Cover art for podcast Give First

Give First

33 EpisodesProduced by TechstarsWebsite

In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone—especially entrepreneurs—with no expectation of getting anything back. It's the pay-it-forward principle that builds strong startup networks. Hosts David Cohen and Brad Feld—Techstars cofounders, lifelong entrepreneurs, and startup … read more

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Susan Standiford on the five traits of leadership

October 2nd, 2020

25:13

Susan Standiford’s impressive career has progressed from “nerdom central” to helping startup companies “create a technology, ethos, and identity” for …

Joy Taylor on taking the concept of Give First to the nth degree

September 18th, 2020

32:04

Joy Taylor is a force of nature. Coming from a 20-year career in the banking industry (business development, coaching, and training), she now focuses on ecosystem building in her hometown of Toowoomba, Australia — and …

Gus Balbontin on fighting momentum and setting up your own success metric

September 11th, 2020

28:26

In this episode, Gus Balbontin speaks with host David Cohen about the dangers of building momentum, and how it’s important for entrepreneurs to “look sideways” to meet new challenges. He tells stories about his own …

Semil Shah on turning ideas into reality

August 28th, 2020

22:51

Brad Feld talks with Semil Shah, founder of the venture capital fund Haystack, who shares his inspiring founder story. With limited experience in the entrepreneurial world, Semil relied on his mentors to see the …

Chris Schroeder on the power of global entrepreneurship

August 21st, 2020

32:38

In this episode, Chris Schroder opens up with Brad Feld about how a “mind blowing” discovery at a startup convention in the Middle East inspired him to promote global entrepreneurship. With a background in digital …

Misti Cain on how to connect during COVID-19

August 13th, 2020

26:04

Misti Cain speaks with David Cohen about her journey from a digital marketing strategist to Techstars Anywhere Accelerator mentor, founder of mentorship platform Whyzze, and host of “Werrrk!,” a business reality …

Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship with Dream Tank

August 5th, 2020

28:35

Co-host David Cohen and guest Heidi Cuppari discuss how she co-founded Dream Tank to truly tap into the radical imagination of children. What started …

Brad Feld and the mentor who changed his life

July 24th, 2020

40:01

In this episode, Brad Feld is joined by Techstars’ Chief Revenue Officer Frank Alfano and past Chief Innovation Officer Jenny Lawton to talk with their mentor – Len Fassler. They each share their unique experiences …

Philip McKernan on the importance of reinventing yourself

February 6th, 2020

31:11
Philip McKernan talks with David Cohen about how to find your purpose in life and his work with entrepreneurs. Through his coaching, he encourages …

David & Brad on what they’ve learned from 20 episodes of the Give First podcast

January 21st, 2020

19:29
Back in June 2019, David Cohen and Brad Feld looked back at their first six episodes of the Give First podcast, and decided that while they were pretty pleased, they’d probably need to do about 20-30 to really hit their …

Live from CES: SparkCharge Founder/CEO Joshua Aviv on the unique challenges (and opportunities) of student entrepreneurship

January 9th, 2020

24:15
Techstars VP of Network John Hill sat down with SparkCharge Founder and CEO Joshua Aviv live from the floor of Eureka Park.

Josh talks about how he started SparkCharge at Syracuse University, the life-changing impact of …

Live from CES: Damon Motorcycles Co-founder and CTO Dominique Kwong on the power of business and engineering partnerships and the emotional journey behind building a company

January 9th, 2020

22:29
Damon Motorcycles Co-founder and CTO (and Techstars Mobility alum) Dominique Kwong talks with Techstars VP of Network John Hill about the unstoppable power of business and engineering partnerships, launching at CES, and …

Live from CES: Event Hub CEO and Co-founder Michael Bleau on the power of live events

January 8th, 2020

24:40
Eureka Park at CES is one of the most influential startup events in the world. Techstars VP of Network John Hill sat down with Event Hub CEO and Co-founder Michael Bleau live from the floor of Eureka Park.

