Today, I’m excited to announce that I am joining Techstars as Managing Director of the STANLEY + Techstars Accelerator in Hartford, CT. 

What drew me to join the STANLEY + Techstars Accelerator harks back to my Intel Capital days where I was fortunate to have been an investor and early manager during the company’s formative years. Twenty years ago, Intel Capital was inventing what it meant to be a corporate venture investor with global reach. Today, Stanley Black & Decker “intends to be not just a leader, but to embrace technological change to become a disruptive force (for good) among global diversified industrials”. Having maintained an industry leadership position for more than 175 years, innovation is in the company’s DNA. It stands out across the organization’s leadership, and in their vision for innovation and change driven by technology. I know that working with both Stanley Black & Decker and Techstars, two organizations that share the same priorities of creating environments that allow entrepreneurs to succeed, will be a highly gratifying experience and I’m excited to be on board. 

A large part of creating these environments includes the hands-on mentorship Techstars brings to its accelerators around the world. I’m no stranger to the mentorship’s value, which I’ve experienced firsthand throughout my own entrepreneurial journey. I will never forget my first startup mentor, Robin Chase of Zipcar, and the generous afternoon she spent speaking to me when I founded my first company. Throughout my subsequent startups, she was someone I returned to regularly for advice and support. Entrepreneurs mentoring other entrepreneurs is the backbone of the startup community, and the relationships that develop when founding and growing a company are unique. These relationships drive Techstars’ dedication to #givefirst and are a key reason I am joining Techstars. Through my role as MD, I am jazzed by the idea of giving back to a number of new entrepreneurs and working alongside Stanley’s mentors – from their highest level senior executives to SMEs from their broader organization – to help our 2020 companies grow and scale their businesses.

Since 2018 the program has focused on additive manufacturing and eco-friendly sustainable packaging, and we’ve seen outstanding results – attracting applicants from more than 30 countries, 50% of participants in the second year of the program being female founders, and our alumni raising more than $10M in follow-on investment thus far. Our grads have brought expertise in hardware, software and material science, and since made strides in sectors from consumer solutions to B2B. For 2020, we’ve pivoted our program focus to address AI in additive manufacturing and as Managing Director I look forward to working with entrepreneurs, founders and business people who intentionally seek to build a better world within this theme.

Join me in working with the brightest minds in Industry 4.0 to help bring new ideas to fruition!  Applications open February 17th.  

Stanley, Stanley+Techstars

Laila Partridge Laila Partridge
Laila is the Managing Director of the STANLEY + Techstars Accelerator.