From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Techstars, LLC
Company typeLLC
FoundedColorado, United States (2006, as Techstars, LLC.)
Key people
Maëlle Gavet (CEO)
David Cohen (Co-founder, Chairman)
Brad Feld (Co-founder)
Jared Polis (Co-founder)

Techstars is a pre-seed investor that provides access to capital, mentorship, and other support for early-stage entrepreneurs. It was founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. As of January 2024, the company had accepted over 4,100 companies into its accelerator programs with a combined market capitalization of $106bn USD.[1] Techstars operates accelerator programs in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.[2]


Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado, by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis in 2006. Initially, Techstars invested between $6,000 and $18,000 in early stage companies, providing entrepreneurs with mentorship during a three month accelerator program.[3]

The company held its first program in Boulder in 2007 with ten companies.[4] Of the ten, two were acquired that same year. As of 2012, three had achieved positive exits and two were generating millions in annual revenue.[5] In subsequent years, Techstars expanded to Boston, Seattle, New York City, a "cloud" program in San Antonio, and Austin.[6][7][8][9]

In January 2011, Techstars launched the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), which links 22 similar programs internationally.[10][11] The network was launched in conjunction with President Barack Obama's Startup America Partnership.[12] GAN is now an independently operated organization. Techstars has also supported the formation of Patriot Boot Camp.[13]

In 2017, Techstars partnered with the venture capital firm Partech Ventures to expand its program to Paris,[14] and in September of the same year was contracted to work with the United States Air Force's new technology accelerator AFwerX.[15] At the beginning of 2019 Techstars started another European program around smart cities in Amsterdam with their corporate partner Arcadis.[16] In 2021, Maëlle Gavet became CEO.[17]

In 2017 Techstars became the first US accelerator to build an office in the UAE. [18]

In 2022 Techstars expanded its work into Africa.[19]

In 2022, Techstars and J.P. Morgan raised $80 million to invest in over 400 companies through 2024; the fund focuses on POC entrepreneurs.[20]

In December 2023, the group announced it would pause its Austin operation.[21] Just a few months later, in February 2024, Techstars announced that it would be moving its headquarters from Boulder to New York,[22] where its CEO lives, and closing the Boulder and Seattle accelerators.[23] The decision was criticized by a former Seattle staffer and others in the startup community.[24]

Investment model[edit]

Techstars is a pre-seed investor that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, a worldwide network and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs.[25] Startup companies can apply for Techstars' program and their viability is judged by the Managing Director of the program they applied to, as well as a screening committee composed of various members of the Techstars network.[26] In exchange for 6% common stock, each company accepted into Techstars currently receives $20,000 plus a $100,000 convertible note, access to the Techstars network for life, over $1M worth of perks (such as $25,000 to $100,000 in AWS credits), and a three-month accelerator program,[27] which is conducted in three phases: mentorship, growth, and investment.[28]

Notable alumni companies[edit]


  1. ^ "Techstars". Retrieved 2024-01-08.
  2. ^ "Techstars Accelerators".
  3. ^ "What investments does Techstars make in its Accelerator portfolio companies?". Techstars.
  4. ^ Myers, Courtney Boyd. Techstars: the next great incubator unleashes 11 startups in NYC. The Next Web. April 16, 2011.
  5. ^ Bigelow, Bruce V. Lessons from Techstars’ David Cohen on Building a Startup Culture: 7 Takeaways from the Xconomy San Diego Dinner. Xconomy. February 3, 2012.
  6. ^ Results Results: Techstars.
  7. ^ Olanoff, Drew. The eleven companies relocated to San Antonio to join the first Techstars Cloud. The Next Web. April 11, 2012.
  8. ^ Thomas, Mike. Techstars Program to Jumpstart San Antonio’s Investment Community. The San Antonio Business Journal. April 4, 2012.
  9. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri. Microsoft Just Picked 11 Startups to Build Amazing Apps for Kinect. Business Insider. April 2, 2012.
  10. ^ "Getting up to speed". The Economist. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  11. ^ Global Accelerator Network
  12. ^ Spencer, Malia. AlphaLab now part of Techstars Network. Pittsburgh Business Times. January 31, 2011.
  13. ^ Crichton, Danny (19 June 2018). "Patriot Boot Camp wants to turn soldiers into entrepreneurs". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  14. ^ Dillet, Romain (20 March 2017). "Techstars launches a new program in Paris at the Partech Shaker". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  15. ^ "Air Force opens applications for dual-purpose technology accelerator p". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  16. ^ "The Technology Leaders of the City of 2030: Meet the Inaugural Class of Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars". 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  17. ^ Anne Stych (January 12, 2021). "Seed investor Techstars names Maëlle Gavet CEO". Biz Women. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  18. ^ Pupic, Tamara (2018-04-15). "Off To A Good Start: Techstars Dubai". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2023-09-28.
  19. ^ Africa, B. I. (2023-03-24). "ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Demo Day unveils the best and brightest of African startup tech". Business Insider Africa. Retrieved 2023-09-28.
  20. ^ Sraders, Anne (January 20, 2023). "Inside J.P. Morgan and techstars' joint push to get VC dollars to diverse founders". Fortune.
  21. ^ Azevedo, Mary Ann (2023-12-07). "Is the Texas boom town of Austin losing its luster?". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2024-02-24.
  22. ^ Chuang, Tamara (2024-02-23). "Techstars moving HQ out of Colorado and ending its Boulder accelerator". The Colorado Sun. Retrieved 2024-02-24.
  23. ^ Wilhelm, Alex (2024-02-23). "As Techstars retools, some former staffers say it lost focus on what made it successful". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2024-02-24. former Techstars Seattle managing director Chris DeVore penned a lengthy note criticizing the group's strategic choices, including centralizing its fundraising efforts, and building programs with corporate sponsors as financial anchors.

