David Tisch steps down as Managing Director of TechStars NYC
On Friday, well known investor David Tisch announced on his blog that he's stepping down as the managing director of TechStars NYC. In his words, "So with a deep level of appreciation for the experience and sense of pride, I have chosen to take this less-active role to focus on starting and building new projects. I will continue to be actively involved in TechStars NYC, as a Co-Founder, investor, mentor, and participant in the company-selection process." Tisch was one of the founders of TechStars NYC and will stay involved as a mentor and investor. He has strong opinions about the seed accelerators and is pretty disdainful of most them.
In an interview with Tisch by Austin Carr posted on.Fastcompany.com this morning, Tisch is quoted as saying "The majority of accelerators are not good for companies and will fail. There are too many of them. The idea of applying to just any accelerator is totally silly" and later in the interview he goes on to say "Outside the vertical accelerators--the ones that cover, say, health care or energy--I would hesitate to do any accelerator other than TechStars or Y Combinator."
One can read this two ways: (a) he's right-- there *are* too many accelerators, or (b) he's promoting TechStars. It's probably a bit of both.
It's becoming pretty clear to most watchers that there's an over-population of accelerators out there so it's only a matter of time before Darwinian processes start taking over. And that means the competition to find quality startups is getting harder. Consequently promoting ones own accelerator is a survival process -- in other words, good business. And Tisch is a good businessman who knows he needs to compete. For example, according to Jed Christiansen's seed-db database, although TechStars NYC is near the top of the list based on funds raised, it is way, way behind Y-Combinator and less than 40% of TechStars Boulder.