Making Million-Dollar Connections: 5 Of ThinkNear's TechStars Mentors Invested In Its $1.63 Million Round

ThinkNear Eli PortnoyEli Portnoy founded ThinkNear.

Photo: ThinkNear

Like getting a job, networking makes raising startup money significantly easier.ThinkNear, a TechStars NYC startup that helps businesses attract customers during slow times via mobile alerts, raised $1.63 million and launched its product today.

Investors include Google Ventures, IA Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures, FF Venture Capital, Real Ventures, Zelkova VC, BoldStart VC, Bill Boebel, Ben Sun, Matt Turck, David Tisch and Dave Cohen.

Five of the investors were ThinkNear’s TechStars mentors: IA Ventures, Meatmorphic, ff Venture Capital (via Mike Yavondette), David Cohen and David Tisch.

The outstanding support from mentors surprised Founder Eli Portnoy.¬† “I have a family, so I couldn’t have started a company without funding,” Portnoy tells us. “But Roger Ehrenberg gave us a small amount pre-TechStars to get us going.”

The support continued once the 3-month accelerator ended; Ehrenberg led the $1.63 million round.

Other TechStars alumni agree: the most beneficial part of the program is making powerful connections.

“We had already launched years before TechStars,” one of the alumni tells us. “But we decided to participate for expert advice and networking.”

David Tisch, Managing Director of TechStars NYC has made 43 angel investments outside of the accelerator; he mentored a dozen of them.

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