They dug in to …

Live Episode: Josh Hix on the introverted CEO

December 12th, 2019

26:59
Plated Co-founder Josh Hix knows about leading a growing team. He remembers taking the company through Techstars New York City in 2013, coming into the program with about seven people, and leaving with closer to 37. The …

Rajat Bhargava on Giving First for a B2B company

November 5th, 2019

31:03
Rajat Bhargava, CEO of JumpCloud, has started a lot of companies—the first, NetGenesis, while he was still a student at MIT. And his friendship with Give First co-host Brad Feld goes right back to that initial foray …

Elizabeth Kraus on funding women-led companies

October 23rd, 2019

25:01
MergeLane, a VC fund that invests in startups and venture funds with at least one female leader, has an unusual aspiration, written in bold on its …

Jason Mendelson on demystifying venture deals

October 9th, 2019

22:11
Jason Mendelson, co-founder of Foundry Group, can explain what matters in negotiations between entrepreneurs and VCs in just two words: Control and …

Janet Bannister on human-centered investing

September 24th, 2019

30:00
Today, Janet Bannister is a Partner at Real Ventures, but when Founding Partners John Stokes and Jean-Sebastien Cournoyer first approached her about joining to give the firm a presence in Toronto, Janet was nonplussed. …

Heidi Roizen on meaningful work & relationships

September 12th, 2019

31:34
Heidi Roizen has called herself a recovering entrepreneur. Wendy Lea has called Heidi “the epitome of Give First.” Both of these are true, and go a …

Marc Nager & Dave Mayer on building rural startup communities

September 3rd, 2019

32:31
Too many people believe that you have to be in Silicon Valley—or some similarly hyped tech-obsessed locale—to be an entrepreneur. Techstars knows …

Bonus Episode Alert: Do More Faster, 2nd edition

August 20th, 2019

9:15
Back in 2010, David Cohen and Brad Feld distilled their knowledge about how to #domorefaster into a book, fleshed out with many, many stories from startup founders, investors, and other players in the startup ecosystem. …

Harry Stebbings on committing to building a network & giving first

August 13th, 2019

32:55
Stride.VC founder Harry Stebbings is probably best known for his podcast, The Twenty Minute VC, the world's largest media asset in venture, with over 5 million downloads per month. He’s talked with amazing Venture …

John China on whether you can give too much

July 31st, 2019

23:41
In over 23 years at Silicon Valley Bank, John China has made it his mission to make connections between entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and more. Many, many entrepreneurs at Techstars and beyond have benefitted …

Sherri Hammons on staying humble and staying strong

July 23rd, 2019

22:17
Today, Sherri Hammons is CTO of The Nature Conservancy, but as she admits, “I took the nontraditional path to CTO land.” This path included eight …

Rebecca Lovell on career ‘nudges,’ karaoke, & how to be an ally

July 16th, 2019

25:54
Rebecca Lovell plays, as Brad Feld says, “a very important role in the center of gravity for the Seattle startup community.” Currently Director at …

David & Brad reflect on the first six episodes of the Give First podcast

June 26th, 2019

29:39
With six full episodes of the Give First podcast under their belts, David Cohen and Brad Feld reflect on their recent interviews and duty as podcast …

Kesha Cash on impact investing—and how mentorship got her there

June 18th, 2019

27:17
Kesha Cash founded Impact America Fund in 2013 with a goal of investing in software and tech enabled companies that have a positive benefit on underserved communities in America. In 2018, she was named one of Fast …

T.A. McCann on how sailing in the America’s Cup is like running a startup

June 11th, 2019

26:43
David Cohen was super excited when he realized that T.A. McCann—founder and CEO of Senosis (acquired by Google), Gist (acquired by Blackberry) and Rival IQ, a leader in marketing analytics, as well as Managing Director …

Mary Grove on the origins of Google for Startups & Startup Weekend

June 4th, 2019

28:15
Mary Grove is passionate about community-driven change, and this theme has guided her entire career. She joined Google when it had only 2,000 employees, and by the time she left it was up to around 75,000. Over 14 …

Troy Henikoff on how #GiveFirst grew the Chicago startup ecosystem

May 28th, 2019

27:40
How does a startup ecosystem grow? #GiveFirst is one essential element.

Troy Henikoff, Managing Director of MATH Ventures and Co-founder of Excelerate Labs, which became Techstars Chicago, remembers the early days of …

Paul Berberian on the “addictive” nature of mentoring

May 21st, 2019

19:48
Have you ever been mobbed in Times Square, like a rock star? Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero, the company that makes BB8, at one time the number one …

Wendy Lea talks about the risks of saying no

May 14th, 2019

16:28
Wendy Lea is a longtime entrepreneur and investor, as well as a board member and mentor at Techstars. With David and Brad, she digs into some of her own first mentoring experiences and reflects on a time when a mentor …

What is Give First?

May 2nd, 2019

3:41
What exactly is Give First? David Cohen and Brad Feld explore what this philosophy of living means to them. In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone, especially entrepreneurs, without any …
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