Prateek

Where Are They Now? Prateek, Former TW Intern

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Spotlight by: Christy Torres

Each Tech Wildcatters’ class is accompanied by a group of bright-eyed individuals willing to dedicate hours of their day working as our interns. Coming from all walks of life, each intern brings a unique perspective to the atmosphere at TW.

The Tech Wildcatters’ intern program provides an environment that allows each individual the space to grow professionally, discover what their talents are, and hone in on those new found skills. Using the new platform TW has given them, many of our interns take what they’ve learned and put it to practice in their future endeavors.

We caught up with Prateek, former Class of #Twenty15 intern and current student at the UTD, shortly after he landed in India for what some might call a “summer venture” to hear first-hand how he felt about his experience as a TW intern.

What did you love most about working at TW?

“Meeting people. From the TW staff to the mentors, from investors to the genius brains behind the startups in the Class of 2015, and being a part of the Dallas Startup Ecosystem, I miss every bit of it! I would love to be back and help out in any way I could!”

What lessons learned help with what you’re doing now?

“The whole experience of working at TW was a lesson on its own. It taught me a lot of things, from how entrepreneurs should think, how investors think, how to overcome and pivot from obstacles, from appreciating the help you receive and to help anyone in any way you could. All these things and more really help me at my current job.”

What are you doing now?

“I’m working as an investment analyst at an early-stage investment firm called YourNest Angel Fund. My responsibilities are to look at different deal flows that come through our website and LinkedIn page and  help the Fund manager and Associates with their due diligence. Additionally, I’m also exploring different sectors and spaces to find hot new startups to invest in.”

Any additional comments you would like to add?

“It was a wonderful experience working at TW and I greatly appreciate the things I have learned there! Also, I wish TW the best of luck with their new EMERGE program!”

Interns!

Quick Pitch Recap: Through Interns, Startups and Pictures

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Quick Pitch was all kinds of amazing this year! And our interns really helped to make the event as great as it was. Deep in the trenches, they helped everything to run smoothly. So who better to recap than two of them? Carolina and Stephanie help us to get an inside look at Quick Pitch 2015.

Heels clicking on the floor, the snapping of camera lens, and groups softly mumbling were some of the sounds you might have heard at our Quick Pitch earlier this February. It was an exhilarating time to hear startup companies pitch their ideas.

But behind the scenes was where the real magic happened…

Our new Office Manager Dom shined as he furiously got everything ready for Quick Pitch. From carrying soda, ice bags and food to organizing and delegating tasks, our very own Hulk made Quick Pitch an enjoyable experience for the companies. Startups were bonding and actively listening over hot tea, others were helping each other to calm their nerves with jokes. Some kept to themselves and softly practiced their pitches in their designated work spaces/corners.

Once the pitches were over, Carolina recalls more than a few sighs of relief.

At the happy hour, some of the groups were like kids on a playground, nervous about who to talk to. But then the booze started flowing, connections were made, and everyone became more comfortable. There were more than a few intense foosball and ping-pong games!

As females, we were inspired watching women officiate a male dominated industry with professionalism and poise. Gabriella, Clarisa, Molly and Maggie were in their element as they led the Quick Pitch event.

Even though we’ve only been here for two weeks, our fellow interns have banded together and formed a unique bond. It was fun to watch some of the startups around us start to develop the same kind of friendships. Once the Tech Wildcatters Class of 2015 officially is set in stone, these relationships will only grow stronger. And it all started with Quick Pitch!

And what about our startup participants?

“We got a chance to meet a lot of the other finalists who all had great ideas, and we’re looking forward to being part of the best Tech Wildcatters class yet!”

“It was great to see everyone involved at Tech Wildcatters doing such a great job; it was inspiring to see their heart and soul.”

“[It was] excellent! We’ve pitched to a few other angel groups and TW was at the top of the list.”

“Awesome! I loved everyone’s no BS attitude. I think it showed a culture of accountability.”

“Thank god for the happy hour.”

Enterprise, Wearables and Data: What We’ve Seen in This Year’s Applications

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It’s always interesting to look into the metrics around our application process.
We don’t release all the stats, but here’s a sneak peak.

Where do people find us and which sites do they apply on?

We accept applications on our website, f6s.com and Angelist. This year our site and f6s.com were pretty close. We are a founding member and the US launch partner for f6s, so have been using their platform to drive applications and give away free startup resources for a few years now. Angelist started taking applications a little over a year ago and don’t market them as heavily, which is where I assume the disparity comes from.

As for how people find us, being consistently ranked in the top 10 of accelerators is extremely helpful, as is your everyday google search. We also show up and speak at lots of events throughout the year and of course our favorite are the mentor referred companies. Yes, we’re a little like VC’s in that a trusted referral makes our decision much easier. But we look at and consider each and every application.

Application-SOURCE-GRAPHIC

What kind of tech are they building?

While we always have a few consumer apps sneak into our applicant pool, most of the companies fit our basic criteria of the majority of their revenue expected from businesses. This means b2b2c is perfectly acceptable.

That’s where we’ve seen a major uptick in wearable and IoT. With successes like Validic, a lot of startups are considering more heavily the use of connected devices in enterprise and government.

Flowing from the hardware connections comes data. Lots of uses of this data, and it really doesn’t matter where it comes from. A person, a machine, the web…all produce data that can lead to information that will ultimately lead to action/outcome. We’re excited about all parts of the information flow, from collection to dissemination to analytics to application.

It’s going to be a great year at Tech Wildcatters!

 

The Rockstar + The Next Class + The Fortune 500

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Once our team mapped out a plan for 2015, our team didn’t take time to sit around or relax over the holidays…we got down to business.

First, remember how I was on the hunt for a rockstar Program Coordinator? Well, we found her. Meet the amazing Maggie.

Next, Gabriella and I have both been reviewing the hundreds of applications coming in for the program (the deadline has been extended to the 23rd, by the way), meeting teams and I’m keeping Skype in business with calls to founders all over the US and around the world. This being my first time through the process, I’m overwhelmed with the passion I’m hearing from the founders and the ideas they’re bringing to the table. How will we narrow it down to the sweet 16?

Well, behind the scenes, we’ve been meeting with our mentors and have hosted one major review session with our investors to look at the companies applying for Tech Wildcatters. We’ll have another review session once applications close this Friday. We’ll then be reaching out to the finalists and inviting them to Quick Pitch, a private event with our investors here in Dallas on February 3.

The 16 companies selected for the Class of 2015 will receive their formal invitation to join Tech Wildcatters after Quick Pitch.

Today, I’m also excited to share that Tech Wildcatters has launched the first-ever Corporate Innovation Network. This is our answer to the question major corporations bring us often, “How can we work with a startup?” It bridges the gap between early stage companies and the Fortune 500. This is exclusively available to the alums in our network and the companies we select to be part of the Class of 2015.

We’re the first accelerator to be offering a program of this kind, so I encourage you to read more about it and the inaugural corporate partners, here. It’s a game-changer folks.

Told you 2015 was going to be big. Just wait…we’re just getting started.

Molly