Techstars is an investment company dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed. The company runs a three-month accelerator program through which it connects startups with mentors, corporations, investors, and other individuals who can hep them build their businesses. With a network of over 6,000 founders, Techstars runs 47 accelerator programs in 13 countries and is growing quickly.
Techstars, which relied heavily on Google Docs, was struggling to manage its internal knowledge in a consistent, repeatable way.
“We used a lot of Google Docs to store and share information, then relied on tribal knowledge—like sharing information in Slack, one-on-one conversations, Zoom calls, and things like that,” says Kristina Getty, Director of Accelerator Operations.
That meant that information was decentralized and often difficult to find. “Knowledge was very spread out across a lot of different tools, and we didn’t have a centralized place to go for the need-to-know information,” says Taylor Pike, Accelerator Operations Lead. Moreover, the Techstars team struggled with glitches and inconsistencies when using Google Docs. “It was really hard to tell when information was last updated, because there was no verification process to make sure that subject matter experts had given the okay on particular information,” says Taylor.
Ultimately, such a system was unsustainable. “We recognized Google Docs wouldn’t scale for us,” says Kristina. “We really wanted to evaluate what our teams needed to succeed, and it became clear they needed one place to find all of the information [they needed].”
Techstars partnered with Tettra to create a central repository of internal knowledge that employees could access with ease and confidence. The Techstars team met with several different providers but ultimately chose Tettra for its ease of use. According to Kristina,
“Tettra had a great mix of features. It was just powerful enough and just simple enough to meet our needs.”
“I think it was one of the easiest tools to learn that we tried out,” confirms Taylor. Within a few days of getting our account, we had examples up and running for folks to look at and test out.”
Part of the success Techstars has realized is due to Tettra’s multiple integrations with tools the company was already using. “One of the integrations we have found most useful is the G-Suite integration,” explains Taylor. “We do still have various templates that live in Google Docs and have really found [the integration] helpful in both being able to search for those and also cataloging those within specific sections.” Techstars has also begun using Tettra’s Slack integration, which allows team members to share updates and new content more easily.
Tettra also helps the accelerator team keep all their content reliable and up-to-date. “We use the suggestions feature for inbound requests to update content,” says Taylor. “The way Tettra lays this out is really helpful, because it has all those requests in a queue, so we never lose track of the things we still need to update.”
Tettra’s versatility has been an attractive differentiator to the Techstars team. “A lot of other tools were really heavy in knowledge management aspects and not so much in community, while others are pure discussion boards with not a lot of knowledge management integrations,” explains Kristina. “For us, Tettra really fits that middle ground. It’s versatile in that we can have all our information in one place, but it’s also flexible in that people can easily comment and participate.”
Tettra has created efficiencies and time-saving opportunities that will serve Techstars well as it scales.
“Tettra has really enabled us to save time in a lot of ways,” says Kristina. “First and foremost, it means there’s one place for our knowledge experts to go to track suggestions and comments and things like that. Prior to using Tettra, we would have to look for comments across a variety of Google Docs, Slack, and follow-up conversations. And now we have one easy-to-use queue.”
What’s more, Tettra has reshaped Techstars’ internal fact-gathering culture, which has also saved substantial time for the team. According to Kristina,
“We’ve been able to reduce the amount of time people spend answering questions. When people are able to find the answers themselves, it saves us time having to look for those answers as well.”
With over 90% of the accelerator team actively using Tettra each month, Kristina and Taylor have already noticed a change in employee behavior. “Anecdotally, we think we’ve seen a decrease in the number of one-off questions and the amount of time our support team spends searching for the places that need to get updated.”
With over 60 open roles and rapid portfolio company growth, Techstars implemented Tettra at the right time. “I would recommend Tettra to any organization that’s at a growth stage,” says Kristina. “It’s a great combination of being able to improve and level up your Google Docs while still maintaining some of those resources that your teams love.”