20VC: Techstars Founder, David Cohen on Scaling Techstars Ventures and Investing In Uber, Twilio and Sendgrid

Posted on 27th June 2016 by Harry

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David Cohen is the founder and managing partner at Techstars, so a few amazing stats on techstars first, they have a total of 762 companies of which 90% are active or have been acquired, having raised more than 2bn in funding. As for David he is a serial entrepreneur having founded Pinpoint Technologies which was acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation in 1999. David was also the founder and CEO of earFeeder.com, a music service which was sold to SonicSwap.com in 2006.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made the transition from Founder to VC with Techstars and Fund I?

2.) Fund I is one of the most successful funds in history; what was the structure with Fund I? Why did David choose a $5m fund size? How did he decide initial to follow on ratio?

3.)  Why was David so valuation sensitive with Fund I? Why was David so rigid on a consistent cheque size on Fund I?

4.)  Why did David decide to expand from being a solo GP fund? What are the challenges and complexities of fund scaling and did David approach this?

5.) Question from Ari Newman: What does David think about uncapped notes? Why does David like big boring companies? Brett Jackson: How did you meet Ryan Graves @ Uber and how did the Uber deal come about? Jason Seats: Where does David still see inefficiencies in the current venture model?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave Book: The Soul Of Money

David’s Fave Blog: Mattermark Daily

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and David on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Snapchat here!


If you are looking to make your move into the world of VC or improve your investing skills,  Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a must! It is a 2 week crash course at Stanford run by Stanford Professional Development Centre and 500 Startups. You will learn the mechanics of all things Silicon Valley investing, check it out here.

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