TechStars’ plea to Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and the other ‘godfathers’ of Seattle tech

Andy Sack of TechStars Seattle

Andy Sack, the director of TechStars Seattle, is accustomed to critiquing the pitches of entrepreneurs. Now, Sack is doing an elevator pitch of his own, making a plea to some of the heaviest hitters in Seattle tech.

In an email and video message (both posted below), Sack and other members of TechStars Seattle make the pitch to Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Steve Ballmer, Nick Hanauer, Jeff Brotman, Howard Schultz, John Stanton and Paul Allen — collectively described as the “godfathers of Seattle entrepreneurs” —  that they should participate in TechStars Demo Day on Thursday November 3rd.

“Seattle needs more big companies like the ones you started and run,” writes Sack in the email.  ”We need it for job creation, for the economy, and for Pacific NW pride.”

Demo Day will showcase presentations from 10 entrepreneurial teams who’ve been working their way through the TechStars incubation program over the past three months. (Including LikeBright which was featured today on GeekWire).

Sack said he’s hopeful that some of the big names of Seattle tech will take time out of their busy schedules to help the next-generation of Seattle entrepreneurs. Here’s the video pitch:


Here’s the letter that Sack is sending to the Seattle tech luminaries, with the subject line “A special invite to the godfathers of Seattle entrepreneurs:”

Dear Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Howard Schultz, Jeff Bezos, John Stanton, Steve Ballmer, Jeff Brotman and Nick Hanauer (Collectively known as the Godfathers of Seattle Entrepreneurs)

What are you doing Thursday November 3rd? I know it’s short notice, but I want to personally invite you to attend TechStars Seattle Demo Day.

Check out this short video created by entrepreneurs to invite you to Demo Day November 3rd, 2 – 5PM

Whether you know it or not — you’re a godfather of many technology entrepreneurs and startups in Seattle. Which is why we want (in fact, need) you at TechStars Demo Day.

TechStars is the leading accelerator in the US. We’re in 4 cities — Seattle, NY, Boston, and Boulder — funding and mentoring over 40 companies a year. TechStars is about bringing the community together to support and mentor young entrepreneurs. There are 27 founders, and lots more Seattle entrepreneurs, who could really use your support — much as entrepreneurs and mentors supported you when you were starting out.

Seattle needs more big companies like the ones you started and run… we need it for job creation, for the economy, and for Pacific NW pride.

We’d love for you to join us on stage for 5 minutes at the beginning of the event to recognize you and all you do for Seattle! Thanks for your support.

In the entrepreneurial spirit,

Andy

[Editor’s note: GeekWire’s Rebecca Lovell and Jonathan Sposato are both mentors in the TechStars program.]

  • Mike Mathieu

    John, this calls for a new Geekwire poll – “How many of the godfathers of Seattle tech do you think will show up at TechStars Demo Day on November 3rd?”

    • johnhcook

      Love this idea, Mike. Maybe we will do that. My guess, of those on the list, they will get two.
      John Cook
      Co-founder, GeekWire
      John@GeekWire.com

  • http://twitter.com/chrisamccoy Chris McCoy

    This is fricken awesome!!

  • http://twitter.com/chrisamccoy Chris McCoy

    This is fricken awesome!!

  • Anonymous

    Great idea, lets see who shows up! 

  • Anonymous

    Great idea, lets see who shows up! 

  • http://josephsunga.com Joseph Sunga

    Now this is awesome. Kudos to the TechStars folks for trying to make this happen. :)

  • http://josephsunga.com Joseph Sunga

    Now this is awesome. Kudos to the TechStars folks for trying to make this happen. :)

  • http://twitter.com/virajm Viraj Mody

    Technically, Mike Arrington is a Seattle area resident too, though not a Godfather as TechStars defines it. Regardless of what you may think about him personally, I think his attendance and feedback is likely more valuable to TechStars companies than comments from most people on the list above. Gates, Ballmer, Hanauer, etc are too far removed from the realities of startups, IMO. Bezos is about as useful as folks can get, from that list. Most have also moved on to philanthropy, sports franchises or feather companies as their primary areas of interest. 

