Tag: FounderCon

Bob Metcalfe Tells Startups to Build Their Networks to Succeed

photoBob Metcalfe, professor of Innovation at the University of Texas, spent some time talking with Jason Seats, managing director of Techstars, during a virtual fireside chat at Foundercon in Austin recently.

Metcalfe has held many careers including educator, publisher and columnist, venture capitalist, inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com. He has spent the past three years in Austin at UT and has pledged to make this area a “better Silicon Valley.” He works closely with startups as one of the instructors at the Longhorn Startup program at UT, which teaches undergraduates how to form and run a startup successfully.

In this Techstars video, Metcalfe tells the Techstars founders and staff “You are my favorite people. You are entrepreneurs.”

His advice to startup entrepreneurs is to build their networks to cultivate the success of their startups.

“Building your networks is the most important thing you can do to ensuring the success of your company, your customer networks, your networks of possible employees, your supply networks, your investor networks” Metcalfe said.

“One of the mistakes you can make is to not grok what it means to build a network,” Metcalfe said.

The important thing is that a rolodex must contain trusted sources, Metcalfe said. Entrepreneurs’ networks must be built by exchanging value with those people, he said.

“The first thing that can happen to a network is that you fail to build one,” Metcalfe said.

“The second thing that can go wrong is that your network can be junk,” Metcalfe said. “Some correlation of Metcalfe’s law is that a junky network isn’t worth shit.”

Build your networks and take care of the people in them, he said.

The Largest FounderCon Ever is Being Held in Austin This Week

Brad Feld, co-founder of Techstars with Jason Seats, managing director of Techstars Austin, photo by Laura Lo

Brad Feld, co-founder of Techstars with Jason Seats, managing director of Techstars Austin, photo by Laura Lo

A sea of green shirts will be seen around Austin this week.

First off, Techstars Austin held its Demo Day featuring 11 companies pitching their ventures at the Austin Music Hall on Wednesday.

Now, Techstars FounderCon is underway, which is the annual gathering of Techstars alumni companies from around the world. This is the largest Foundercon ever, said Jason Seats, managing director of Techstars Austin.

This week, 354 founders, 179 Techstars companies and 60 Techstars staff including three of its founders, Brad Feld, David Cohen and David Brown, will meet today and Friday. The meetings, which are closed to press and the public, feature a series of talks and discussions including a fireside chat with Seats interviewing Bob Metcalfe, professor of innovation at UT, inventor of Ethernet and co-founder of 3Com.

Techstars is hosting a party tonight at Mohawk starting at 7 p.m. and a special Austin Open Coffee meetup at Capital Factory beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday.

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