METRO is such a great brand in the industry, it has really helped attract great startups. The way METRO has given first to this program and offered access into the corporation shows real thought leadership.

Which Techstars startup is the most successful so far?

We have lots of great success stories, including over 75 exits. Some great companies that are growing fast include Sphero, SendGrid, Digital Ocean, ClassPass, PillPack, Plated, Localytics, Simply Measured and others.

What do tell startups when they are just about to begin? What should they focus on?

The first part of the program is all about getting the arrow pointed in the right direction. We’ll spend lots of time refining the business model, defining the customer, establishing the go-to-market strategy, etc. Then, it’s all about execution, when we fire the arrow.

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