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Techstars, LLC
Founded Colorado, United States (2006, as Techstars, LLC.)
Headquarters Boulder, Colorado
Key people

David Cohen (Co-founder and CEO)
Brad Feld (Co-founder)
David Brown (Co-founder)

Jared Polis (Co-founder)

Techstars is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator founded by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis that holds 13 week programs for startups in Boulder, New York City, Boston, Seattle, San Antonio, Austin, Chicago and London.[1][2] It is considered one of the best startup accelerators in the world.[3][4][5][6][7] Fewer than 1% of the companies that apply to Techstars are accepted.[8]

As of mid-2015, Techstars has accepted 526 companies into its program. Collectively, these companies have raised over $1,300,000,000 USD.[9] Program mentors include Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, tumblr CEO David Karp, HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures.[10][11][12]

A notable competing accelerator is Y Combinator, to which it is often compared.[13][14][15]


In 2006, Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Techstars held its first program in 2007 with ten companies.[16] Of the ten, two were acquired that same year, three achieved positive exits by 2012, and two currently generate millions in annual revenue.[17]

In sebsequent years, Techstars expanded to four additional cities: Boston in 2009; Seattle in 2010; New York City in 2011; a "cloud" program in San Antonio in 2012; and Austin in 2013.[18][19][20][21] Techstars has since expanded into many other locations worldwide [4].

In January 2011, the firm launched the Global Accelerator Network, which links 22 similar programs internationally.[22][23] The network was launched in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s Startup America Partnership.[24]

In September 2013, Techstars made its first acquisition with NameLayer, a repository of “high-quality,” tech-focused domain names. It now offers these domain names to its program participants.[25]


Startups can apply for Techstars’ program and their viability is judged by the program’s directors.[26]

In exchange for 6% common stock, each company accepted into Techstars receives $18,000, a nd access to its network, and a three-month support program [27] in three phases [28] I

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Distil Networks, bot detection and mitigation, has 15 employees and has raised more than $2 million in funding and blocked over 5 billion malicious bots.[29]
  • Flixmaster, who develops software to let users create interactive online video content, has partnered with NBCUniversal and Sony Creative Software and has raised more than $1.1 million.[30][31]
  • FullContact, who builds contact management software and APIs, has 28 employees and has raised more than $8 million in funding.[32][33]
  • Good.Co, a self-discovery platform and network for a new generation of professionals that has raised $1.6 million in funding.[34][35]
  •, a digital comic book platform, has 20 employees and has raised $4.2 million.[36][37]
  • Infinit, a peer-to-peer-based file transfer application.[38]
  • IntenseDebate, a commenting system tool for blogs and news sites, acquired by Automattic in 2008.[39]
  • Lore, a social network for learning that has raised over $6 million in funding and been adopted at over 600 schools.[40]
  • Lua, provides mobile workforce technology to enterprise customers with mostly out-of-office employees
  • Mocavo, a genealogy search engine with millions of records and historical documents online,[41] acquired by FindMyPast in 2014.[42]
  • Moni, a money transfer app.[43]
  • Murfie, a commercial music streaming service that allows users to buy, sell, and trade compact discs and stream or download their contents.[44]
  • Next Big Sound, a music analytics provider, has raised $7.5 million in funding.[32][45]
  • OnSwipe, a tablet platform for publishing and advertising, was listed as one of Time magazine's 10 Best Startups.[46]
  • Orbotix, focused on bringing a new concept of fun through robotics and phone-controlled open devices, raised over $11 million in funding. Their robotic ball Sphero is available in both the Apple Store and Brookstone.[34][47]
  • SendGrid, a cloud email infrastructure, has raised over $27 million in funding.[32][48]
  • Shippable, a continuous delivery platform for containerized workflows. Has raised over $2M in funding.[49]
  • ShuttleCloud, specializing in cloud data migration, analysis, and storage products[50]
  • Simple Energy, an energy utility customer engagement platform has been deployed in over 500,000 homes.[51]
  • Sketchfab, a portal to display 3D content online. Has raised $2.5 million in funding.[52][53]
  • Socialthing, which organizes users’ social media, was bought by AOL.[54]
  • StreamRoot, a peer-to-peer video streaming solution to help broadcasters reducing their bandwidth costs.[55]
  • Zagster, which designs, builds, and operates private bike sharing programs for universities, corporate campuses, hotels, and residential communities.[56][57]


