Shawn Broderick Departing TechStars Boston for Social Games Startup

11/20/10Follow @wroush

[Updated, see below] Shawn Broderick, managing director of the TechStars Boston startup incubator program since it came to the Hub in early 2009, is stepping down. Broderick announced the move publicly in a blog post Friday evening.

The news comes in the middle of the TechStars Annual Summit in New York—where founders of 50 of the 70 companies that have gone through the program are gathering for a reunion this weekend—and just as applications have begun to roll in for the program’s spring 2011 session in Boston. A search is underway for a replacement director, Broderick says in the post.

Broderick, a serial entrepreneur and Xconomist who founded reputation management startup TrustPlus prior to joining TechStars, guided the Boston incarnation of the Boulder, CO-born program through two full sessions and helped midwife 19 companies, many of which are thriving today. He explains in the post that he’s leaving the startup school because “something had to give” after he decided to start a new company, play140, last spring, and accepted an adjunct professorship at Boston University.

“When applications opened last week for TechStars Boston 2011, the reality of the 24-hours-in-a-day constraint started settling in,” Broderick writes. “David Cohen, CEO of TechStars, and I had a number of back-and-forths and we’ve come to the conclusion that I should bow out of TechStars.”

He says that TechStars is now “firmly established” in Boston and that the last two years “have been an incredible incredible experience.” He plans to stay on as a mentor to future TechStars startups; the program revolves heavily around guidance from experienced entrepreneurs who volunteer their time and, in many cases, become investors in the young companies.

The post thanks numerous TechStars players, including Cohen, interns Diane Hadaya and Elizabeth Swartz, and Brad Feld, a Boulder-based venture partner who has been closely associated with TechStars since its founding. Feld “thought I might really dig this,” Broderick says. “You were right, dude—thanks!”

TechStars, founded in 2007, operates four 90-day incubator sessions per year, in Boston (spring), Boulder (summer), Seattle (fall), and New York (winter). Boston was the first city added to the TechStars network after Boulder.

Broderick says play140, which runs Twitter-based word games including Smash and TAG: The Acronym Game, will launch formally in a few weeks and has already raised seed funding and grown to five employees.

Update 11:20 a.m., 11/20/10: TechStars founder David Cohen thanks Broderick for his service in a blog post this morning and says of the search for a replacement, “If we can find someone with one tenth of Shawn’s passion for startups, we will be … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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