As entrepreneur in residence, Higgins will help mentor and source companies for the accelerator. He stepped into the position at the beginning of the year. Brett Brohl, the program’s previous entrepreneur in residence, was recently tapped to lead Techstars’ new Twin Cities agriculture-technology accelerator, Farm to Fork.
Although Higgins is new to the entrepreneur in residence job, he’s been involved with the retail accelerator as a mentor and supporter since it launched in the Twin Cities in 2016.
“When companies get to Techstars, it’s such a fun time in their business, and that’s something I’ve always liked being involved in,” Higgins said.
Before he was a mentor or leader with Techstars, Higgins was a participant. ilos was part of the 2016 Techstars Cloud class in San Antonio, Texas.
St. Paul-based ilos offers tech that businesses use to quickly create and manage videos. The company closed subsequent venture capital rounds of $1.5 million in 2016 and 2017. Matchstick Ventures, a fund managed by Target + Techstars director Ryan Broshar, participated in the 2016 round.
“I’ve had the chance to work with Ryan quite a bit,” Higgins said. “When he moved into retail tech, I was intrigued. I really think we have an opportunity to create a hub for that kind of tech in the Twin Cities.”
Higgins co-founded ilos with the company’s current CEO Nick Stokman in 2012. Higgins said that he felt comfortable leaving ilos at this point because he believes that the company is in good hands.
“The lineup over there is so stacked, which gave me the confidence to let go on the operations side of things,” Higgins said.
Higgins added that he will continue to be a large shareholder and supporter of the company that he built more than five years ago.