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10 Questions with Jenny Fielding of Techstars

Jenny Fielding is the Managing Director of TechStars, investing in Hardware, FinTech and The Internet of Things.

Inspiration

WHAT’S OUT THERE INSPIRING YOU RIGHT NOW?

My next batch of startups, of course. I got my FinTech group in the spring, and IOT in the fall. Lots of good companies coming through my door.

(NOTE: New IoT applications are open, see below and apply!)

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A GOAL IS WORTH ACHIEVING?

In the tech world we tell a lot of early stage entrepreneurs to do a lot of customer discovery, so go talk to of customers, and hear what they are saying, not what you want to hear.

YOUR TWITTER PROFILE SAYS ‘IN SEARCH OF AWESOME”? HOW DO YOU FIND AWESOME BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE DOES?

I think developing relationships is what it’s about. So once you have the ear of the community, you hear about things first, and that’s a really great moment, when people come to you before they’ve gone to other people to raise money, because they are excited about you as an investor.

…HOW DO YOU BECOME THE FIRST OR SECOND PHONE CALL INSTEAD OF THE THIRD OR FOURTH?

One of the things we try to do at TechStars is give feedback to as many people as possible. We get a lot of inbound, and they are not necessarily companies I’m going to take into my program, or will have a connection with TechStars, but I try to help them out, whether it’s helping them think through their deck, or providing one or two connections to people they want to meet, I try to do that for the community.

That’s really about giving back, and giving first.

EDUCATION

WHAT DOES YOUR MEDIA DIET LOOK LIKE RECENTLY?

I just read a really good book called Get Backed by Evan Baehr and Evan Lumas. There were a lot of interesting points in that. Otherwise I’m just a big consumer of all the tech rags like everyone else.

I’m getting really into podcasts, I’ve been listening to Strictly VC. I think that’s where the world seems to be going. I’m all about the podcasts. People should indulge.

WHAT’S THE MOST ACTIONABLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

Stop talking about it, and just go do it.

WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT FROM YOU AT THE 2016 PROPELLER INNOVATION FESTIVAL THAT THEY WON’T GET ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD?

Practical tips, real advice, and nothing sugar coated.

FUN

DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW FAVORITE APPS, HARDWARE, GADGETS OR TOYS?

Sphero BB8- the toy from Star Wars movie. They’re a Tech Stars company.

SOME PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF CROSSING THE RIVER… WHY SHOULD PEOPLE FROM NEW YORK MAKE THE TRIP TO JERSEY FOR THE 2016 PROPELLER INNOVATION FESTIVAL?

The view is better.

Touché.

THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOT OF HIGH FIVES AT THE FESTIVAL. WHAT’S A GOOD REASON FOR A HIGH FIVE?

A company doing a killer presentation at the startup competition.

AN ASK FOR THE AUDIENCE?

Applications are now open for our Internet of Things Program so I’d love all the great companies out there to check it out and get involved.

CHECK IT OUT + APPLY NOW

#nothingsugarcoated #letspropel

@jefielding @letspropel

Propeller Media and PropellerFest are not associated with Propeller Industries, LLC. PropellerFest is now Propelify.

About the Author Anthony Idi