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Last summer, my long time friend Martin Babinec and his colleague Nasir Ali asked me if I’d come spend a few days in Upstate New York talking about TechStars and entrepreneurial communities. I first met Martin around 1990 at one of the very first Birthing of Giants events and we were both early YEO members together. At the time, Martin had recently started a company called Trinet which today is a large and successful PEO. We’ve been friends for 20 years so it was easy for me to say yes to spend two days with Martin in Upstate New York and help him further his mission of expanding the entrepreneurial communities throughout the region.
Martin’s organization, Upstate Venture Connect, is hosting me on February 2nd and 3rd in Ithaca, Rochester, and Syracuse. The full agenda is on the website and the public events include:
2/2/11: 4:30p – 5:30p: Sage Hall Room B9, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
2/2/11: 6:00p – 8:30p: UVANY Capital Forum, Ithaca Country Club, 189 Pleasant Grove Road, Ithaca
2/3/11: 11:30a – 1:30p: Somewhere in Rochester (TBD, hopefully by 2/3/11!)
2/3/11: 3:00p – 4:30p: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester
If you are interested in getting together, go check out the agenda which lists who to contact and how to register for the various events. If you bring a copy of Do More Faster, I’ll happily sign it. And yes, I realize that it is very cold in Upstate New York in February. Hopefully we’ll generate some entrepreneurial heat together.
TechStars is currently accepting applications for the Boston program in the spring of 2011. Do More Faster and go apply now if you’ve been thinking about it.
Today Howard Lindzon takes on Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC in his Do More Faster interview series. Jeff has been an awesome TechStars mentor since the very first Boulder program in 2007, has made a number of investments in TechStars companies, and has co-invested with me and my partners at Foundry Group in several companies, including SendGrid, Gnip, and Next Big Sound.
Jeff has been Doing More Faster since I met him – he’s one of the most prolific investors in consumer Internet companies and his firm SoftTech VC was the original “micro-VC firm.” He also has thought hard about how to Do More Faster by “decoupling value provided from time spent”, something that is key for anyone who is as an active investor as Jeff is.
If you go to Feld Thoughts, TechStars, or David Cohen’s web site, you’ll notice a little red tab on the right side of the browser that says “Marginize”. If you want a chance to win a copy of Do More Faster, click it!
Marginize is one of the TechStars Boston 2010 companies. Since their soft launch at the end of the TechStars program a few months ago, their users of the Marginize browser add-on have used it on over 150,000 sites. They’ve just launched their new publisher widget and are on a number of sites, including Boston.com and Xconomy. Marginize enables an additional social interaction layer on existing web sites, including things like checkins, shares, comments and badges.
For example, see who has earned the Do More Faster badge by visiting one of Feld Thoughts, TechStars, or David Cohen’s web site. Our friends at Marginize will choose three random winners from the full group of Do More Faster badge holders on Wednesday night, so you time to check in is short. All you need to do to earn the badge is take a Marginize action on one of the three sites (write, reply, like, or check in.) Since you use your Twitter, Facebook, or Buzz credentials to sign in, the Marginize folks will message the winners directly to coordinate getting them a book.
Today’s interview on Do More Faster is Greg Gottesman, a managing director at Madrona Venture Group in Seattle. Greg was instrumental in bring TechStars to Seattle and has been a great friend and co-investor over the years. Among other things, Greg teaches at University of Washington and recently built a class around Do More Faster.
Greg’s chapter is on the characteristics that define an innovative startup culture. He’s also part of a firm that just celebrated its 15th anniversary with a fun roast reflecting on their successes, failures, and missed deals.