Introducing the 11 Companies for the London Fall 2015 Class

Techstars welcomes its fourth cohort in London and I am proud to announce the 11 companies that will be joining us for the Fall 2015 Class. It is going to be a diverse group of entrepreneurs from five countries, including Estonia, the Czech Republic, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

From the sector perspective, companies range from collaboration, music and hiring, to personal security and 3D printing. A full list of companies participating in Techstars London Fall 2015 are listed below:

Ambie is a legal, personalised, music streaming service for businesses.
      Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.25.37 PM Deekit is a virtual whiteboard to help remote teams work seamlessly.
Hackajob is an online marketplace that matches technical candidates directly with employers and then the candidates apply by completing job-specific challenges.
Headliner is a marketplace connecting event planners with the world’s live entertainment to easily book acts for weddings, celebrations or corporate events.
NomNom lets you aggregate, organize and categorize all customer feedback in one place.
PingWHEN is a ‘smart’ personal safety mobile app.
PrintToPeer automates fleets of 3D printers in commercial or university production labs.
Sorry as a Service is a customer retention solution that enables businesses to send apologies, measure, track and optimize their retention activities and reduce churn and negative sentiment.
 unnamed Spero builds mobile communities around chronic illnesses. Their first product, Spero for Cancer, connects fighters, survivors and supporters of cancer.

TeskaLabs provides enterprise-grade security solutions for industrial and consumer mobile applications. is a new computing layer between the OS and the apps that reinvents what search means.

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The Techstars Experience: Rainbird & 100 Days of Techstars

What’s it like to go through a Techstars program? The program can change your life – but it’s not always pretty.

This is the next post in our blog series, The Techstars Experience, with some thoughts from Dom Davis, Co-Founder and CTO of Rainbird, an artificial intelligence platform that automates knowledge-work by unlocking internal expertise and amplifying that value across an organization. Dom and his co-founders completed the Techstars London 2014 Winter program.

This installment of The Techstars Experience is a bit different. Dom blogged (nearly) every day of his 100 days in program. He talks very candidly  not only about the program itself — but the lack of sleep, the food, the exhaustion, the grueling commute, and the demands on his family (his very pregnant wife and a three year old child).

Dom compiled these posts into an ebook called, “100 Days of Techstars.” He gives the blow by blow in personal diary style with a blunt voice and a British twist. It’s a good read…

Check out a few excerpts below and as Dom puts it, “Follow my descent into insanity and find out what it is to be at Techstars for 100 days.

[re: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint]

(day 9)
Mentor meetings in the morning, [extremely] long lunch with a very good friend of mine and colleague who was able to offer some very interesting advice and some possible introductions, back to the office to do a couple of hours work, out by 19:00 with the intention of going home and going pretty much straight to bed.

Didn’t quite manage that as Chris and I started talking about some issues that had been uncovered during the day and then started throwing around some ideas to fix these issues. Next thing you know the notepads are out and diagrams are being drawn. OK, so it’s not exactly high intensity work – and we did range over a number of topics while also cooking and eating dinner – but we still utterly failed in the task of go home, switch off, go to sleep.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the mentality of working every available hour and pushing yourself as hard as you can. That’s great, but you also have to remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. There are no prizes for being the first to collapse in a crumpled heap before the finish line is even in sight.

[re: The Techstars Clock of Doom]

(day 23)

The Techstars Clock of Doom rolled over to the 70’s today, which is just terrifying. We’re in week 4. We’ve been here 23 days and it just seems that we’re going to get catapulted out the other side of this process way too fast because in some respects it still only feels like we’ve been there a few days.

(day 89)

It’s odd. The ever present Techstars Clock of Doom which has, until now, been instilling a sense of urgency before demo day is now tinged with sadness. Every second it ticks is another second closer to the end. And that sucks. Royally.

[re: Mentorship & Office Hours]

(day 31)

Techstars set up a number of what they call “Office Hours”. Basically a period of time where useful people will be in the office and you can book a quick meeting with them. One of these was with Tony Blank from I mentioned to Tony that I could do with speaking to someone who knew more about graph databases than I did. Tony pointed me at the CEO of because they know about databases. The CEO introduced me to their CTO and lead technical guy, and before I know it I’ve got them coming to visit to talk to me.

In the space of a week I’ve gone from clueless to having access to a huge wealth of information on how our approach is going to work, even at scale. This kind of useful introduction, and willingness to help and provide information goes on all the time which is one of the key things that makes this programme so useful for me.

[re: Burden on the family]

(day 49)

Before going to Techstars I researched the hell out of it. One thing that is made abundantly clear is that if you have a family or partner, they are going to suffer. With that in mind I set expectations with my wife to be low. Very low. Like 5 minute video call once a day and back home every other weekend at best low. Unsurprisingly this caused an argument, but not a major one. I was the first to admit I was being horribly selfish, and the hoped for outcome benefits the entire family hugely. We both understand that.

So my heavily pregnant wife is effectively a single mum for 3 months with flying visits from me for 48 hours at a time every two weeks or so. Not insurmountable, many wives have endured that, but not exactly easy either. It seems this departure was the breaking point….

I now get to throw myself into work with no time to think about anything else. My wife has to keep the house and family together for my return. All I can say is that if your partner bears up as well as mine you’re onto a keeper there.

