Rockstart Accelerator unveils Amazon CTO and other mentors as its deadline approaches

Rockstart Accelerator unveils Amazon CTO and other mentors as its deadline approaches

Startups taking part in the Amsterdam-based Rockstart Accelerator will be able to draw on the experience of Amazon’s CTO, Werner Vogels among others.

Rockstart has revealed the visiting advisors and mentors and that will be taking part in the upcoming run of its accelerator programme, along with two executive-level ‘entrepreneurs-in-residence’ who will be available to offer advice to the teams during office hours.

As we’ve previously reported, Rockstart is an intensive, 100-day-long scheme that will see 10 teams of founders develop their startups, with an additional, optional three-month summer program that ends with a 25-day Silicon Valley road trip. Participating teams also receive $20,000 in seed investment. It comes at a time when accelerators are a growing force in Europe. In Amsterdam, it faces competition from Startup Bootcamp which also recently announced a programme in the city.

The deadline for startups to apply for Rockstart is days away – January 31, 2012 – and the scheme begins on 23 March. You can find out more and apply here.

Rockstart has a total of 99 mentors lined up, but here are some of the names it is sharing, along with details of its entrepreneurs-in-residence:


  • Werner Vogels – CTO and VP at and the visionary behind Amazon Web Services (Visiting Advisor)
  • John Mullins – Author of the best-seller, Getting to Plan B (Visiting Advisor)
  • Elias Bizannes – Director of Charles River Ventures; Founder of Startupbus and Partner at StartupHouse (Mentor)
  • Raj Singh – Entrepreneur-in-Residence at SRI International (Mentor)
  • Bedy Yang – Principal and mentor at 500 Startups (Mentor)
  • Ciara Byrne – European Contributor, VentureBeat (Mentor)
  • Oren Michels – CEO and founder of Mashery (Mentor)
  • Dave Kochbeck – Former CTO of Friendster; CTO and founder of AtomicPass (Mentor)
  • Dees Chinniah – Firestarter at Mozilla, the makers of Firefox (Mentor)
  • Danielle Morrill – Director of Marketing at Twilio (Mentor)
  • Ash Maurya – Founder of Spark59 and author of Running Lean (Mentor)
  • Humphrey Polanen – Managing Director of Sand Hill Management Partners, a private equity company in Silicon Valley
  • Alex Barrera – CEO and founder of Press 42 (Mentor)
  • Dawson King – Serial entrepreneur who has sold five venture-backed companies (Mentor)
  • Lisa Gansky – Co-founder of Ofoto and author of The Mesh and Angel (Mentor)
  • Patrick Vlaskovits – Entrepreneur and author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany (Mentor)
  • Salim Virani – Entrepreneur and cofounder Leancamp
  • Peter Tatischev – Serial entrepreneur and founder of the GreenfieldProject, a social enterprise aimed at creating a globally connected entrepreneurial ecosystem in Russia


  • Joris van Heukelom – Currently Partner in MakerStreet. Joris has a decade of digital experience, among others as director at Sanoma Digital
  • Sebastiaan Hooft – Co-founder of one of the largest online retail sites for hardware and a pioneer in internet retailing since 2003

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