Give First

Give First

givefirst.techstars.com
In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone—especially entrepreneurs—with no expectation of getting anything back.


Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship with Dream Tank
Aug 5 • 28 min
Co-host David Cohen and guest Heidi Cuppari discuss how she co-founded Dream Tank to truly tap into the radical imagination of children. What started as an experiment five years ago is now a place in which kids, such as guest Amelia Rose Battle, can help…
Brad Feld and the mentor who changed his life
Jul 24 • 40 min
In this episode, Brad Feld is joined by Techstars’ Chief Revenue Officer Frank Alfano and past Chief Innovation Officer Jenny Lawton to talk with their mentor – Len Fassler. They each share their unique experiences meeting Len some thirty years ago, the…
Philip McKernan on the importance of reinventing yourself
Feb 6 • 31 min
Philip McKernan talks with David Cohen about how to find your purpose in life and his work with entrepreneurs. Through his coaching, he encourages people to take the risk they would only take if they were dying tomorrow. Listen as Philip and David discuss…
David & Brad on what they’ve learned from 20 episodes of the Give First podcast
Jan 21 • 19 min
Back in June 2019, David Cohen and Brad Feld looked back at their first six episodes of the Give First podcast, and decided that while they were pretty pleased, they’d probably need to do about 20-30 to really hit their stride. Seven months later, they’ve…
Live from CES: SparkCharge Founder/CEO Joshua Aviv on the unique challenges (and opportunities) of student entrepreneurship
Jan 9 • 24 min
Techstars VP of Network John Hill sat down with SparkCharge Founder and CEO Joshua Aviv live from the floor of Eureka Park.Josh talks about how he started SparkCharge at Syracuse University, the life-changing impact of the Blackstone Launchpad program,…
Live from CES: Damon Motorcycles Co-founder and CTO Dominique Kwong on the power of business and engineering partnerships and the emotional journey behind building a company
Jan 9 • 22 min
Damon Motorcycles Co-founder and CTO (and Techstars Mobility alum) Dominique Kwong talks with Techstars VP of Network John Hill about the unstoppable power of business and engineering partnerships, launching at CES, and the emotions behind building a…
Live from CES: Event Hub CEO and Co-founder Michael Bleau on the power of live events
Jan 8 • 24 min
Eureka Park at CES is one of the most influential startup events in the world. Techstars VP of Network John Hill sat down with Event Hub CEO and Co-founder Michael Bleau live from the floor of Eureka Park.They dug in to Michael’s founder journey, his…
Live Episode: Josh Hix on the introverted CEO
Dec 12, 2019 • 26 min
Plated Co-founder Josh Hix knows about leading a growing team. He remembers taking the company through Techstars New York City in 2013, coming into the program with about seven people, and leaving with closer to 37. The company was up to 1300 employees by…
Rajat Bhargava on Giving First for a B2B company
Nov 5, 2019 • 31 min
Rajat Bhargava, CEO of JumpCloud, has started a lot of companies—the first, NetGenesis, while he was still a student at MIT. And his friendship with Give First co-host Brad Feld goes right back to that initial foray into entrepreneurship. Rajat just keeps…
Elizabeth Kraus on funding women-led companies
Oct 23, 2019 • 25 min
MergeLane, a VC fund that invests in startups and venture funds with at least one female leader, has an unusual aspiration, written in bold on its website: “We want to make MergeLane obsolete.”As co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of MergeLane,…
Jason Mendelson on demystifying venture deals
Oct 9, 2019 • 22 min
Jason Mendelson, co-founder of Foundry Group, can explain what matters in negotiations between entrepreneurs and VCs in just two words: Control and Economics. It takes enormous expertise to make something complicated really simple, and these bare two…
Janet Bannister on human-centered investing
Sep 24, 2019 • 30 min
Today, Janet Bannister is a Partner at Real Ventures, but when Founding Partners John Stokes and Jean-Sebastien Cournoyer first approached her about joining to give the firm a presence in Toronto, Janet was nonplussed. “Why would I go into Venture…
Heidi Roizen on meaningful work & relationships
Sep 12, 2019 • 31 min
Heidi Roizen has called herself a recovering entrepreneur. Wendy Lea has called Heidi “the epitome of Give First.” Both of these are true, and go a long way toward describing the deeply humane perspective on the role of venture capital that Heidi brings…
