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Give First

In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone—especially entrepreneurs—with no expectation of getting anything back.

In the startup world, Give First means simply trying to help anyone—especially entrepreneurs—with no expectation of getting anything back. It's the pay-it-forward principle that builds strong startup networks. Hosts Davi
Latest Episode10/18/2022

Techstars Director of ESG on Being a Responsible Founder and Investor

Ep. 74
When a thoughtful founder or investor is thinking about creating or sustaining long-term value and a company that adapts for the future, they are already inherently thinking about environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG).ESG is for ALL companies - not just the ones focused on the environment.Dr. Mairi-Jane Fox, Director of ESG at Techstars, breaks down the creation of ESG, starting from when companies began to think about their corporate social responsibility (CSR), to the sustainability movement across corporates, and now tracking how companies were addressing ESG issues.“ESG evolved out of those spaces when investors, who are a powerful crew for change, started to realize companies could lose their social license to operate by making poor social choices,” Mairi-Jane says. “ESG is the data-driven thinking about financially material stuff that investors know impacts a company … so that they can manage for those risks or even manage for a positive impact.”Listen as Mairi-Jane and David discuss different examples of ESG responses and how ESG can set up companies for greater success. Also, don’t miss how Techstars is modeling ESG operational standards for its portfolio companies.If you missed the previous ESG takeover episodes, check out episode #66 on the benefits of ESG measurement for your company; episode #68 on how to engage with investors; and episode #69 on what it means to be a b corp.Follow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohenListen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
10/18/2022

Techstars Director of ESG on Being a Responsible Founder and Investor

Ep. 74
When a thoughtful founder or investor is thinking about creating or sustaining long-term value and a company that adapts for the future, they are already inherently thinking about environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG).ESG is for ALL companies - not just the ones focused on the environment.Dr. Mairi-Jane Fox, Director of ESG at Techstars, breaks down the creation of ESG, starting from when companies began to think about their corporate social responsibility (CSR), to the sustainability movement across corporates, and now tracking how companies were addressing ESG issues.“ESG evolved out of those spaces when investors, who are a powerful crew for change, started to realize companies could lose their social license to operate by making poor social choices,” Mairi-Jane says. “ESG is the data-driven thinking about financially material stuff that investors know impacts a company … so that they can manage for those risks or even manage for a positive impact.”Listen as Mairi-Jane and David discuss different examples of ESG responses and how ESG can set up companies for greater success. Also, don’t miss how Techstars is modeling ESG operational standards for its portfolio companies.If you missed the previous ESG takeover episodes, check out episode #66 on the benefits of ESG measurement for your company; episode #68 on how to engage with investors; and episode #69 on what it means to be a b corp.Follow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohenListen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
9/27/2022

Endel CEO and Co-Founder on the Future of Sound

Ep. 72
Imagine always having a soundscape that adapts to what you're doing and what you need to get done without the need to manually select a playlist. This is the future with Endel, an app that utilizes circadian rhythms and the neuroscience study of how sound influences the cognitive state. “It's an ever-present sound that follows you everywhere during the day across all channels and platforms Endel is available on. And it just proactively shifts between different modes, depending on what you're doing right now,” says Oleg Stavisky, CEO and co-founder of Endel. “The end game for me, in terms of how the product looks, is just this one play button. You press play, you go about your day.”Listen as Oleg found the Techstars Music Accelerator and how it cultivated his Give First mindset. In particular, Oleg had a life-changing experience with one mentor who introduced him to hundreds of investors and was very involved in helping him succeed. Now, Oleg is helping to cultivate the startup community in Berlin. Also, don’t miss Oleg share Endel’s accomplishments, from being named the 2020 Apple watch app of the year and 2021 best of Google Play to the massive amount of user stories that tell of lives changed. “We get thousands of emails now. That’s what makes me come to work every day and say we are doing something very, very special,” Oleg says. Try the Endel app for 3-months at no cost using this promo link: https://code.endel.io/?code=techstarsFollow Oleg Stavitsky on Twitter @stvtskFollow David Cohen on Twitter @davidcohenListen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
7/20/2022

ESG Takeover: Soona CEO and UN PRI Head of Private Equity on How to Engage with Investors

Ep. 68
In this second ESG takeover episode, Dr. Mairi-Jane Fox, who helps lead ESG at Techstars, talks with Soona CEO and Co-Founder Liz Giorgi and UN-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment Head of Private Equity Peter Dunbar about different aspects of engaging with investors, including investor diligence, transparent conversations, and discussing ESG practices.First, Liz Giorgi explains the development of the candor clause, and how it benefits startup founders regardless of their identity. The candor clause helps facilitate open, honest conversations about investors' practices, and ultimately allows founders to make informed decisions about who they are taking money from.“That kinda conversation is unparalleled in terms of building a better relationship with that investor and just really understanding who you're going into business with in the long run,” Liz Giorgi said.Then, listen as Peter describes what it means for venture capital firms and investors when they become signatories of the UN PRI. Among other requirements, signatories generally work toward implementing six principles for ESG and responsible investing which founders can consider when pitching to them“Given the requirements of being a signatory and the principles themselves, VC signatories should really be looking to engage with startups and founders on ESG topics and be actively considering them in their investment decision-making processes,” Peter said.Follow Liz Giorgi on Twitter @lizgiorgiListen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.