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During the last few days in Kentucky I was asked some version of the question “how do I get started” a few times. It was usually in the context of “should I write a plan first” or “should I design a full system.” Sometimes it was in the context of “I’m having trouble raising money on my idea.” My answer was some permutation of “just get started, create something, and ship it” which of course could be simplified to “build it.”
Coincidentally The Founders – Episode 6 is titled Build It. I watched it just now and smiled – I could have just pointed some of the people at it. Well – I’ll do that now. Enjoy something on TV – at least TechStars.tv – other than cartoons and politics today.
Are you watching The Founders Season 3 on TechStars.TV? If not, why not? Episode 2 (and Go!) is below – it echoes the points made yesterday in my post If You Can’t Explain What You Do In A Paragraph, You’ve Got A Problem.
There’s a cameo from my dad (Stan Feld) at 2:05. See – even dad’s care about TechStars. In addition to seeing Stan, you get to learn what a 10:10 meeting is. And you get to see the teams struggle with their shitty elevator pitches at the very beginning of the program.
Early this morning I got a note from Allen Morgan pointing to a blog he wrote titled Entrepreneurs: For Venture Capital Pitches, Say What Your Startup “Does” not What It “Is”. It nicely reinforces the point that active voice wins over passive voice. As Allen says at the end, “Be active, not passive. Passive puts audiences to sleep; not good in a pitch where you’re asking for money.”
I’ve written before about the Kinect Accelerator and Microsoft Accelerator. On Monday, the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure companies were announced. The program begins this week and ends in mid-January. Since the program is powered by TechStars, it’ll follow the standard TechStars timeline, finishing up with a demo day at the end of the program.
This is a global class. The companies included in this group hail from from Australia, Germany, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles to join the program in Seattle. I’m psyched to see what these companies build for and on top of Microsoft Azure.
Meet the ten Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure companies that made the cut:
This is the second year that TechStars is running a thematic accelerator in Texas focused just on cloud computing. At Foundry Group, we believe in thematic investing both as a way to organize and filter the massive number of opportunities to look at, but also as a way to build a set of muscles around a sphere of knowledge. It’s been fun to experiment with this approach at TechStars.
While we recognize the tidal wave trend of all technology becoming ‘cloudy’, we are approaching TechStars Cloud with specific focus. The companies in TechStars Cloud are the ones enabling the trend of cloud computing and providing the underlying technology, versus just the ones that are being carried along with it.
An example of just such a company is Cloudability, who is a graduate of last years TechStars Cloud program, who we subsequently funded this past summer. They are taking the pain out of managing and monitoring the dozens and often hundreds of individual cloud provider accounts that companies end up with. It’s a big need and the early success of Cloudability validates this.
Cloud computing is still an amazingly nascent field with opportunities everywhere you look. From database technologies to network, big data to analytics, security to hosting platforms, documents to video, the next wave of companies are turning cloud technology into leverage for all businesses – tech and non-tech. The world now has an API and we call it cloud.
If you are a part of that landscape, or want to be, this is a great first step -> apply.techstars.com. Tell them I sent you.