Why I joined Startup Haven as Managing Director of the Accelerator

I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs find their way and I love building businesses. Those of you who know me well will recognize this as my “Massively Transformative Purpose”. That’s why I am thrilled to be joining Bob Crimmins and the Startup Haven team as Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Startup Haven Accelerator.

As I reflect on my 15-year career at Microsoft, I was all about ‘starting.’ While there, I helped launch Excel, Office, IIS, Exchange Server and even Sports and Racing games for the first Xbox (and a couple products that failed! Can you imagine ESPN.com with a Microsoft twist?). Once these businesses were mature, I moved on to help start something new. The passion for starting up is in my blood.

After leaving Microsoft I found myself mentoring Techstars Seattle teams for Andy Sack. I am grateful that he recommended me to launch the first ever Techstars corporate accelerator: The Microsoft Accelerator for Kinect, Powered by Techstars (a mouthful, I know.) At the time, this was a risky experiment for which the playbook had not been written. For the “powered by Techstars” program, my objective was to apply the proven Techstars methodology with a corporate twist, meaning I had permission to try new things. I worked closely with David Cohen, Brad Feld and the rest of the team to figure it all out. Needless to say, I learned from the best.

At Startup Haven, I’ll build on the experience I gained running those Techstars accelerators and working with so many amazing founders. Through it all, I witnessed firsthand the value of acceleration. Techstars alums from that group include MetricsHub, Appetas, Ripl, Realty Mogul, STAQ.IO, and many who are on to their next big thing including TrueLayer, EightSleep, Financial Venture Studio and Seismic. Like a proud father, it gives me great pleasure to see them continue their entrepreneurial journey.

I will always be a raving fan of Techstars. But the Startup Haven Accelerator is different; and that difference is what drew me to this opportunity. We are not just another cookie cutter accelerator. Yes, you’ll get all the usual stuff you get from other accelerators, but here’s what makes us unique:

Proven GroundWork Methodology – There are some key skills and disciplines that an entrepreneur must learn and employ in order to increase their chance of success. The GroundWork methodology has been defined and refined while working with 100’s of startups for more than a decade. We can’t wait to teach it to you!

Executive Mentors – We have regular mentors, too, but our Exec Mentors take it to the next level. They work with our accelerator teams closely throughout the duration of the program – coach, consigliere, confidant.

Startup Haven Ecosystem Support – The Startup Haven membership is a carefully curated group, some two thousand strong, of founders, investors and C-level execs. That network that you can rely on to help you reach your next milestone.

Virtual – The Startup Haven Accelerator was designed from the ground up to be a virtual program. We’re designed to be remote but don’t worry, we’ll have an in-person Startup Poker 2.0 event soon enough!

It’s particularly energizing to take on this challenge moving into 2021, as we tackle the challenges ahead. I hope you’ll join us…apply today!

— Dave Malcolm