The Program

Techstars Blog

7th March 2014

Disney Accelerator Recruiting Event Schedule

As we announced recently,  we are thrilled to be working with The Walt Disney Company on Disney Accelerator, Powered by Techstars.  We’re now hitting the road to tell the world about it! In the coming weeks, a team from Disney Accelerator will be visiting Austin, Boston, New York, Palo Alto, London, and San Francisco to share more about the program and meet some awesome founders and entrepreneurs in the media and entertainment space.

Representatives from both Disney and Techstars will be hosting events in several cities for interested entrepreneurs. Please join us to hear about this exciting new program and ask any questions you have.

Click one of the links below to request an invite. We’ll send an email to confirm your RSVP. Due to limited space, we unfortunately won’t be able to accommodate everyone, but we’ll certainly do our best!

March 9th - Austin, TX (morning session)
March 9th - Austin, TX (afternoon session)
March 12th – Boston, MA
March 13th – New York City, NY
March 18th – Palo Alto, CA
March 19th – London, UK
March 20th – San Francisco, CA
April 7th – Los Angeles, CA

Additionally, while in Austin during SXSW, we’re hosting open office hours, giving founders a chance to meet with us one-on-one. If you’ll be in Austin during SXSW, click on the link below to schedule some time with us!

Office Hours on March 10
Office Hours on March 11

Learn more and apply to Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars by the deadline of April 16: http://disneyaccelerator.com

We look forward to reading your application!

5th March 2014

Techstars Patriot Boot Camp 2014

Techstars is excited to partner with Goldman Sachs and The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for its Patriot Boot Camp spring 2014 event. The program will be held at Goldman Sachs’ New York City headquarters from May 16th-18th. Application to Patriot Boot Camp is now open. We encourage all interested candidates to apply here.

Patriot Boot Camp is an intense three-day program modeled after our traditional three month programs and this will be our third year running the program. It is provided to Veterans, active service members and/or their spouses at no cost. Between 50 and 75 hand selected participants receive education, mentorship and networking focused on helping them start their own technology companies. No investment is made in participating companies and Techstars makes no profit from running the program. We just want to give back to the Veterans and service members who have given so much to our country.

“We would not be where we are today without the PBC. I believe we would still have been successful, but not at the rate at which PBC and Techstars helped us.” - Dave Cass, 2012 PBC alumni, US Navy Veteran and founder of Uvize, who went on to get accepted to the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by Techstars in 2013.

Patriot Boot Camp is made possible by the generous support of many organizations that are committed to seeing Veterans succeed as entrepreneurs, founders and employees. The Kauffman Foundation leads this support along with Goldman Sachs Technology Division, in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Veterans Network, who is hosting and donating facilities for the event. SendGrid, Kauffman FastTrac, Greenhouse, Cooley, FullContact, PivotDesk, and Kendall, Koening, & Oelsner PC are also proud sponsors. Additionally, the program is fortunate to have Blue Star Families and the Institute for Veteran and Military Families as a supporting partner.

If you have questions or are considering an application, please get in touch with John and Taylor, who continue to do a standup job of managing and running our program.

5th March 2014

FG Press and Uncommon Stock

Our friends at Foundry Group announced Foundry Group Press last week, an equitable publishing service that treats authors like partners, not service providers. With authors billed as top priority, FG Press promises:

…to be at the forefront of this change, experimenting constantly in order to build a strong community around long-form written content in the domain of entrepreneurship. You’ll see non-fiction, fiction, self-help, and science fiction from us. And you’ll see a wide range of known and unknown writers.

Techstars has done a site license for all founders for one of the first titles by FG Press, Uncommon Stock, which is released to the public today today. The book is penned by Eliot Peper, a writer and consultant who works with entrepreneurs as a drop-in operator and adviser. As a former founder and early-stage employee at multiple startups, Eliot is well positioned to tell the story of two young founders starting a tech company.

Uncommon-Stock-iBooks

We’re super excited about FG Press and expect it to change the dynamic between authors and readers, bringing the two parties closer together. A site license for Uncommon Stock for our founders is an easy give.

If you’re not a Techstars founder, you can buy the book on Amazon here for just $4.99. If you are, we will be in touch!

14th February 2014

[VIDEO] Happy Valentine’s Day: How to Find a Partner


In the words of David Cohen: “Finding the right co-founder for your startup is crucial. Much like a marriage, you’re going to succeed and fail together at every turn.” Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Techstars. May you take the night off from doing more faster to enjoy your loved ones.

Check out our collection of videos over at Techstars TV. We’re also on Instagram and you can subscribe to us on YouTube.

12th February 2014

Announcing Disney Accelerator, Powered by Techstars

David and MickeyAt Techstars, we are 100% focused on changing the way startups are built by arming them with a massive interconnected network of amazing founders, mentors, and advisors. Building this network with high quality is our true north, and is why we exist.

Today we are adding a very powerful new node to the Techstars network. We are thrilled to announce Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars, and based in Los Angeles.

Disney Accelerator combines the magic of The Walt Disney Company with the mentorship-driven accelerator model of Techstars to offer a unique advantage for technology startups in the media and entertainment space. Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney World, SportsCenter, Disney Store, Buzz Lightyear, Disney Infinity, Jimmy Kimmel, Iron Man, Yoda (!!!!) — the breadth of influence and impact that our new partner provides to culture and business is beyond profound. Disney has an incredible legacy of creativity and innovation that dates directly to the entrepreneurial spirit of Walt Disney himself.

