3 min read
It’s official; Toucan is 2 years old! 🥳 Time really flies, and we’ve grown a lot. One thing that’s certainly true for startups is that each day presents new challenges and feels so full; however, looking back on a period of time, it feels like no time has passed at all. And that’s exactly what it feels like today, thinking about how far we’ve come since Toucan’s first birthday on March 27th, 2021.
On March 27th, 2020, my brother and co-founder, Ethan, and I had our very first call with Paul - the third co-founder. We spent over an hour talking about the idea that would later become Toucan. We discussed how we could get the platform up and running and who could actually build out our vision. Two days later, Ivo was on our team calls. Fourth co-founder. A few months later, Ethan and I started practicing our pitch on 3rd party listeners; one of the people we practiced our pitch on was Michel, a Techstars All-Star mentor, as well as close friend and mentor to both Paul and Ivo. 24 hours later, he told us that he couldn’t stop thinking about Toucan and wanted to come work with us. Fifth co-founder.
Over the past year, Toucan’s seen a ton of milestones and changes. Roughly a year ago exactly, we released Toucan Spaces, which completely altered the way that hosts and users use Toucan. We shifted from being an events-based platform to being a community-centric platform, creating places that communities could make their own and come back to over and over again.
We love knowing that we’ve built a place where communities can make their own rules, where people feel free to express themselves. In October of this past year, we released a set of personalization features that enable Toucan hosts to make their Spaces their own. Companies and organizations can now display their branding, and hosts can switch between our many different Themes so that the background and Meeting Spots exude the right vibe.
We were selected to participate in the Techstars London Accelerator program in the fall of last year. The 3-month program connected us with other startup founders, mentors that were (and still are) excited to help, and investors. In such a short period of time, we learned so much about various parts of our business in addition to how we could approach key challenges.
A few months ago, we closed an extension on our pre-seed fundraising round. We are very grateful for our investors, who continue to believe in us, talk through ideas with us, and advocate for us. Moreover, several of our newest investors are members of the Techstars community, whom we met through the program.
As we head into our 3rd year of life as a company and as a community, we have already set our sights on some exciting goals - all of which align with our original mission to provide a platform that allows people to connect naturally, socially, and authentically, wherever they may be.
From all of us at Toucan, thank you for your support. 🧡 We couldn’t be here without our friends, family, and the community around us lifting us up. We’re looking forward to what’s to come while remaining grateful for everything and everyone that’s gotten us here. Happy Toucanniversary! 🎂🎊
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Antonia Hellman is co-founder and CEO of Toucan.
She is a recent graduate of Stanford University, having studied political science and economics.
She enjoys long walks to explore new cities, listening to audiobooks on 1.2x speed, a cup of hot water, and re-watching mediocre movies.
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