Techstars Boulder Demo Day 2014

Today 13 incredible companies will take the stage at the Boulder Theater to celebrate the culmination of their Techstars experience. Demo Day in many ways is the distillation of all the lessons, laughs, struggles and accomplishments that have been jam-packed into these past thirteen weeks, and we couldn’t be more excited for this cohort of entrepreneurs and what they’ve accomplished in such little time.

Under rapid-fire, marketing plans have been created and executed, videos have been produced, logos and branding have been refined, pitches have been reiterated at least a thousand fold, and that just scratches the surface. These growing pains, though familiar, are usually par for the course. The real magic has been in just how cohesive and generous this class has been in helping each other not just succeed, but thrive.

This year’s Boulder Techstars cohort, however, is remarkable in many ways. 10 of the 13 companies are comprised of serial entrepreneurs, meaning this isn’t their first rodeo, and perhaps that’s most telling by the fact that 9 of 13 are already generating revenue.

Beyond these benchmarks, these companies are tackling big issues, ones that touch almost every aspect of our daily lives: they’re helping communities save missing children; they’re creating new markets for renewable energy; they’re reimagining how we manage our credit; and they’re rethinking how technology can be a pathway for more authentic connection.

Please join us in celebrating the Techstars Boulder class of 2014.


All4Staff moves traditional employee onboarding to a mobile first solution that workers complete before they arrive.@All4Staff
Bawte connects manufacturers who sell through retail to their end customers.@Bawte
ExpenseBot is artificial intelligence for enterprise finance, starting with expense reports that do themselves.@ExpenseBot
Final is a new type of credit card that creates dynamic card numbers, radically reducing fraud.@Final
Kapta helps CEOs track and manage the most critical priorities of their business.@Kapta
Lassy Project notifies an entire local community about a missing child within seconds.@LassyProject
Native is a fun and beautiful mobile app for college students to find, create, and share activities in their local community.@Native_App
Notion is a multi-function sensor engineered for complete home intelligence.@Notion
QuotaDeck is a marketplace for the 8 million salespeople to receive warm introductions to their target buyers.@QuotaDeck
ShareableSocial is content on cruise control! We create and post industry specific social media content for small business owners.@ShareableSocial
Sportsy is a mobile training and education platform for sports.@Sportsy
Wellhire is a mobile first app that matches enterprise company opportunities with highly compatible job candidates.@WellHireNews
Wunder is a marketplace that reimagines solar project finance by connecting investors with thoroughly vetted opportunities.@WunderCapital

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Techstars Boulder Informal Job Fair on 8/27

Companies in the current Techstars Boulder 2014 class are trying to do more faster, and they need to hire immediately!

On Wed, Aug 27th, from 6-7:30 pm EST, Techstars Boulder will open its doors to highly passionate and motivated people wanting to work for a startup.  You’ll meet the companies in the current class that are hiring over an informal beer. There won’t be an agenda for the evening, just networking with great startups!

Available Positions include:

  • Designer (UI/UX)
  • Graphic Designer
  • Business Development
  • Growth Hacker
  • Account Manager
  • Inside Sales Person
  • Sales & Marketing Generalist
  • Sales Executive
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Intern
  • Marketing Director
  • Director or VP of Marketing (DOE)
  • Senior Developer
  • Junior Developer
  • Full-Stack Engineer/Generalist
  • Director or VP of Operations (DOE)
  • Operational/Organized Rockstar

Companies looking to hire:

Lassy Project
Shareable Social

Requirements: Want to work for a very early stage startup. That’s it.

Please bring a bunch of hard copies of your resume, and don’t wear a suit!

RSVP here

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Meet the 13 Companies Participating in the Boulder Class of 2014!

Today is always an exciting day for me.  It’s the day I get to tell you all about the companies in this next Techstars Boulder 2014 class – and it’s day 1 of the Techstars program!  But before you read about them,  I’d like to take a moment to tip my hat to the teams who weren’t selected.

I read every single application. I watched every single video. I read about their backgrounds and played with their applications.  I got to know many of the companies and their founders very well which always makes the decision gut wrenching and often heartbreaking.  This year was particularly hard and it seems to get harder every year.

But the thing I always wholeheartedly believe is that not getting into Techstars isn’t a rejection – it’s why we call it internally non-selection.  There are fantastic companies that we don’t accept for reasons that aren’t reflective of the company itself.  For instance, I think a different Techstars program is a better fit for that particular company, or I don’t have the mentors necessary to move the needle for that particular market, or the company has some things it needs to figure out before really being able to optimize around the program.

We have a couple of mantras around Techstars, and one of my favorites is #FoundersFirst.  All of my decisions map to that. And I have a team of people that help me make sure I’m staying true to that mantra.   If you read between the lines, you’ll see that theme in all of the reasons I cite above.

So, I just wanted to throw a little love to all the teams that applied but didn’t get in, for all the people that sent recommendations for them – for all the hard work everyone puts into the Techstars application process.  I can only hope you got as much out of the process as I did.  And I’m looking forward to seeing your application again next year.