    Their presence would be encouraging for companies and somewhat of a PR coup for TechStars, but it won’t really benefit the companies that present, IMO

    • Kayla Roark

      Great point Viraj. Mike Arrington is registered and coming to TechStars Seattle Demo Day. We’re stoked to have him!

  • http://twitter.com/virajm Viraj Mody

    Technically, Mike Arrington is a Seattle area resident too, though not a Godfather as TechStars defines it. Regardless of what you may think about him personally, I think his attendance and feedback is likely more valuable to TechStars companies than comments from most people on the list above. Gates, Ballmer, Hanauer, etc are too far removed from the realities of startups, IMO. Bezos is about as useful as folks can get, from that list. Most have also moved on to philanthropy, sports franchises or feather companies as their primary areas of interest. 

    Their presence would be encouraging for companies and somewhat of a PR coup for TechStars, but it won’t really benefit the companies that present, IMO

  • http://twitter.com/Seattle_Startup Seattle Startup

    Truly hope these DEMOS are the most awesome possible.  This is ONE chance to show the best and brightest, the GREATEST show Seattle has to offer.  We can not afford anything less than 100% knock your socks off awesomeness.  Andy, I presume you’ll ensure each and every demo is a HOME RUN in every sense (business opportunity, team, product, demo, IP, customer need, pricing, distribution, etc.).  There will be no 2nd chance to make a first impression for such experienced, influential and intense invitees.  Let’s make SEATTLE PROUD!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/algard algard

    Nice Andy! I think would be the first (?) ever start-up oriented event in Seattle attended by any of these guys — except I think Hanauer. As long-term thinkers, they ought to realize that this is not just about doing good for the community, but their respective giant companies will be better off too the more thriving the surrounding Seattle tech startup community is.

  • http://www.twitter.com/algard algard

    Nice Andy! I think would be the first (?) ever start-up oriented event in Seattle attended by any of these guys — except I think Hanauer. As long-term thinkers, they ought to realize that this is not just about doing good for the community, but their respective giant companies will be better off too the more thriving the surrounding Seattle tech startup community is.

  • http://www.about.me/tgowland Tara Gowland

    Way to go Andy and team – interested to see what happens! Maybe someone has some connection to these guys and you can make a personal pitch?

  • http://www.about.me/tgowland Tara Gowland

    Way to go Andy and team – interested to see what happens! Maybe someone has some connection to these guys and you can make a personal pitch?

  • http://twitter.com/moniguzman Monica Guzman

    Kudos to TechStars for making this pitch public — the better to rally support from area entrepreneurs. Local pride FTW. Hope it pays off!

  • http://twitter.com/moniguzman Monica Guzman

    Kudos to TechStars for making this pitch public — the better to rally support from area entrepreneurs. Local pride FTW. Hope it pays off!

  • http://twitter.com/jamorefield John Morefield

    Great pitch, now unleash the red hurricane on these guys and really get it going?

  • http://twitter.com/jamorefield John Morefield

    Great pitch, now unleash the red hurricane on these guys and really get it going?

  • Janis Machala

    Don’t forget Craig McCaw in that prestigious bunch! Doesn’t Rich Barton now qualify as well as Rob Glaser?

  • Janis Machala

    Don’t forget Craig McCaw in that prestigious bunch! Doesn’t Rich Barton now qualify as well as Rob Glaser?

  • http://twitter.com/gayle Gayle Laakmann

    While I recognize that you only happened to reach out to men (which I understand), you still probably shouldn’t address this email as the “godfathers” of Seattle tech. 

    • mark

      I actually had to read your post twice because I couldn’t believe
      someone would write that. In modern thinking and writing, I find it refreshing
      when people use their personality and fun character when delivering a message. Trying
      to find sexist innuendos where you can is in very poor taste.  And it’s not just because you are wrong, as shown below with the definition of “godfather’, but because of your intent.  He probably shouldn’t address this email as the “godfathers”?  What an incredible statement to tell someone how they should write.  Wow.

       god·fa·ther   [god-fah-ther]  Show IPA
      noun1.a man who serves as sponsor for a child at baptism.2.any male sponsor or guardian.3.(often initial capital letter) a powerful leader, especially ofthe Mafia.4.a person who is regarded as the originator or principal shaperof a movement, school of thought, art form, industry, or thelike: the godfather of abstract expressionism.