I'm so happy to welcome Katie Rae as the new Managing Director of TechStars Boston. This will be our third session for TechStars Boston, and now we'll be bringing it to a new level. I'm particularly excited to be working with Katie, since we've already worked together so well on the recent Open Angel Forum in Boston. And check out today's traffic on Twitter ... Boston agrees. Katie Rae is a great choice to lead TechStars Boston. There have also been great articles in Boston.Com, Xconomy and Mass High Tech.
Here's the official announcement from David Cohen, founder of TechStars. David's note also points to the great work that Shawn Broderick has done for the first two years of TechStars Boston. We all owe a lot to Shawn who worked tirelessly these past two sessions, helping 19 companies and running two "filled to the rafters" demo days. Thanks Shawn, we wouldn't be he without you. Literally!
And here are some of Katie's thoughts from her blog post today. I particularly love this passage that shows the importance of mentors:
Every successful founder or CEO I’ve met has an interesting story to tell about their mentors and the advice they have gotten along the way. Universally the founders are grateful for the early advice they received or connections that were made for them by someone who believed in them. This is an important, powerful force and an unspoken bond and obligation that fellow entrepreneurs have with each other.
TechStars itself is expanding and learning what patterns work best in each city. For example, we've found that the best folks to lead TechStars in a city are those who are doing active angel investing. Often, these people have their own investing fund. This is exactly the case with Katie Rae, and her partner Reed Sturtevant, with their fund called Project 11 Ventures. In fact, I committed to invest in their fund long before this search even began. I believe that its good to have an active investor lead TechStars because that's what they do all year round. TechStars becomes one part of an overall mix of activities, all focused on entrepreneurs and building great companies.
TechStars is especially important to me, and I believe, to our region because it combines a national approach with a fiercely local focus. So we in Boston can be part of TechStars national recognition, while at the same time focusing our energies in the industries we're good at, getting the best of our local talent, and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to take advantage of talent we have here that's not available anywhere else.
When we brought TechStars to Boston, we were the first "expansion city". Since then, TechStars Seattle has started and completed it's first program, and New York is about to pick its entrepreneurs for the Winter session. With over 600 applications in NY for just ten slots, you can see how much TechStars has become a magnet for entrepreneurs.
I look forward to working with Katie Rae continue to grow this magnet for entrepreneurs into an overall engine for growth. Not just by helping companies and their founders grow, but by bringing our community together to deliver the energy that drives TechStars Boston.