Techstars for a Day (TS4AD)

Techstars is a startup accelerator - like Y Combinator, except that it isn't in the Valley; it runs in Boulder, Boston, New York and Seattle. In January, the first Techstars Cloud will run in San Antonio, Texas.

Entry is competitive; "TechStars will select approximately ten companies focused on cloud infrastructure to participate. Chosen companies will receive seed funding, mentorship from many of the world’s top cloud infrastructure thought leaders, and will have access to perks available only to TechStars companies and alumni."

I'm one of the mentors for the Cloud event; accordingly, I participated remotely in Techstars for a Day, which ran on Saturday 5 November 2011, as a sort of introduction. In addition to running a video feed from the venue, there were several Google+ Hangout sessions, with a machine in a room next to the main hall in the venue (inside the hall would have been much noiser) and up to 10 of those of us 'attending' remotely participating in the hangout. Several of the applicants introduced themselves and talked about what they wanted to do if they were selected.

Some people had camera and microphone issues on their end; the chat session was useful for checking on background and asking who did and didn't have signal. For me, the audio and video quality of the hangout was better than the audio/video from the feed.

Next time, there should be scheduled time slots for applicants to pitch to mentors; everybody learns from listening in to the others. Since San Antonio will be my first Techstars, I picked up context and background which will help me be more useful more quickly in the early January sessions.

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