It’s showtime, and TechStars New York managing director David Tisch isn’t wearing his normal uniform — an oversized t-shirt bearing the name of one of the startups in his accelerator program.
Instead, he’s opted for a Ralph Lauren oxford, a haircut and a fresh shave as he takes the stage for the program’s second New York demo day. It’s a stark contrast to TechStars New York’s first demo session five months ago, a lower-key and more slapdash affair. This time around, there’s rock-star trappings, right down to the choice of location: Manhattan’s meatpacking district, a nightclub-filled celebrity hotspot.
Welcome to the growing intersection between the tech industry and show biz, where entrepreneurs become cult celebrities and no movie star’s resume is compete without a few angel investments.
TechStars NY sits right on the fault line. The five-year-old incubator program, which began in Boulder, Colo., matches fledgling tech companies up with mentors, technical resources, office space and a bit of cash.
Building a company isn’t the sexiest process — imagine lots of marathon coding sessions and discussions of financial arcana like liquidation preferences — but startups have caught the cultural zeitgeist. Hollywood is taking note.
ABC turned the “entrepreneurs pitch for investors” formula into the reality TV series Shark Tank, now in its third season. TechStars got its own TV treatment this fall with a Bloomberg TV series, which tracked the accelerator’s debut New York class through their three-month mentorship. The final episode, which aired this week, ended the way all good reality shows do: with a sit-down cast reunion designed to recap the highlights and stir up fresh drama.
“The TechStars TV show on Bloomberg TV is our answer to Jersey Shorewithout the spray tans,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg quipped this week at TechStars demo day. . . (READ MORE)
By Laurie Segall
Published at CNNMoney
Photo: Adam Katz Sinding