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Inside a Techstars Accelerator: Insider Tips and Tricks for Founders from Founders

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Ian Garrett
Phalanx, CEO & Co-founder

Ian Y. Garrett is the CEO and co-founder of Phalanx, which aims to stop cyber threats at the human layer through automatic file encryption.

Ian knows that the best security strategy starts with helping the users it will affect. Ian has gained this insight through his experience as an Army Cyber officer, specializing in offensive operations and capabilities, and his work in the defense sector as a program manager and data scientist. He has spoken at numerous events and conferences on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and the effects of the future of work on cybersecurity.

Ian holds a B.S in Computer Science from the United States Military Academy (West Point), an M.S in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Ph.D. student in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech with research focused on the intersection of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

Jasmine Jones
Cherry Blossom Intimates, Founder + CEO

Jasmine Jones is the founder and CEO of Cherry Blossom Intimates. Inspired by her grandmother's battle with breast cancer, Jasmine created Cherry Blossom Intimates to address the challenge of finding well-fitting post-mastectomy breast prosthetics that match a full range of skin tones. The company offers breast cancer survivors across the nation completely customizable, fully insurance billable breast prosthetics custom created with 3-D printing technology with a state of the art fit experience so that all women can wear the perfect fit. A Fashion Institute of Technology award-winning lingerie designer and Tory Burch fellow, Jasmine designs post-mastectomy bras in inclusive sizes. A former Miss District of Columbia USA, Jasmine was named a Forbes Under 30 Listmaker in the Retail and E-Commerce category. The Techstars backed company closed its $1.25 million seed round in October 2020 making Jasmine one of the few Black women in the world to close over $1 million in venture funding.

Marcus Bullock
Flikshop, CEO/Founder

I want to leverage data and tech to reduce recidivism.

Paige Wilson
Naborforce, Founder

Paige spent the bulk of her career in senior finance roles, including CFO of a public company and most recently Managing Director in investment banking. After struggling with the demands of caring for her aging mother while also trying to balance career and family, she began looking for solutions that could benefit the other 40MM family caregivers facing similar challenges. She found that while the medical community continues to bring innovative solutions, there was a need for support outside of the medical world, often before regular medical care is needed, and sometimes even alongside medical care. Founded in 2018, Naborforce has consistently grown 20% MoM, recently closed on a $2.5MM Seed Round and is positioned to scale. Paige holds a BA in Economics from The University of Virginia.

Keith Camhi
Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator, Managing Director

Keith is the Managing Director of the Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator, run in partnership with Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda French Gates. Previously, he led Techstars's accelerator team globally.


Prior to Techstars, Keith founded and led the rapid growth of FitLinxx (reaching #20 on the Deloitte Fast 500) and Great Play (ranking on Entrepreneur 500 list 3x). He has raised over $50 million in venture funding, holds several patents for sensor and machine vision applications, and loves helping and investing in entrepreneurs who are solving big problems.


How do I get into Techstars? What is the experience like? When is the right stage to participate? Where are the programs around the world that DC area founders can tap into, and what are their themes?

If you've ever asked yourself any of these questions, this panel is for you! Techstars, the #1 early-stage investor in the world by volume according to Crunchbase, has supported over 2500 early-stage companies via its 13-week accelerator model since 2006.

Hear from local Techstars alumni and the Managing Director of Techstars first DC-area program.