  1. ^ Rusli, Evelyn. Heirs to Old Money Plunge into Tech. The New York Times. April 4, 2012.
  2. ^ Innovations & Ideas. The Denver Post. February 4, 2007.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Chafkin, Max. Future Techstars, Step Forward. Inc.. April 2, 2012.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mentors. Techstars.
  11. ^ Bilton, Nick. Techstars Nurtures Start-Ups With Mentors. The New York Times. April 8, 2011.
  12. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne. Techstars NY More Selective than the Ivy League. The New York Observer. November 24, 2010.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Myers, Courtney Boyd. Techstars: the next great incubator unleashes 11 startups in NYC. The Next Web. April 16, 2011.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Results Results: Techstars’’.
  19. ^ Olanoff, Drew. The eleven companies relocated to San Antonio to join the first Techstars Cloud. The Next Web. April 11, 2012.
  20. ^ Thomas, Mike. Techstars Program to Jumpstart San Antonio’s Investment Community. The San Antonio Business Journal. April 4, 2012.
  21. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri. Microsoft Just Picked 11 Startups to Build Amazing Apps for Kinect. Business Insider. April 2, 2012.
  22. ^ "Techstars network". Techstars. 
  23. ^ Global Accelerator Network
  24. ^ Spencer, Malia. AlphaLab now part of Techstars Network. Pittsburgh Business Times. January 31, 2011.
  25. ^
  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 and Candice Arnold. [1]. Sramana Mitra. March 7, 2011.
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ Lawler, Ryan. Techstars Alum FlixMaster Raises $1.1 Million To Bring Interactive Video To Networks And Brand Marketers. "TechCrunch". January 23, 2013.
  31. ^ Heim, Anna. FlixMaster partners with Sony Creative Software to bring interactive videos tools to a broader audience. "The Next Web". November 14, 2012.
  32. ^ a b c
  33. ^ Feld, Brad. One Address Book to Rule Them All. "Feld Thoughts". July 13, 2012.
  34. ^ a b [3]. Crunchbase Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "crunchbase" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  35. ^ Shu, Catherine. Good.Co Wants To Put Employees In Good Company. TechCrunch. August 22, 2014.
  36. ^ Cheredar, Tom. Graphicly shutters iOS & Android comic book apps to focus on self-publishing service. Venture Beat. April 5, 2012.
  37. ^ Vuong, Andy. Colorado startups becoming tech stars. The Denver Post. April 10, 2010.
  38. ^ Leswing, Kif. "Infinit revisits personal peer-to-peer file sharing". June 9, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  39. ^ Kincaid, Jason. Automattic Has Acquired IntenseDebate's Enhanced Comment System. TechCrunch. September 23, 2008.
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ "TechStars London Unveils First Cohort, Applications Increased 4x Post-Springboard Merger". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  44. ^
  45. ^ Ruth, Joao-Pierre. Xconomis of the Week. Xconomy. April 12, 2012.
  46. ^ Baptiste, Jason. Fundraising: From $1,000 To $1,000,000. April 8th, 2012.
  47. ^ . Orbotix Sphero is Rolling to an Apple Store Near You. Techcrunch. June 29, 2012.
  48. ^ Dizik, Alina. 6 Time-Management Tips from Accelerator Programs. Fast Company. March 14, 2012.
  49. ^ "Techstars Seattle Startup Shippable Raises $2.05M For Continuous Integration Platform Built On Docker". TechCrunch. Dec 10, 2013. 
  50. ^ "ShuttleCloud". CrunchBase. May 31, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  51. ^ America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012 Bloomberg BusinessWeek
  52. ^ Liam Boogar (February 25, 2013). "With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D". Rude Baguette. 
  53. ^ "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Balderton Capital. December 5, 2013. 
  54. ^ Reisinger, Don. AOL Acquires Lifestreaming Service Socialthing. Mashable. August 14, 2008.
  55. ^ Semyon Dukach (August 14, 2014). "TechStars Boston 2014 Class". TechStars. 
  56. ^ Moschen, Isabell (June 6, 2013). "The Two-Wheeled Amenity". New York Times. 
  57. ^ Schiller, Ben. "A Self-Contained Bike Share To Make College (Or Your Office Park) More Fun". Fast Co.Exist. 

External links[edit]