TechStars: The final countdown


photo by CNNMoney

In downtown New York, steps away from Union Square, in a building eight floors up, through a set of glass doors, startup founders are talking to themselves.

They’re walking around an open office filled with computers, iPads, and all sorts of tech devices, gesturing their hands, looking expressive, passionate, and convincing.

It’s all in preparation for their ultimate pitch during TechStars NYC Demo Day.

In 5 days, 11 startups will present their ideas to an audience of no less than 400 investors who have flown in from around the country to hear them. No pressure, huh?

Back in January, the mentoring-and-seed-cash program selected finalists for its first crop of New York startups. Out of 600 applications, just those 11 made the cut.

For the last three months, the startups have been working night and day to build their companies and prepare for demo day.

"Present[ing] in front of 500 investors is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," TechStars director David Tisch said.

Investors like Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson, Betaworks co-founders John Borthwick and Andy Weissman, Brad Feld, and VCs from Accel, Sequoia, and Greylock will be in the audience.

Two of the 11 startups already have funding, while another 5 have started on funding rounds.

Until the big day, the group of founders arrive early. They leave late. The downtown office, painted with New York City landscapes is full of people coding, polishing their products, working on financial projections, changing presentation slides and keeping downtown coffee shops in business.

Right now we can’t provide specific details about the companies, but from what I saw yesterday, it should be an interesting show. We’ll be covering. -Laurie