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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 an American seed accelerator, founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. As of 2017, the company had accepted over 1,000 companies into its programs with a combined market capitalization of $9.6B USD.[1]


Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis in 2006. The firm is an accelerator, investing between $6,000 and $18,000 on average in seed funding to tech startups and providing mentorship to entrepreneurs.[2] Less than 1% of applicants are accepted.[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 September 2013, the company made its first acquisition with NameLayer, a repository of "high-quality" tech-focused domain names, so that they could leverage NameLayer's domains for their startup companies.[14] In June 2015, they announced the acquisition of UP Global, reintegrating programs like Startup Weekend into the Techstars family.[15]

In 2017, Techstars partnered with the venture capital firm Partech Ventures to expand its program to Paris,[16] and in September of the same year was contracted to work with the United States Airforce's new technology accelerator AFwerX.[17]

In June 2018 TechStars launched Techstars Impact Accelerator targeting companies that address social or environmental problems.[18]

Major competitors[edit]


Startups 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.[19] 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 for life, over $1M worth of perks, and a three-month accelerator program,[20] which is conducted in three phases.[21] Mentorship is one of the highest values of joining Techstars, according to the Handshakin Video Series[22]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Choudhury, Saheli Roy (12 December 2017). "Japanese e-commerce firm to launch program for tech startups in Singapore". CNBC. Retrieved 29 June 2018. 
  2. ^ Rao, Leena (29 March 2011). "Startup Incubator TechStars Raises $8 Million". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 June 2018. 
  3. ^ Chafkin, Max. Future Techstars, Step Forward. Inc.. April 2, 2012.
  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. ^ "TechStars buys NameLayer to save its startups from awful domain names - VentureBeat - Deals - by Ricardo Bilton". VentureBeat. 
  15. ^ "Techstars Acquires UP Global Including Startup Weekend and Other Programs - Techstars". Techstars. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  16. ^ Dillet, Romain. "Techstars launches a new program in Paris at the Partech Shaker". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  17. ^ "Air Force opens applications for dual-purpose technology accelerator p". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 2017-09-22. 
  18. ^ Field, Anne (27 June 2018). "TechStars Launches Its First Impact Accelerator Class". Forbes. Retrieved 29 June 2018. 
  19. ^ Popper, Ben. How the quiet Adam Rothenberg became number two at hot startup incubator Techstars NY. Venture Beat. March 12, 2012.
  20. ^ Fields, Jonathan. Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. Portfolio Hardcover, 2011.
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ "David Cohen, Co-founder/Managing Partner of Techstars". Handshakin Video Series. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  23. ^ Crook, Jordan (July 16, 2013). "TechStars-Backed Bookkeeping Service 10Sheet Relaunches As Bench With New $2M Seed Round". TechCrunch. 
  24. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (March 23, 2014). "Digital Ocean's Journey From TechStars Reject To Cloud-Hosting Darling". TechCrunch. 
  25. ^ "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. 
  26. ^ Wauters, Robin (September 8, 2011). "TechStars Graduate FullContact Lands $1.5 Million, Helps Keep Contact Records Updated". TechCrunch. 
  27. ^ Cheredar, Tom. Graphicly shutters iOS & Android comic book apps to focus on self-publishing service. Venture Beat. April 5, 2012.
  28. ^ Vuong, Andy. Colorado startups becoming tech stars. The Denver Post. April 10, 2010.
  29. ^ Leswing, Kif. "Infinit revisits personal peer-to-peer file sharing". June 9, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  30. ^ Kincaid, Jason. Automattic Has Acquired IntenseDebate's Enhanced Comment System. TechCrunch. September 23, 2008.
  31. ^ "Pando: Coursekit is Now Lore: Rebrand Reflects Expansion Beyond College Courses, With New Investment from Peter Thiel". Pando. 
  32. ^ Hendren, Olivia (21 October 2014). "Cincinnati's Lisnr joins top-ranked national accelerator". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  33. ^ "TechStars alum Mocavo grabs $4M to help you find your ancestors - VentureBeat - Deals - by Sean Ludwig". VentureBeat. 
  34. ^ "Mocavo Acquired By Findmypast: A New Chapter Begins". Mocavo Blog - News, Announcements & More from the World's Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine. 
  35. ^ "TechStars London Unveils First Cohort, Applications Increased 4x Post-Springboard Merger". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  36. ^ Kyle Alspach (6 February 2012). "An unusual TechStar: Murfie seeks to build huge CD store". Boston Business Journal. 
  37. ^ Ruth, Joao-Pierre. Xconomis of the Week. Xconomy. April 12, 2012.
  38. ^ "Sphero". Crunchbase. 
  39. ^ . Orbotix Sphero is Rolling to an Apple Store Near You. Techcrunch. June 29, 2012.
  40. ^ Dizik, Alina. 6 Time-Management Tips from Accelerator Programs. Fast Company. March 14, 2012.
  41. ^ "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012". 21 June 2012. 
  42. ^ Liam Boogar (February 25, 2013). "With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D". Rude Baguette. 
  43. ^ "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Balderton Capital. December 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014. 
  44. ^ Reisinger, Don. AOL Acquires Lifestreaming Service Socialthing. Mashable. August 14, 2008.
  45. ^ Stan Bokov (July 16, 2015). "Social network for investors TradingView raises $3.6m". Finextra. 
  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. 

External links[edit]