David Cohen (entrepreneur)

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David G. Cohen
David Cohen.jpeg
Born 1968
DeLand, Florida
Occupation Founder and CEO, Techstars

David Cohen (born 1968) is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Pinpoint Technologies, iContact.com, and Earfeeder.[1][2] He is also an angel investor with a portfolio of more than 100 companies.[3][4] Cohen is best known as the founder of Techstars, a mentorship-based startup accelerator.[5][6][7]

Cohen delivered the keynote speech at RailsConf2012, a conference dedicated to Ruby on Rails, an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language.[8]

He and Brad Feld co-authored Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup.[5][9]

Early life and education[edit]

Cohen was born in 1968 in DeLand, FL.

Early career[edit]

Cohen began working as a software engineer in 1991 when he became the Director of Development for Automated Dispatch Services, Inc., where he worked until 1994.[7][10]

Cohen founded Pinpoint Technologies in 1993. He served as its CTO and vice president of research and development.[2][5][5] The company developed public safety and EMS dispatch vehicle software.[1][11] Zoll Medical Corporation acquired Pinpoint Technologies in 1999.[1][5] Cohen stayed on with the company until 2004.[2][10]

Cohen then founded iContact.com. iContact.com was a social networking service for mobile devices. It is now defunct.[1] In an interview with weblog The Rise to the Top and on his Techstars profile, Cohen refers to this company as "a graceful failure" because it returned 78% of its funding to outside investors.[5][12][13] Writing on his blog, Cohen said the company “failed well by deciding to cut our losses before we spent all the money trying to make something happen. The writing was on the wall, so we read it.”[12]

In 2006, Cohen founded the music service earFeeder.com.[1][2][5] He developed the company to solve a personal need unmet by the market.[13] SonicSwap bought earFeeder.com in 2006.[1][5]

Techstars[edit]

Cohen is the founder and executive director of Techstars, a startup accelerator program.[1][5][6] Cohen co-founded Techstars in 2006 with Brad Feld,[2][5][13] Jared Polis, and David Brown. The first program ran in 2007.[13] Cohen designed Techstars to improve the existing system of angel investing and to provide more support to startups.[13][14] In a speech at the Future of Entrepreneurship Education Summit, Cohen said that he was particularly interested in improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Techstars' launch city, Boulder, Colorado.[4] Now, Techstars has five locations that accept new startups regularly.[15]

The Techstars experience has also been turned into a reality TV show on Bloomberg TV.[16][17] Techstars invests $118,000 in each of its program startups. The startups also receive mentorship and pitch opportunities during the program.[15] Techstars accepts approximately 1% of applicants.[4][18] The company focuses on transparency and publishes detailed success and failure information of all companies that have gone through Techstars.[14] Cohen controls two private seed-equity funds. He raised his first $5 million fund in 2009. In 2012, he raised $28 million for a second fund.[6][9] Cohen currently manages about $70 million in investments across these funds and Techstars. He tends to fund early stage software and internet companies.[1] To date, Cohen has invested in more than 100 startups as an angel investor.[3][4]

Boards[edit]

Cohen serves on the Board of Advisors of the Computer Science Department of the University of Colorado. He is on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board at Silicon Flatirons.[5][19][20]

Cohen is on the Venture Capital in the Rockies selection committee.[5] Venture Capital in the Rockies showcases up-and-coming startups from the Rocky Mountain region. Entrepreneurs present their businesses to more than 300 investors, service professionals and CEOs.[21][22] [23]

Cohen also serves on the Board of Directors for SendGrid.[1] SendGrid is a cloud-based email infrastructure service provider. It is a Techstars program graduate.[24][25]

Cohen runs the Colorado chapter of the Open Angel Forum.[5] The Open Angel Forum is an open call for startups seeking angel funding to pitch top angel investors, at no charge. The five top entrepreneurs get to pitch their companies to 20 angel investors. The Forum's inaugural event was in Los Angeles, California, in January 2009 and was founded by Jason Calacanis. There are currently nine Open Angel Forum chapters.[12][26]

Cohen has previously served on the Board of Directors for StepOut, EventVue, and IntenseDebate.[1]

Personal[edit]

Cohen is married with three children. In his personal time, Cohen enjoys technology, software startups, and tennis.[5] Cohen lives in Boulder, Colorado.[10]

Works[edit]

Cohen is the co-author of Do More Faster with Brad Feld.[5][9] Do More Faster shares advice for first-time entrepreneurs from the Techstars program. It includes essays from other Techstars mentors and company founders.[3][27] Cohen also blogs at DavidGCohen.com. The blog focuses on startup and technology topics.[5]

In 2012, Cohen delivered the keynote speech at RailsConf2012 and at the inaugural Silicon Prairie Awards.[8][9][28] In 2011, he spoke at the Future of Entrepreneurship Education Summit.[4] He has interviewed for the Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurs Unplugged Series.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "David G. Cohen Crunchbase Profile". Crunchbase.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "David G. Cohen LinkedIn". LinkedIn. 
  3. ^ a b c Cohen, David; Feld, Brad. "Do More Faster Book". 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Entrepreneurs Unplugged: With David Cohen, Executive Director of Techstars". Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. 19 October 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Techstars". Techstars.com. 
  6. ^ a b c "Techstars founder David Cohen turns "power angel" — raises $28M fund". Venturebeat.com. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "How to get a Mentor for your Startup". Dormroomtycoon.com. 
  8. ^ a b "RailsConf Program". Ruby Center. Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ a b c d "Hear Techstars founder David Cohen at the Silicon Prairie Awards event". Silicon Prairie News. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c "David Cohen My professional Story". Vizify.com. 
  11. ^ "Zoll". Zoll.com. 
  12. ^ a b c "Open Angel Forum Boulder #4". davidgcohen.com. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "How Techstars Founder David Cohen Turned A Passion For Technology Into An Incredible Career". Therisetothetop.com. 
  14. ^ a b "Techstars' Davi Cohen on transparency, growth and funding trends". Gigaom.com. 
  15. ^ a b "Techstars The Program". Techstars.com. 
  16. ^ "Bloomberg TV". Techstars.com. 
  17. ^ "Bloomberg TV Techstars episode 1". Techstars.com. 
  18. ^ Markowitz, Eric. "Get Into a Start-up Incubator: Mastering the Video". Inc.com. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Computer Science Advisory Board". University of Colorado. 
  20. ^ "Entrepreneurship Advisory Board". Silicon Flatirons Center. 
  21. ^ "Venture Capital in the Rockies". Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association. 
  22. ^ "Capital Conference". VCIR Winter. 
  23. ^ "Venture Capital in the Rockies Names Presenting Companies". Techrockies.com. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "SendGrid". CrunchBase. 
  25. ^ "Email Delivery. Simplified.". Sendgrid.com. 
  26. ^ "About the Open Angel Forum". openangelforum.com. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  27. ^ Cohen, David; Feld, Brad. "Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup". ISBN 0470929839. 
  28. ^ "Silicon Prairie Awards 2012". Silicon Prairie News. 

External links[edit]