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Techstars, LLC
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 global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, a worldwide network and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs. It was founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. As of May 2022, the company had accepted over 2,900 companies into its accelerator programs with a combined market capitalization of $71bn USD.[1]


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.[2]

The company held its first program in Boulder in 2007 with ten companies.[3] 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.[4] In subsequent years, Techstars expanded to Boston, Seattle, New York City, a "cloud" program in San Antonio, and Austin.[5][6][7][8]

In January 2011, Techstars launched the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), which links 22 similar programs internationally.[9][10] The network was launched in conjunction with President Barack Obama's Startup America Partnership.[11] GAN is now an independently operated organization. Techstars has also supported the formation of Patriot Boot Camp.[12]

In 2017, Techstars partnered with the venture capital firm Partech Ventures to expand its program to Paris,[13] and in September of the same year was contracted to work with the United States Air Force's new technology accelerator AFwerX.[14] At the beginning of 2019 Techstars started another European program around smart cities in Amsterdam with their corporate partner Arcadis.[15]

In 2021 Techstars ran 47 accelerator programs in 33 cities and 12 countries around the world.[16]


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.[17] 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,[18] which is conducted in three phases: mentorship, growth, and investment.[19] On the last day, the 10-12 companies pitch publicly in front of investors, Techstars alumni, the local entrepreneur scene and corporate partners on the demo-day.

Notable alumni companies[edit]


  1. ^ "Techstars". Retrieved 2022-05-30.
  2. ^ "What investments does Techstars make in its Accelerator portfolio companies?". Techstars.
  3. ^ Myers, Courtney Boyd. Techstars: the next great incubator unleashes 11 startups in NYC. The Next Web. April 16, 2011.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Results Results: Techstars.
  6. ^ Olanoff, Drew. The eleven companies relocated to San Antonio to join the first Techstars Cloud. The Next Web. April 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Thomas, Mike. Techstars Program to Jumpstart San Antonio’s Investment Community. The San Antonio Business Journal. April 4, 2012.
  8. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri. Microsoft Just Picked 11 Startups to Build Amazing Apps for Kinect. Business Insider. April 2, 2012.
  9. ^ "Getting up to speed". The Economist. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  10. ^ Global Accelerator Network
  11. ^ Spencer, Malia. AlphaLab now part of Techstars Network. Pittsburgh Business Times. January 31, 2011.
  12. ^ Crichton, Danny (19 June 2018). "Patriot Boot Camp wants to turn soldiers into entrepreneurs". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  13. ^ Dillet, Romain. "Techstars launches a new program in Paris at the Partech Shaker". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  14. ^ "Air Force opens applications for dual-purpose technology accelerator p". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Techstars doubles down on European commitment with the launch of two new accelerator programs in Paris and Stockholm". Techstars. 2021-09-14. Archived from the original on 2023-02-02. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  17. ^ Popper, Ben. How the quiet Adam Rothenberg became number two at hot startup incubator Techstars NY. Venture Beat. March 12, 2012.
  18. ^ Fields, Jonathan. Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. Portfolio Hardcover, 2011.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Crook, Jordan (July 16, 2013). "TechStars-Backed Bookkeeping Service 10Sheet Relaunches As Bench With New $2M Seed Round". TechCrunch.
  21. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (March 23, 2014). "Digital Ocean's Journey From TechStars Reject To Cloud-Hosting Darling". TechCrunch.
  22. ^ Wauters, Robin (September 8, 2011). "TechStars Graduate FullContact Lands $1.5 Million, Helps Keep Contact Records Updated". TechCrunch.
  23. ^ Cheredar, Tom. Graphicly shutters iOS & Android comic book apps to focus on self-publishing service. Venture Beat. April 5, 2012.
  24. ^ Vuong, Andy. Colorado startups becoming tech stars. The Denver Post. April 10, 2010.
  25. ^ Kincaid, Jason. Automattic Has Acquired IntenseDebate's Enhanced Comment System. TechCrunch. September 23, 2008.
  26. ^ "TechStars alum Mocavo grabs $4M to help you find your ancestors - VentureBeat - Deals - by Sean Ludwig". VentureBeat.
  27. ^ "Mocavo Acquired By Findmypast: A New Chapter Begins". Mocavo Blog - News, Announcements & More from the World's Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine.
  28. ^ Kyle Alspach (6 February 2012). "An unusual TechStar: Murfie seeks to build huge CD store". Boston Business Journal.
  29. ^ Ruth, Joao-Pierre. Xconomis of the Week. Xconomy. April 12, 2012.
  30. ^ Orbotix Sphero is Rolling to an Apple Store Near You. Techcrunch. June 29, 2012.
  31. ^ "Rheaply Raises $2.5M to Strengthen Asset Management". Waste 360. March 23, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  32. ^ Dizik, Alina. 6 Time-Management Tips from Accelerator Programs. Fast Company. March 14, 2012.
  33. ^ "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012". 21 June 2012.
  34. ^ Liam Boogar (February 25, 2013). "With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D". Rude Baguette.
  35. ^ "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Balderton Capital. December 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014.
  36. ^ Reisinger, Don. AOL Acquires Lifestreaming Service Socialthing. Mashable. August 14, 2008.
  37. ^ Moschen, Isabell (June 6, 2013). "The Two-Wheeled Amenity". New York Times.
  38. ^ Schiller, Ben. "A Self-Contained Bike Share To Make College (Or Your Office Park) More Fun". Co.Exist.
  39. ^ "Lifebit raises $3M to scale-up AI-powered analysis of DNA data". 19 July 2018.

External links[edit]