The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at SU Libraries is pleased to host a very special guest, George Dawson ’08, who will be joining us from Techstars headquarters in Boulder, Colorado for a Fireside Chat on Friday, November 1 at 4 p.m. at Bird Library. As Techstars Fund Controller, Dawson leads Techstars’ fund and investment finance team which oversees 50+ venture capital funds and internal investment vehicles, and a portfolio of approximately 4,000 investments. George is responsible for all aspects of portfolio company valuations, accounting, investor reporting, operations, and fund structuring, and plays a critical role in Techstars’ capital formation efforts.
Prior to Techstars, Dawson was the Assistant Controller at JLL Partners, a mid-market private equity firm in New York. Earlier in his career, Dawson worked at EY and KPMG, where he served large private equity, venture capital, hedge fund, mutual fund, and fund of fund clients. He is a licensed CPA in New York and graduated in 2008 from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management with a dual major in Accounting and Finance and a minor in Economics.
Dawson will be discussing startup finance topics of interest such as valuation, incorporation, term sheet economics and terms, cap tables, convertible notes and other investment structures, as well as how to prepare for investment. He will also be sharing best practices for startups, and common pitfalls seen by Techstars. The informal, intimate Fireside Chat, will be an insightful look into the world of startup finance from inside one of the most prestigious accelerator programs in the world.
Techstars is invested in several Syracuse University startups, including SparkCharge and PowerSpike. and recently, Visos received funding from the Techstars Lift program.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, recently announced a $42M investment led by SVB Financial Group, the holding company of Silicon Valley Bank, with additional participation from existing investors including Foundry Group. This funding will accelerate Techstars’ growth to help more entrepreneurs succeed through seed-stage accelerators, global startup ecosystem activations, corporate innovation, and entrepreneur-focused events.
Techstars consists of both an investment management business with $500 million in assets under management as well as an operating business that is rapidly approaching $100 million in annual revenue.
Techstars’ investment activity now includes 49 accelerator programs in 35 cities across 16 countries, deploying $80 million into nearly 500 startups on an annual basis. The Techstars portfolio of 1,900 companies currently attracts an annual $2 billion in downstream investment from the venture capital industry. Techstars also invests in global emerging startup communities by operating approximately 1,000 annual Techstars Startup Weekend events in 600 cities across 120 countries to help surface and support future high growth companies.
“Being the largest and most active global seed investor requires a mindset and approach that is completely distinct from traditional venture capital,” said Techstars Co-CEO David Cohen. “Techstars has created and is scaling an entirely new type of early-stage private equity asset.”
Through its operating activities, Techstars partners with nearly 100 corporations to provide corporate innovation solutions. Techstars is also an active partner with cities such as Buffalo (NY), Louisville (KY), and Turin (Italy) to further develop their startup communities.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars enables founders to connect with entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars accelerator alumni including Classpass, DataRobot, DigitalOcean, Outreach, Pillpack, Remitly, SalesLoft, SendGrid, and Zipline have a current market cap of more than $22 billion. Founded in 2006 by co-founders and co-CEOs David Cohen and David Brown, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Brad Feld, and the current Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, Techstars is known for developing the principle of #givefirst, a core value of giving to and helping others without a direct expectation of a transactional return. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Techstars employs more than 280 people across 20 countries. Learn more at www.techstars.com