I wish TechStars would have been around in '93..
My first business was fairly late in life. I started it as moonlight gig back in 1993. I had some success at NASA with some 2D visualization software I had written to graph time history data. Everyone thought it was awesome, so I took advantage of the software being in the public domain, rewrote it to be better and tried marketing it and selling it on my own. By the time all the credit card bills were added up I spent something like $10K which was surely the extent of my credit at that point in time. I sold….exactly two copies. The first to a research firm somewhere in Canada for $395, and the second back to NASA, source code and all for something shy of $20K. It worked out for the best as that $20K allowed us to move to Colorado where things worked out much better..
I will say it was a great learning experience however.
Now, a few lucky people can start their first company without using $10K in credit from their credit cards. Its called TechStars and I think its one of the coolest things I have heard of lately. TechStars was started by David Cohen, Brad Feld, Jared Polis, and David Brown.
TechStars allows up to 10 teams to receive up to $15K in funding to spend the summer pursuing their first business. And, along the way, get some great advice from successful entrepreneurs in the Boulder area. As someone that has spent the most fruitful part of my career in the Boulder area taking advice from this great collection of people, I have to say this is a rock’in deal. I can’t wait to see the teams and meet the lucky people who get involved.
If they bring it… they will certainly make connections and friends that will last the rest of their professional careers.