When people talk about accelerators, they talk about one of two things. They discuss the much-feared bubble and whether or not an accelerator in every town is a good thing.
Or, they talk about the Big 3: Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Techstars. We all know these accelerators have produced successful companies, and they are easily the most coveted spots in the country.
But even the Big 3 have issues sometimes. Techstars NYC has not been without drama in the last year or so. Last year Managing Director David Tisch left, but his replacement Eugene Chung was fired just weeks before Demo Day. 5 months later, Alex Iskold was named the newest Managing Director. In an internal email, interim Managing Director Nicole Glaros wrote, “Even at Techstars, we have really struggled, especially this last year, to really capture the potential of the community. We did a lot of things wrong, and we learned a lot.”
The time has come to see just how much the program has learned.
In a blog post yesterday, Alex Iskold announced the application period for the spring program.
Great companies are a mix of science, art and (who are we kidding) luck.
The art is innate but the luck is altogether out of our control. It’s the science part with which we can work. There is a science behind making great companies and we, collectively, are getting better and better at it in NYC and around the world.
Iskold goes on to to outline the qualities his program will look for in founders:
- Passion & Energy
- Intellectual honesty
- Domain knowledge and experience
He also reminds companies that they are looking specifically for big ideas with big markets: “Often times we run into wonderful ideas that can bootstrap and be a great lifestyle business, but not venture-backed one. Since Techstars is in the business of making money for our investors, we can’t fund these opportunities but we are still very happy to help, in any way we can.”
Techstars NYC has definitely had a rough year, but hopefully they really have learned from those mistakes. Iskold represents new leadership and possibility, and of course, they do still have the prestigious Techstars name.
If you’re interested in applying, the early deadline is December 6th and the final one is December 31st.