No more looking backwards.  Let’s look forwards.  Without further ado, I present to you the Techstars Boulder Class of 2014!

Mobile HR Paperwork and more

Mobile app that manages your products and their warranties, instruction manuals, and customer support

Expense reports that do themselves

A credit card for the 21st century

Management and tracking of executive team objectives and KPIs

Notify an entire local community about a missing child within seconds

Loop: An all-in-one sensor for simplified home security

Platform for B2B freelance salespeople generating qualified leads for businesses

Social media posts for SMBs

Mobile training & coaching for sports

Varsity: Helps students discover events, clubs, and classes they love based on their interests

Hiring decisions made easy

Crowdfunded commercial solar

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Additional Openings for Hackstars for the Boulder Class of 2014!

Part of the fun of accepting a slightly larger than normal cohort of exciting and mind-blowing start-ups is being able to hire a few more Hackstars for the 2014 program!

What is a Hackstar?

A technical ninja who provides teams with his/her time and technical skills to help companies become viable businesses by the end of the three-month program

What do we look for?

·       You are a code-slinging mac-daddy superstar guru at any one or more of the following: PHP, Java, .NET, Python, Objective-C, Ruby, JQuery, OR a rockstar designer or UI/UX pro.

·       You are willing to work full-time in Boulder (or are willing to relocate) during the summer program (mid-July until October 10, 2014).

Why Do it?

·       Community – The staff, associates, mentors, and founders are all part of a very fun and special family.  It is a highly collaborative environment where strong life-long relationships are built.

·       Learning – Everyone learns from each other. You will work side-by-side with some of the country’s most promising new founders and young companies and learn all about startups and funding from our mentors.

If you want to join a startup or if you want to start your own startup, there is no better deal out there.

How to Apply?

Email Julie Penner at ASAP.

For more information

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Awesomeness – Finding a business model

Last week was week 2 of Techstars Boulder’s 7 Weeks of Awesome, featuring Nate and Natty of Everlater (Techstars ’09, acquired by AOL) talking about how they found a business model.  There are same fantastic insights in here for how to develop and improve your own business model over time. For those of you who weren’t able to make it to last week’s awesome presentation, good news! We taped it! Thanks to Paul at 23rdstudios for capturing the awesomeness.

If you like what you see, applications for Boulder 2014 are open.  You can apply here to Techstars.  The deadline for applications is May 4th. Don’t wait until the last day!

Awesomeness continues.  Next Monday at 4:30 is a Techstars Open House.  We also have a treasure trove of presenters this month from Mitch Wainer of Digital Ocean to Howard Diamond of Mobile Day and our own David Cohen!  Don’t miss these upcoming events. Thoughts and advice from rock stars like Jason Mendelson on 10 (or 18) Things That Will Screw Your Company, is just one of the many benefits to being in the Techstars program.

Click here for the video on how Nate and Natty of Everlater found a business model and sold their company to AOL/MapQuest.

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[VIDEO] Startup Stories: weeSpring, Having a Baby AND a Startup

weeSpring is a platform that helps you share advice with your friends about baby essentials, like bottles, strollers and diapers. They were part of the Techstars class in NYC last year and we’re so impressed with their traction and progress. Go, team, go!

Watch more Techstars videos here.  You can also subscribe to our YouTube or Vimeo Channel.

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7 Weeks of Awesome: Gearing Up for Techstars in Boulder

Applications for Techstars in Boulder opened up yesterday, and to celebrate, we’re hosting a handful of events that are valuable to startups as well as free and open to the public. I hope I see you at one or more of these! Please register below.

Here is the 7 Weeks of Awesome Schedule:

Monday 3/24 @ 4:30 – 10 things that will screw up your startup with Jason Mendelson.

Monday 3/31 @ 4:30 – You have a startup, but do you have a business? with Nate & Natty, founders of Everlater

Monday 4/7 @ 4:30 – Growth Hacking with Mitch Wainer, co-founder of Digital Ocean

Monday 4/14 @ 4:30 – Techstars Open House

Monday 4/21 @ 4:30 – Fundraising awesomeness with David Cohen, founder and CEO of Techstars

Monday 4/28 @ 4:30 – Enterprise Sales with Howard Diamond

The Week of 5/13 – The notorious Boulder Startup Week– stay tuned to our Events page for updates.

Thursday 5/15 @ 1:00 – 4:00 – Techstars for a Half Day

The early deadline for Boulder is April 13th and final deadline is May 4th. Why should you apply early? Our final deadline is June 1st. If you haven’t done so already, apply today for Techstars!

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The Women of Techstars in NYC

We’re always on the lookout for strong female founders. Historically it’s been tough because they simply don’t apply to Techstars and they lack in numbers as entrepreneurs in general. Well, if this year is any indication of a future trend – watch out world, the ladies are coming up strong!