Marc Nager & Dave Mayer on building rural startup communities
Sep 3, 2019 • 32 min
Too many people believe that you have to be in Silicon Valley—or some similarly hyped tech-obsessed locale—to be an entrepreneur. Techstars knows this isn’t true: successful entrepreneurship can happen anywhere. Marc Nager and Dave Mayer are living proof.…
Bonus Episode Alert: Do More Faster, 2nd edition
Aug 20, 2019 • 9 min
Back in 2010, David Cohen and Brad Feld distilled their knowledge about how to #domorefaster into a book, fleshed out with many, many stories from startup founders, investors, and other players in the startup ecosystem. They called it Do More Faster, and…
Harry Stebbings on committing to building a network & giving first
Aug 13, 2019 • 32 min
Stride.VC founder Harry Stebbings is probably best known for his podcast, The Twenty Minute VC, the world’s largest media asset in venture, with over 5 million downloads per month. He’s talked with amazing Venture Capitalists and entrepreneurs and made…
John China on whether you can give too much
Jul 31, 2019 • 23 min
In over 23 years at Silicon Valley Bank, John China has made it his mission to make connections between entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and more. Many, many entrepreneurs at Techstars and beyond have benefitted from his Give First perspective on…
Sherri Hammons on staying humble and staying strong
Jul 23, 2019 • 22 min
Today, Sherri Hammons is CTO of The Nature Conservancy, but as she admits, “I took the nontraditional path to CTO land.” This path included eight years as a professional singer before she went back to college and got a degree in software engineering—and…
Rebecca Lovell on career ‘nudges,’ karaoke, & how to be an ally
Jul 16, 2019 • 25 min
Rebecca Lovell plays, as Brad Feld says, “a very important role in the center of gravity for the Seattle startup community.” Currently Director at Create33, a resource center for tech entrepreneurs, Rebecca teaches entrepreneurship at the University of…
David & Brad reflect on the first six episodes of the Give First podcast
Jun 26, 2019 • 29 min
With six full episodes of the Give First podcast under their belts, David Cohen and Brad Feld reflect on their recent interviews and duty as podcast hosts. They also have nothing but praise for guests so far: Wendy Lea, Paul Berberian, Troy Henikoff, Mary…
Kesha Cash on impact investing—and how mentorship got her there
Jun 18, 2019 • 27 min
Kesha Cash founded Impact America Fund in 2013 with a goal of investing in software and tech enabled companies that have a positive benefit on underserved communities in America. In 2018, she was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in…
T.A. McCann on how sailing in the America’s Cup is like running a startup
Jun 11, 2019 • 26 min
David Cohen was super excited when he realized that T.A. McCann—founder and CEO of Senosis (acquired by Google), Gist (acquired by Blackberry) and Rival IQ, a leader in marketing analytics, as well as Managing Director of Pioneer Square Labs—was the same…
Mary Grove on the origins of Google for Startups & Startup Weekend
Jun 4, 2019 • 28 min
Mary Grove is passionate about community-driven change, and this theme has guided her entire career. She joined Google when it had only 2,000 employees, and by the time she left it was up to around 75,000. Over 14 years, she went from working on the IPO…
Troy Henikoff on how #GiveFirst grew the Chicago startup ecosystem
May 28, 2019 • 27 min
How does a startup ecosystem grow? #GiveFirst is one essential element. Troy Henikoff, Managing Director of MATH Ventures and Co-founder of Excelerate Labs, which became Techstars Chicago, remembers the early days of Chicago’s startup ecosystem, and how…
Paul Berberian on the “addictive” nature of mentoring
May 21, 2019 • 19 min
Have you ever been mobbed in Times Square, like a rock star? Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero, the company that makes BB8, at one time the number one toy in the world, has. Paul talks about how mentoring and Give First were essential to Sphero getting the…
Wendy Lea talks about the risks of saying no
May 14, 2019 • 16 min
Wendy Lea is a longtime entrepreneur and investor, as well as a board member and mentor at Techstars. With David and Brad, she digs into some of her own first mentoring experiences and reflects on a time when a mentor changed her life. Wendy was early in…
What is Give First?
May 2, 2019 • 3 min
What exactly is Give First? David Cohen and Brad Feld explore what this philosophy of living means to them. In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone, especially entrepreneurs, without any expectation of getting anything back.…