Guest Commentary: Most of the time people associate accelerators like Y Combinator and TechStars with teams who have little to no entrepreneurial experience. My co-founder, Marcelo Calbucci, and I are not the stereotypical team.
We are both experienced entrepreneurs and yet we decided to apply and participate in the TechStars Seattle program. Fortunately, we were accepted and are grateful for the opportunity.
The first thing that might come to mind is why?
If you look at the core value proposition for TechStars it is about being surrounded by great mentors to help focus your startup intensely for a three-month period. Between me and Marcelo, we knew many of the mentors already. (Marcelo is even a TechStars mentor himself).
We were also well on our way to close our Series A financing. But we took a step back, and looked at this from a different angle.
Building a startup from scratch into success is a hard task for anyone. No matter how experienced you are it still takes a lot of time, resources, luck and a little magic.
It also takes tremendous intensity and accountability, two core tenets of the TechStars journey.
Startups of any kind need all the support they can get and TechStars puts that support into hyperdrive with legions of mentors, investors and alumni. It is rare to have so many people around genuinely rooting for you.
You can’t buy this kind of support.
Just three weeks into the program we know we made the right choice and appreciate Andy Sacks’ leadership of the program.
Our business strategy, product decisions, pitch, and everything else that we are doing has been poked, prodded and scrutinized to great lengths.
In just three weeks, we’ve met with about two dozen experienced entrepreneurs and investors and received valuable feedback, introductions and interest in what we are doing.
Being part of a select group of companies is humbling and the stakes are high. But we aren’t alone, fortunately.
We have a team of fellow TechStars companies that are fighting every day for clarity. We also benefit from the TechStars brand which we are honored to be associated with as it continues to gain prominence.
At the end of the day, our decision was about accelerating our business and being in a position to share our progress on Demo Day in November. We are on our way.
Russell Benaroya is the co-founder & CEO of EveryMove, a startup tackling the health space. Previously he co-founded and sold REM Medical. You can follow him on Twitter @rbenaroya. (Editor’s note: GeekWire’s Rebecca Lovell and Jonathan Sposato are both mentors in the TechStars program).