Changes at TechStars Boston

As most of the people around me know, this fall has been nothing short of insane for me. Good insane, but insane. I’ve been trying to hire an EA for the last three weeks – but haven’t had the bandwidth. That’s what it’s come to! Oy!

This spring I started a new company play140 which has now raised seed funding, is growing to five employees, and launches formally in a few weeks. I started teaching this year in a new masters program at Boston University, which has been rewarding, but certainly time consuming. Of course once TechStars Boston 2010 wrapped, I started working on preparations for TechStars Boston 2011. Oh – and I have a wife and two kids and a house and some consulting clients 😉 .

Something had to give.

When applications opened last week for TechStars Boston 2011, the reality of the 24-hours-in-a-day constraint started settling in. David Cohen, CEO of TechStars, and I had a number of back-and-forths and we’ve come to the conclusion that I should bow out of TechStars.

David has asked me to stay on as a mentor in Boston, which I, of course, plan to do! We do not have a new Managing Director for Boston sorted out, but are obviously working feverishly on that now. If you know someone you think could be a good fit, let us know!

Obviously this is a sad transition for me. However, I am immensely proud of what I have been able to accomplish getting TechStars setup, running, and now firmly-established in my home town. Go Boston! To whoever takes over for 2011: please don’t fuck it up! 🙂 .

The last two years of running TechStars Boston have been an incredible incredible experience. I have to thank a bunch of amazing people without whom the two programs wouldn’t have been a success. First, the 19 stupendous TechStars Boston companies from the 2009 and 2010 programs, who continue to kick ass. Second, the AMAZING Boston mentors, whose dedication and willingness to help the next generation of entrepreneurs appears to know no bounds. Thank you thank you thank you. Third, the bold investors who were willing to make TechStars a reality in Boston. Fourth, the stellar interns, advisors, and Diane & Elizabeth – all of whom kept the wheels on the car as it careened along its way! And last, but certainly not least, David Cohen who created TechStars and made the whole thing possible; and Brad Feld who thought I might really dig this – you were right, dude – thanks!


  1. Mark Tortorella

    Many people have you to thank for guidance, connections and opportunities via TechStars (myself very much included). The ecosystem that develops around play140 is lucky to have you.

  2. Nap

    Thanks for everything Shawn. The program under your leadership — and the whole experience — was awesome. We’re really lucky to be part of the TechStars family. I can’t imagine that your shoes (vibram five fingers) will be easy to fill. Or sanitary. Best of luck with play140 and all the other madness you’re involved with. See you soon!

  3. Pingback: TechStars » Seed capital and mentorship for startups

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