Episode 184: Interview with Ethan Austin

Episode 184: Interview with Ethan Austin

MD of Techstars & Western Union Accelerator


In this interview Mike Townsend interviews Ethan Austin, who overseas all operations at the Techstars & Western Union Accelerator. This Techstars program focuses on investing in startups looking to shape the future of money. Ethan and Mike talk about the history of Western Union, which is now about 170 years old and dominated the American telegraph industry in both the 19th and 20th centuries. 

The mission of Techstars is to help grow the ideas of entrepreneurs from ideas into world-changing businesses. As Techstars says "From startup founders, to corporate employees, to visionary dreamers, entrepreneurs hold the keys to the greatest challenges of our time. They see opportunities. They take risks. And they clear the path for entire industries."

On the show we discuss Ethan's experience in building GiveForward, an early crowdfunding platform raised $7M in VC with $5M/month in GMV, 3M unique monthly visitors, and was acquired in 2017. We chat about his experience building the company, challenges with Facebook, and how he transitioned into this role leading the Techstars program.

Otter Labs -> Otter helps startups hire talented inexpensive developers faster through staff augmentation, focusing on Argentina.

Redeeem -> Redeeem is a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange that lets you save 15% or more on gift cards using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Host: Mike Townsend

Guest: Ethan Austin

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Episode Transcript