    The org's CEO Maëlle Gavet hopped into that discussion and publicly engaged in a back-and-forth with him.

    But others privately echoed at least some of DeVore's sentiments to TechCrunch. One former managing director (MD) said that having local limited partner investors in Techstars meant that more people in those cities had a stake in its local programs.
  24. ^ "Founders' Co-op". Retrieved 2024-02-24. We were saddened, but not completely surprised, by the recent string of bad news coming from Techstars' Boulder headquarters… we were caught off guard by the decision… to cancel the flagship Seattle Techstars program. Not just because we created and led it for many years, but because Techstars Seattle is also the source of many of Techstars' most successful and celebrated successes
  25. ^ Mascarenhas, Natasha (2022-04-28). "Techstars debuts new fund for companies too early for its own accelerator". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2023-09-28.
  26. ^ Popper, Ben. How the quiet Adam Rothenberg became number two at hot startup incubator Techstars NY. Venture Beat. March 12, 2012.
  27. ^ Fields, Jonathan. Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. Portfolio Hardcover, 2011.
  28. ^ Patterson, Irina; Arnold, Candice (March 7, 2011). "Business Incubator Series: An Interview With David Cohen, Founder And CEO, Startup Accelerator TechStars – Boulder, Colorado (Part 1)". Sramana Mitra.
  29. ^ Crook, Jordan (July 16, 2013). "TechStars-Backed Bookkeeping Service 10Sheet Relaunches As Bench With New $2M Seed Round". TechCrunch.
  30. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (March 23, 2014). "Digital Ocean's Journey From TechStars Reject To Cloud-Hosting Darling". TechCrunch.
  31. ^ Wauters, Robin (September 8, 2011). "TechStars Graduate FullContact Lands $1.5 Million, Helps Keep Contact Records Updated". TechCrunch.
  32. ^ Cheredar, Tom. Graphicly shutters iOS & Android comic book apps to focus on self-publishing service. Venture Beat. April 5, 2012.
  33. ^ Vuong, Andy. Colorado startups becoming tech stars. The Denver Post. April 10, 2010.
  34. ^ Kincaid, Jason. Automattic Has Acquired IntenseDebate's Enhanced Comment System. TechCrunch. September 23, 2008.
  35. ^ "TechStars alum Mocavo grabs $4M to help you find your ancestors - VentureBeat - Deals - by Sean Ludwig". VentureBeat. 16 May 2012.
  36. ^ "Mocavo Acquired By Findmypast: A New Chapter Begins". Mocavo Blog - News, Announcements & More from the World's Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine.
  37. ^ Kyle Alspach (6 February 2012). "An unusual TechStar: Murfie seeks to build huge CD store". Boston Business Journal.
  38. ^ Ruth, Joao-Pierre. Xconomis of the Week. Xconomy. April 12, 2012.
  39. ^ Orbotix Sphero is Rolling to an Apple Store Near You. Techcrunch. June 29, 2012.
  40. ^ "Rheaply Raises $2.5M to Strengthen Asset Management". Waste 360. March 23, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  41. ^ Dizik, Alina. 6 Time-Management Tips from Accelerator Programs. Fast Company. March 14, 2012.
  42. ^ "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012". 21 June 2012. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012.
  43. ^ Liam Boogar (February 25, 2013). "With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D". Rude Baguette.
  44. ^ "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Balderton Capital. December 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014.
  45. ^ Reisinger, Don. AOL Acquires Lifestreaming Service Socialthing. Mashable. August 14, 2008.
  46. ^ Moschen, Isabell (June 6, 2013). "The Two-Wheeled Amenity". New York Times.
  47. ^ Schiller, Ben. "A Self-Contained Bike Share To Make College (Or Your Office Park) More Fun". Co.Exist.
  48. ^ "Tech Los Angeles". 2021-07-14. Retrieved 2021-07-14.

External links[edit]