Tomorrow (or today technically, but it’s not the next day till I wake up as far as I’m concerned) is the last day to submit an application for TechStars. Since I’m a big procrastinator I thought I’d write this post for all the other procrastinators that haven’t quite gotten around to submitting their application. I’ll start off with a short and sweet bit of advice: make sure you get your application into TechStars! Alright, so you’re not convinced. Well, hopefully I’ll be able to better explain why TechStars is so great in the rest of this post…
I’m not exaggerating in the least when I tell you that TechStars literally changed my life. It opened the door to a completely different direction in life that I’d always wanted to experience, but probably never would’ve (or not till I was quite a bit older) if it weren’t for this program. You see, I was that young kid that had all the ambition to take over the world. Entrepreneurship was something that always fascinated me. More specifically, tech entrepreneurship, but really the entire concept was something I was always passionate about. I’m that kid that read every biography for tech entrepreneurs: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, even some of the shorter lived, but deep impacting stories like the history of Napster. All these stories got me excited because they were about people that were able to make a huge impact with relatively simple ideas by pursuing them relentlessly and passionately. This constantly led me to spend my days dreaming about what my big idea was going to be. I even remember joking with my parents about how I was going to need to hurry up and find it so that I could pursue it and drop out of college before I graduated like many of the greats did. The truth was, however, that I grew up in a small town in Illinois where no one knew about this world, and I had no idea how to get into it.
Then, through a rather random set of events, I and the rest of my team got accepted into TechStars. This one event completely changed the course of my life. I was going to Grad School and had lined up a great internship with a large company. It no doubt would’ve led to a cushy job that I would’ve been happy at for the foreseeable future had I wanted to. I know, however, that I never would be fully satisfied by this type of job. I’d still spend all my free time dreaming about my big idea and how I was going to break into that world. Of course, none of this came into fruition as part of accepting the TechStars opportunity involved backing out of my internship and moving out to Boulder, CO.
This was a completely new experience for me. I knew no one out here when I first arrived (I hadn’t even met my other team mates in person when I arrived…). I was quickly won over though. The area is gorgeous and the people are amazing. Everyone just wants to help everyone else out, and it seems there is very little competition among the people in the area. The other TechStars were also very welcoming, friendly, and smart. The thing that impressed me most, however, was the mentors. These are crazy smart people that took time out of their obviously busy lives just to help us out. Many of them even began to take a personal interest in us and our company; even going so far as to seek us out at times! Where else can you get that kind of help from this caliber of people?
The end result is that I was able to finally find my way into the world of entrepreneurship I’d always dreamed of. It was even better than that though, because I didn’t have to claw and scratch my way in as most starting out do…instead I was all but carried in. It really is an amazing thing. I also was given phenomenal resources through the mentors in the program, many of which still help me out long after the program has ended. And this doesn’t even include the great resource that the other TechStars teams turned out to be. They’re all smart guys that are great for getting feedback, helping to prepare for our investor pitch, and even helping work through coding problems.
So basically, what I’m trying to tell you is that TechStars was completely amazing. It literally took my life in a new direction (and a good one at that!) So go ahead and submit that TechStars application you’ve been putting off and let TechStars change your life too.