Five years after bringing the Techstars startup incubation program to Seattle, Andy Sack is stepping down as managing director.
Sack made the announcement at Techstars’ demo event today. He’ll be replaced by Chris DeVore, his partner in the Founders Co-Op tech investment fund.
“I don’t know if it’s stepping down so much as stepping sideways,” Sack said in an interview before the announcement.
Sack said he’ll continue to stay involved but “it’s time for someone else to run the day-to-day operations, it’s time for a change.”
Techstars began seven years ago in Colorado and then spread to tech hubs around the country. Sack, a startup veteran who began his career in Boston, launched the Seattle program in 2009.
Coming from Boston, Sack didn’t think Seattle’s startup scene had a critical mass. He believes that has changed and pointed to Techstars and its new base at the University of Washington’s Condon Hall.
Techstars is now one of numerous incubation and mentoring programs available to entrepreneurs starting a company. In general, the programs take a 7 to 10 percent stake in each startup and provide a small amount of funding ($118,000 at Techstars), plus mentoring and a training program.
Of the 50 companies in Techstars’ Seattle portfolio, three to five “can be really sizable wins,” Sack said.
Sack said he’ll continue to play a role in the startup community.
“I’m very much involved,” he said. “I will not be managing director, I will not be in an official capacity, but will continue to mentor Techstars.”