Eric Duffy

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4 min read

What We Learned from Techstars


Earlier this year, we made it into the Techstars NYC Spring 2014 class on the back of some of the early success of our product. Coming in, we thought we knew our product, our market, and our strategy, but before the first week of the program was behind us we realized that we had a lot to learn. Here are just a few of the takeaways we have now that the program is wrapping up.

Lesson 1: You can’t be everything to everyone. Find product/market fit.

Pathgather started from a vision about how to change the way people learn, and from there we focused on solving continuous learning in the enterprise, since we saw that the existing approaches simply weren’t working. After countless pitches, mentor meetings, and talking with customers, Techstars has chiseled away at our product until we found the absolute core: Pathgather is a social learning and collaboration system. In an environment crowded by progress tracking systems, disparate content providers, and isolated learning approaches, we’ve realized that our social and collaborative features are exactly what makes Pathgather unique. Techstars taught us to find that core vision and focus on it.

Lesson 2: Great mentors are a powerful, powerful thing

It’s not immediately obvious to an outside observer how truly transformative the Techstars mentorship network is. We’ve spent countless hours meeting with an incredibly diverse set of mentors from different industries and experiences. We’ve been lucky enough to partner with a select few who will be part of Pathgather forever now, and each one has a different skill to share. This experience has redoubled our focus on using Pathgather as a way to establish mentorship networks within every company. Techstars has proven that great mentors are everywhere, they just need to be given the right tools to amplify their knowledge. We’ve started building those tools already, but we’ll need help to make them as powerful as they can be. Who do you think we’ll be turning to for help?

Lesson 3: The future of enterprise learning is bright

It’s no secret that the Learning Management Software (LMS) market is a large one, but Techstars has shown us exactly how to define and approach the wider opportunity. People simply don’t stop learning after they graduate school and start their careers; education is a lifelong process. The companies that successfully create a culture of continuous learning will be rewarded with a workforce that is better equipped to address the challenges of highly competitive modern markets. We believe that a social, collaborative approach to enterprise learning is how to unlock this potential. Techstars has taught us how to turn that vision into a reality, and has given us the resources to take it to the next level.

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