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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, LA, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, London, Tel Aviv, Cape Town, and Berlin .[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-2016, Techstars has accepted over 800 companies into its program. Collectively, these companies have raised over $2,300,000,000 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 subsequent 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 $20,000, plus a $100,000 convertible note, access to the Techstars network, and a three-month support program,[27] which is conducted in three phases.[28] Mentorship is one of the highest values of joining Techstars according to the Handshakin Video Series[29]

Notable Alumni[edit]


  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. ^ "[Updated] These Are The 15 Best Accelerators In The U.S.". TechCrunch. AOL. 10 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "The 15 Best Startup Accelerators in the U.S.". 
  5. ^ "How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience". TechCrunch. AOL. 7 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "7 key things you need to know about an accelerator like Techstars - VentureBeat - Entrepreneur - by Mo Marshall". VentureBeat. 
  7. ^ "The Best Startup Accelerators Of 2015". Forbes. 17 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Chafkin, Max. Future Techstars, Step Forward. Inc.. April 2, 2012.
  9. ^ "Techstars Alumni Companies". Techstars. 
  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. ^ Yuliya Chernova. "Techstars Graduates' Survival Rates: What the Numbers Show". WSJ. 
  14. ^ "Disrupters disrupted". The Economist. 14 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Y Combinator beats the odds in tech investing". 
  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. ^ "TechStars buys NameLayer to save its startups from awful domain names - VentureBeat - Deals - by Ricardo Bilton". VentureBeat. 
  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. ^ "David Cohen, Co-founder/Managing Partner of Techstars". Handshakin Video Series. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  30. ^ "TechStars Grad Distil.It Lands $1.8M To Help Your Business Put A Stop To Bots, Web Scraping & Content Theft". TechCrunch. AOL. 24 January 2013. 
  31. ^ [2]. Crunchbase
  32. ^ Shu, Catherine. Good.Co Wants To Put Employees In Good Company. TechCrunch. August 22, 2014.
  33. ^ Cheredar, Tom. Graphicly shutters iOS & Android comic book apps to focus on self-publishing service. Venture Beat. April 5, 2012.
  34. ^ Vuong, Andy. Colorado startups becoming tech stars. The Denver Post. April 10, 2010.
  35. ^ Leswing, Kif. "Infinit revisits personal peer-to-peer file sharing". June 9, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  36. ^ Kincaid, Jason. Automattic Has Acquired IntenseDebate's Enhanced Comment System. TechCrunch. September 23, 2008.
  37. ^ "Pando: Coursekit is Now Lore: Rebrand Reflects Expansion Beyond College Courses, With New Investment from Peter Thiel". Pando. 
  38. ^ "TechStars alum Mocavo grabs $4M to help you find your ancestors - VentureBeat - Deals - by Sean Ludwig". VentureBeat. 
  39. ^ "Mocavo Acquired By Findmypast: A New Chapter Begins". Mocavo Blog - News, Announcements & More from the World's Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine. 
  40. ^ "TechStars London Unveils First Cohort, Applications Increased 4x Post-Springboard Merger". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  41. ^ Kyle Alspach (6 February 2012). "An unusual TechStar: Murfie seeks to build huge CD store". Boston Business Journal. 
  42. ^ Ruth, Joao-Pierre. Xconomis of the Week. Xconomy. April 12, 2012.
  43. ^ Baptiste, Jason. Fundraising: From $1,000 To $1,000,000. April 8th, 2012.
  44. ^ [3]. Crunchbase
  45. ^ . Orbotix Sphero is Rolling to an Apple Store Near You. Techcrunch. June 29, 2012.
  46. ^ Dizik, Alina. 6 Time-Management Tips from Accelerator Programs. Fast Company. March 14, 2012.
  47. ^ "Techstars Seattle Startup Shippable Raises $2.05M For Continuous Integration Platform Built On Docker". TechCrunch. Dec 10, 2013. 
  48. ^ "ShuttleCloud". CrunchBase. May 31, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  49. ^ "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012". 21 June 2012. 
  50. ^ Liam Boogar (February 25, 2013). "With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D". Rude Baguette. 
  51. ^ "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Balderton Capital. December 5, 2013. 
  52. ^ Reisinger, Don. AOL Acquires Lifestreaming Service Socialthing. Mashable. August 14, 2008.
  53. ^ Semyon Dukach (August 14, 2014). "TechStars Boston 2014 Class". TechStars. 
  54. ^ Stan Bokov (July 16, 2015). "Social network for investors TradingView raises $3.6m". Finextra. 
  55. ^ Moschen, Isabell (June 6, 2013). "The Two-Wheeled Amenity". New York Times. 
  56. ^ Schiller, Ben. "A Self-Contained Bike Share To Make College (Or Your Office Park) More Fun". Co.Exist. 

External links[edit]