Give First

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Heidi Roizen on meaningful work & relationships

Ep. 13
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 long way toward describing the deeply humane perspective on the role of venture capital that Heidi brings to her current role as a partner at Threshold Ventures.

Heidi was an entrepreneur herself for 14 years before exploring other career options (VP of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple, for example) and eventually settling in as a venture capitalist—or “mentor capitalist,” as she sometimes says, in a nod to the profound importance of mentorship in the role.

Heidi likes to joke that “entrepreneurs should be really careful about picking their venture partners, because the average VC relationship lasts longer than the average American marriage, and it’s probably easier to get rid of your spouse than it is to get rid of your venture capitalists.” There’s truth hidden in that joke: the VC-entrepreneurship relationship is a human relationship, not just a financial one. Heidi takes the human side just as seriously as the financial. She wants success in all areas, and sees how thoroughly the two are entwined.

For Heidi, “the true path to happiness is to have meaningful work and meaningful relationships.” She’s achieving this by working with amazing startups that are making the world a better place, and helping to make them better companies. That sounds like Give First to us.

Listen for Heidi’s fantastic insights about how life and work mesh—and listen all the way through for stories about Heidi’s epic underground casbah from the dot com boom and why one of Heidi’s kids calls Brad Feld “toenail boy.”

Get more of Heidi’s insights, plus a full list of companies, people, and resources mentioned in this conversation.

Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast.

This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars.  Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.

More Episodes

3/17/2021

Maëlle Gavet on helping entrepreneurs around the world create a better world

Ep. 38
In this episode of the Give First podcast, two of the original Techstars founders, David Cohen and Brad Feld, talk with the new Techstars CEO, Maëlle Gavet.If you love Techstars, this one is a must listen, a passing of the torch from the first generation of Techstars leadership to the next.If you want to learn about Techstars, listen for insight into what the company stands for, values, and does.Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed — through accelerators, mentorship, and a worldwide network. And we do this because we believe entrepreneurs around the world can create a better future for all. That’s why David and Brad (and David Brown and Jared Polis — yes, Techstars had four founders, and one of them is now governor of Colorado) started the company. And it’s why Maëlle is the perfect choice to take Techstars to the next level.Want to learn more about Maëlle? Read her book, Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It, which offers a stunning condemnation of the bad behavior of tech companies and CEOs — and solutions for a more empathic tech industry.Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars.Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.
3/9/2021

Sean Paul Shanor on the joy of running Startup Weekends

Ep. 37
In this episode of the Give First podcast, Techstars cofounder and Chairman of the Board David Cohen talks with Synergy Space Founder and Techstars Startup Weekend Facilitator Sean Paul Shanor about what he finds so compelling about Startup Weekend.Sean Paul has helped run over a dozen Startup Weekends in eight countries, and in addition has become a startup coach, using the expertise gained from all those Startup Weekends to help entrepreneurs keep going when they get stuck.Listen for the story of how he transitioned from running golf tournaments in Dubai to helping entrepreneurs in his home country Norway, and beyond — and for insight into how Sean Paul truly lives Give First. Techstars personnel and/or guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, and not the opinion of either Techstars or any company discussed in this podcast. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities are for illustrative and/or informational purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by Techstars.Certain of Techstars funds own (or may own in the future) securities in some of the companies discussed in this podcast.