Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator 2019


Tuesday night I attended the kickoff for mentors and got to hear from the companies that have joined the Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator in New York – it was a lot of fun and well executed by the managing director of the program Yossi Hasson. He has put together an incredible team it seems with folks like David Gogel.

I have been working on and off with TechStars since they first came to NYC and still work with one of the companies that I met with during the first program! (Nestio). Through the initial program and the mentoring I have done since, I have learned a lot about working with early stage teams, certainly what it takes to be a reliable mentor during and after the program, and more about what teams need. I have certainly learned I do not have all the answers, but now I am not afraid to let founders know.

The group of mentors is truly great and with the focus on companies building in the blockchain technology space, it is going to be a focused and exciting program to be a part of. The companies themselves seem great and were thrown into the fire by each doing a 60 second micro pitch about what they do. In the order from the site and posterity sake they are:

Props to the founders for getting up in front of a room full of strangers and conveying what they do and how – something that will become second nature very soon. Having your so called elevator pitch down becomes essential for social events, hiring, quick explanations and just about anyone you speak with that wants to know more.

It has been awhile but I am excited to be involved again in a category that I love with what seems to be a great group. I very much look forward to meeting with teams individually soon.

Thinking through what great advisors can do is something I have written about before here, and I think about it often. I also think it is critical for early stage teams to think about formal advisors earlier than they do today – here is my primer on the subject.

I start every meeting with almost any team looking for advise with the same thing; “help” can be a four letter word and I am a N:1, meaning go get 9 other opinions and make the right decision for your own business. Mentors and advisors will have their own frameworks of success, playbooks that are years (if not decades) old, and not have spent the same amount of time with your business as you have. Thinking about and couching their direction can be very helpful vs. experiencing the whiplash that meeting with lots of folks can bring.

Best of luck to these teams and excited to look back on this time to see how they have progressed!

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