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Sherri Hammons on staying humble and staying strong

Ep. 9
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 years as a professional singer before she went back to college and got a degree in software engineering—and went on to work for companies big and small, as well as being CTO for the state of Colorado. She’s done for-profit, non-profit, and government—and brought technology, strategy, and humane leadership to each role.

Sue Heilbronner, CEO of MergeLane, described Sherri as a “humble badass”—a phrase that host Brad Feld loves. Sherri credits her humbleness to her parents, who taught her to “always give and always be nice to everyone no matter what.” That’s right, Sherri learned to Give First from her family—and she has been guided by that advice throughout her career.

As for the “badass” part, she’s a successful woman CTO. Toughness and strength of character might as well be part of the job description. Sherri sees her upbringing as contributing to this element of her personality as well: “I grew up in Oklahoma, I grew up on a horse, on a farm. And so I know about getting bucked off a bronco and getting back up.”

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

Have a guest idea? Reach out to Brad on Twitter @bfeld or email us at podcasts@techstars.com.


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.