Our 2014 Techstars in NYC program is the strongest one yet for female entrepreneurs. Out of 13 companies, 5 of them have women co-founders. While Alex and I don’t have exact numbers, the number of women applicants this year felt a lot stronger than in the past and I was continuously impressed with the quality of their projects. Many of them got to the final stages of the interview process.

So join us in giving a warm welcome to Suzanne Xie of HullabaluConnie Wong and Susan Zheng of LynxsyTheresa Preston-Warner of OmakaseAmanda Solosky of RivalTheory, and Tiffany Bogich of Standard Analytics.

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Great News for Techstars in NYC: Alex Iskold joins as Managing Director and Other Big Changes

This last class of Techstars was my sixth program but my first ever in NYC. This month marks the year anniversary of working with the NYC program and I’ve had a lot of time to learn the ins and outs of the Silicon Alley tech scene and the Techstars’ ecosystem there. Because I’ve run programs in other locations, I’ve had the unique opportunity to learn about the characteristics of different tech communities and see the best practices in each. I can say without a doubt that because of the unique assets of NYC (including access to industry and Fortune 500 companies), access to capital and a quickly growing stable of amazing, experienced entrepreneurs – NYC has the potential someday to be the single best tech market out there.

That said, my feeling is that we still have a ways to go before fully realizing the potential in NYC. There’s still a lot of gelling that needs to happen and having worked with mentors, entrepreneurs, and investors in NYC, I’ve seen that friction firsthand. Even at Techstars, we have really struggled, especially this last year, to really capture the potential of the community. We did a lot of things wrong and we learned a lot. Now, with a year under my belt, I have a deep understanding of where our areas for improvement live, have had countless discussions with influencers in the community and I’ve developed a theory on how to make the tech scene in NYC amazing. I have a heartfelt and deep belief that by putting the entrepreneur first, Techstars can gravitationally change the NYC tech scene for the better. So, in the spirit of an overhaul, I’m going to change some things at Techstars that I hope has broader implications across the entire ecosystem.

1. I’m pleased to announce that we’ve hired veteran entrepreneur Alex Iskold to join Techstars in NYC as Managing Director. We have learned that you need experienced entrepreneurs in leadership roles and Alex is an experienced entrepreneur who has been deeply involved as a mentor to our programs. His background as a great CEO gives him a unique skill set well suited for the job. He believes, as do I, that this is an amazing city with a ton of unrealized potential, and he and I are hell bent on making this the best city for entrepreneurship. I’ll still be heavily involved in the program from a coaching and mentorship capacity and will be there for the duration of the program, but I’m thrilled to hand the day-to-day operations off to Alex. Here is Alex’s blog post about joining Techstars.

2. Mentorship is at the core of what makes Techstars magical and in NYC we have access to some of the world’s best mentors. As I’ve traveled to different communities, I’ve learned that the magic in helping entrepreneurs is deep engagement from mentors. But in New York, we opted to focus on breadth of exposure as opposed to depth of engagement because of the sheer quantity of high-quality individuals. The result was entrepreneurs in too many meetings with mentors that didn’t know enough intimate details about the companies to make insightful recommendations. There is no quick fix and a single thirty minute meeting with a team does not help entrepreneurs become successful. In short, without that depth of engagement, the signal-to-noise ratio was off. We’re working on ways to leverage our mentors’ areas of expertise into focused, results-oriented group meetings with bi-directional feedback (both to the mentors and to the companies). Our hope is that by focusing on outcomes and feedback, not only will our teams improve but mentors will get better too. Everyone wins. Our dream is that this will even trickle outside of Techstars, helping create a tectonic shift in the way the entire community interacts with and helps entrepreneurs and startups.

3. Community is critically important to entrepreneurs and I’m excited about some programs and events we’re working on that will bring the tech community together. In fact, we’re doing a couple of these events in the next month or two. Check them out. They are free and open to everyone, not just Techstars’ teams or applicants.

4. This one really isn’t a change, it’s just a mantra. When the community comes together and “Gives First,” magic happens. I see it a ton in NYC, but we’ve never really labeled it as such and it’s one of the most powerful tools any community has. When mentors genuinely “Give First” to entrepreneurs, investing their time, guidance, address book, and even capital – we can better help ALL entrepreneurs in NYC. A rising tide raises all ships. Don’t be surprised if you hear “Give First” around the Techstars community.

If you didn’t already know it, applications for Techstars NYC are now open and they close by the end of the year. Applying early will get your application the attention it deserves (see my post about this from earlier this year).

We love this city and we have seen what Techstars can do in a community. We’re thrilled by the possibilities here and know 2014 is going to be an amazing year. Let’s do this together.

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Free Startup Workshops at Techstars in NYC

We’re launching a new educational series for you in NYC, designed to help make your startup KILLER. Any entrepreneur is welcome and encouraged to attend. All events are free. We’re making the series workshop-based and our goal is for you to leave with tactical things you can apply to your startup. Please RSVP as seating will be extremely limited. I hope to see you there!

Applications for Techstars in NYC are currently open. If you’re interested in applying, hop to it.

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