Companies selected to participate in Disney Accelerator will receive $120,000 in investment capital to develop their ideas, along with mentor support from top Disney executives, including Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger, and leaders from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, among others. Mentors will also include other entertainment industry leaders, venture capitalists, and of course our extensive network of entrepreneurs and executives. Participants will have access to stories, characters, technology and other resources from across The Walt Disney Company. The program begins June 30 and concludes with a demo day in September in which each team will present their product to an audience of industry leaders and investors.

In addition, I’m happy to announce Cody Simms as Managing Director of Disney Accelerator. Cody has been operating at the intersection of technology and media/entertainment since the late 1990s and has been an advisor, mentor and friend to many startups along the way. He most recently was Chief Product Officer at StumbleUpon and prior to that was VP Product for Yahoo!’s entertainment portfolio globally. He’ll be joined in Los Angeles by Techstars veteran Kelsey Morgan and program coordinator Yohei Nakajima, who joins us from the Santa Monica coworking space Coloft.

Visit www.disneyaccelerator.com for details on the program and to apply by April 16, 2014.

“Do or do not, there is no try.”


4th February 2014

London Hackstars and Associates 2013: Where are they now?

Whenever there is a Techstars programme, we like to bring talented individuals who may not have an idea or company, but nonetheless want to contribute their skills to help startups succeed. Some of these individuals are designers/coders, and we call them Hackstars – others are more business or marketing focused, and we call them Associates.

During the three month programme, Associates and Hackstars work closely with the companies, shaping their day to day operations and contributing in a meaningful way alongside the founding teams. In return, they get experience in spades, learn what it’s like to execute furiously and become a part of the Techstars family.

Our last batch of London Hackstars/Associates have done some amazing things:

Chuka Amadi is a Boston-based freelance product designer and art director

* Erik Anderson, an Associate in London is a Program Manager at Startup Wise Guys, an Estonian accelerator

* Bronwyn Barnett is currently an Executive Assistant at InnoTech Summit

* Rob Esris became the Director of Engineering at NYC-based Modabound

* Hadi Laasi, a Hackstar, and Giacomo Summa, an Associate, are now the founding team at Stylect, an Oxygen Accelerator company

* Lucija Matic attended the Global Startup Youth Program in Malaysia and mentored a winning team

If you’ve always fancied working alongside great startups, our next London programme starts mid-March. And though you might not have the team or the idea yet, if you have startups coursing your through veins, we’d love to talk to you.

Apply to be a Hackstar here and an Associate here.

26th January 2014

Greg Rogers, Managing Director for Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars

Greg Photo Square

I’m excited to introduce Greg Rogers as Managing Director of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars. Greg was a mentor in residence in our London program in 2013 and brings over ten years of experience in the digital media and technology space as a successful entrepreneur, senior manager and angel investor. Prior to joining us, Greg was Senior VP of Premium Advertising at AOL, a hat he wore while also running Pictela, a content management system that he co-founded in 2008 and AOL purchased in 2010. Pictela was awarded Digiday’s Best Publishing Innovation for 2011.

Greg will be joined by the talented Jess Williamson, one of our program managers who recently ran the London program with Jon Bradford and also managed over two successful years of Springboard programs prior to Springboard and Techstars joining forces early last year.

FinTech founders interested in 15 weeks of mentorship and £12,500 in investment should apply before the final deadline of March 31, 2014.  Examples of the types of teams we’re looking for include payment solutions and applications, digital banking solutions, currency transfer products, and securities trading platforms.

See more information at the website and apply soon!

23rd January 2014

12 Companies for Winter 2014 Session in Boston

We are thrilled to announce the next Techstars class in Boston! We are now excited to launch our seventh Techstars program at our new home in the Leather District of Boston. Our session began this week and will wrap up on April 29th.

We continue to be extremely impressed with the quality of applications and love the diversity of their businesses. This session, the program includes companies building mobile-first communities, companies optimizing hiring and labor workforces and even one focused on self-improvement.

Finally, I just want to express how honored we are to have such strong support from our mentors, investors and sponsors in the Greater Boston community. We take this moment to thank them.

And now, here is the list of companies:

Cangrade
Cangrade automates HR with a candidate assessment and prediction tool

Change Collective
Transforming change. High-quality content from world-class experts plus technology built to help you change and learn anything.

ecoVent
ecoVent makes a smart, wireless, HVAC Zoning system that allows room by room temperature control in the home

HermesIQ
Platform for doctors to prioritize inbound patient information for optimizing workflow

Kinematiq
Hardware and software platform to quantify action sports and connect participants and brands

Litographs
Litographs helps authors connect with fans by producing tasteful, customizable and unique literary merchandise

Mapkin
Mapkin navigation adds crowd-sourced, personalized, human details to the journey

Narvii
Narvii is creating a mobile-first community platform for long-tail interests, organizations & brands

Onion
Onion is building a backend as a service software platform for connected devices

Refresh
Refresh is building eco-friendly, cost-effective beverage vending machines.

Sundar
Sundar provides a curated B2B marketplace for apparel and accessories sourcing, by matching suppliers with creative professionals

WorkMob
WorkMob is a partner driven freelance platform, initially targeting the API integration space

22nd January 2014

[VIDEO] Quotes for Entrepreneurs: Cookie Monster

It’s Wednesday! Time for a quote with an entrepreneurial twist. This week we talk to one of Brad Feld’s alter egos, Cookie Monster. When Megan and I asked Brad if there was anything he wanted us to include with this blog post, he told us, “You can quote me as saying, ‘I love chocolate cookies.’” You heard it here first!

Click to tweet: [VIDEO] Cookie Monster reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously. /via @bfeld #quotes

Check out our collection of videos over at Techstars TV. We’re also on Instagram and you can subscribe to us on YouTube.