washbnb is a techstars company, and that’s a big deal.
I haven’t been a founder long, but big bold dreams have always been a way of life. I keep relentlessly dreaming them up and sometimes chasing them down, but to be honest none of them really ended in me getting to where I wanted to be, or where I thought I belonged. I’ve been the 2nd choice, or just missed out on every big prestigious thing I’ve ever applied for. Growing up in a ‘new middle class money’ family meant I was constantly on the outside looking in, never really understanding what it takes or how to get to that next level. Not to say I haven’t also squandered many a chance by not always understanding when or how to hustle, but those big acceptance letters just never seemed to make their way to my mailbox.
washbnb is a strange business and it doesn’t fall into the typical tech startup mold. It’s a lot of everything, and doesn’t fit neatly into any of the boxes that most experienced investors are looking for. It’s also ambitious. We talk about brand, hospitality, and experience like we’re on 5th avenue but is it also a laundry company? For all of the confusion this seems to cause everyone, there is one group of people with whom it all connects: our customers.
Dave Payne is an Airbnb host. Dave Payne is also the Managing Director for techstars Atlanta in partnership with Cox Enterprises. Dave Payne is an experienced founder turned investor turned accelerator managing director. I had been so busy this Spring that when I first met Dave on a zoom call he arranged through twitter I had no idea he was with techstars until I saw the logo on his background. Keep cool I thought, we’ll figure this out, and we did.
Dave put me on his level as an equal from the very start. This wasn’t someone I needed to convince that washbnb was real and interesting, he just wanted to learn more about it and get to know us. I was never on the outside looking in, I was already there in his eyes. Dave & techstars just became our biggest individual investor (by a long shot!), but it’s not just a vote of confidence for our business; it’s the first time a prestigious institution told me yes. It’s an empowerment of big dreams and enablement of dreamers from backgrounds that look nothing like what you’d expect from a venture backed company.
If this is what techstars is doing at scale, and I really hope they are, just imagine the insane opportunities these founders will unlock where nobody even knows to look yet.
We’re honored to add Dave and the global techstars network to our team at washbnb and scale #GiveFirst, integrity, diversity, collaboration, and mutual respect as integral components of washbnb. We started this to change the world. To eliminate laundry, to build a fantastic place to work, and to shift the narrative around what a startup is and can do.
If this sounds like something you'd like to invest in, you can now officially follow techstars by investing in our crowdfunding campaign on Wefunder