To get the full story of this founder’s Techstars Experience, download Dom’s full ebook here.

Want to apply to Techstars? Check out our Program Schedule.

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Techstars London Winter 2014: The Trilogy

Just over 3 years ago Techstars announced its launch in London and in the intervening period, it has gone on to open a further three programmes that includes Techstars Berlin, the Techstars Metro Accelerator and the Barclays Accelerator which has recently opened in New York. Any doubts about whether the European tech scene has hit its stride has been dispelled.

Demand to get tickets for the Techstars London Demo Day has been unprecedented and with over 1,000 people signed up; making the event into one of the top 20 tech events in Europe. As a result, a second screen at the Genesis Cinema has also been opened to allow everyone to attend – effectively running a second Demo Day simultaneously – think Techstars “unplugged”.

Alongside the Demo Day itself, fireside talks and panel discussions have also been arranged with moderators including David Rowan (WIRED), Mike Butcher (Techcrunch) and Robin Wauters ( Participants include Liam Casey (PCH International), Nicolas Brusson (BlaBlacar), Usman Haque (Umbrellium), Roland Lamb (Roli) and Mikkel Svane (Zendesk); as well as investors from Union Square Ventures, Wellington Partners, Balderton Capital and Index Ventures.

From over 1,000 applications to pick from Techstars London Winter 2014 finally settled on 10 companies that includes our first company from Kazakhstan, and founders from the Middle East, Canada and the US. There is also a strong representation from London and elsewhere in the UK – including companies from Edinburgh, Cambridge and Norwich!! The batch also includes five companies led by previously successful entrepreneurs with the average age of the founders being 33 years old.

  • BidVine:  a service to help you find the right professional without all of the legwork;
  • Big Data for Humans: a B2B solution that automating customer insights without massive costs of employing data science;
  • GeoSpock: a real-time database that can handle can any scale data with no performance degradation;
  • Indybo: modular robotic toy company that transforms the way kids learn about programming and electronics;
  • Kimono: an enterprise messaging platform that transforms how people communicate at work, with an unbelievably simple solution;
  • Knyttan: is a vertically integrated fashion brand whose unique technology allows it to offer more designs and respond to trends faster than any existing retailer;
  • Lystable: is the platform for the lean enterprise, helping large organisations manage their suppliers and external resource;
  • Rainbird: is a symbolic AI platform that is transforming the way that businesses are automating human-intensive knowledge work;
  • Swarm: allows you to create and crowd fund a collaborative company.
  • UB: provides a native shopping basket for apps that aggregate products, significantly increasing their conversion rate.

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Announcing the 10 Companies for the London Winter 2014 Class

Today Techstars London welcomes another exceptional group of entrepreneurs into our Winter 2014 Class.  From across a broad spectrum, companies come from a multiple of sectors including B2C and B2B, but also include for the first time hardware companies (IndyBo & Kynttan) and crypto-currency startups (Swarm).

As a demonstration of the growing maturity of the UK ecosystem, a greater number of teams come from the UK including London, but also Edinburgh, Cambridge and Norwich!!  However, as with other programmes we have also attracted overseas teams from United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan.

As with the previous Techstars London programmes, half of the companies include entrepreneurs who have participated in successful startups – but we also welcome two companies founded by younger single founders.  A full list of the companies participating in Techstars London Winter 2014 are listed below.

  • BidVine is a fast, free way to get competing quotes for local services from interested and available professionals.
  • Big Data for Humans brings analytics to everyday marketers so they can substantially increase ecommerce revenues and profit.
  • GeoSpock is a real-time geo-location database that allows for location based services to scale bigger, be faster & run cheaper.
  • Indybo is a revolutionary robotics toy that teaches kids the basics of programming and electronics in a fun and intuitive way.
  • Kimono is a new enterprise communication platform, enabling organised, productive messaging across teams, groups and between organisations.
  • Knyttan sits at the intersection of hardware, software and knitwear creating a platform for unique, custom clothing on an industrial scale.
  • Lystable is a beautifully simple tool that helps agencies manage their suppliers.
  • Rainbird allows you to structure package your expert knowledge creating a virtual ‘you’ others can consult with to solve problems.
  • Swarm is a Bitcoin-powered crowdfunding network with unique incentive structures for distributing risk and sharing rewards.
  • UB provides customers a single basket for the whole internet, save items from any site and checkout everything at once.

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Come Join us for Techstars Demo Day in London – All are Welcome!

Techstars loves the London startup community, and for the first time ever we’re inviting the larger community to come attend Demo Day on June 20th, 2014. Check out some of the innovative companies you’ll get to hear from!

RSVP here: 

Following are 10 reasons why this cohort is awesome and you should come and attend.

1. We’re starting to like cricket



2. We’ve become fascinated with Sainsburys cookies



3. We work hard – sometimes too hard



4. We embrace the English weather



5. We love sharing



6. We work even at networking drinks



7. We love Oculus Rift c/o Facebook



8. Some of us have adopted royal manners



9. We work only on standing desks



10. We’ve learned to love English takeaway


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Techstars in London 2014: The Sequel

Just over 12 months ago Techstars launched in London and now we are launching its sequel today – bigger and better – that will end with a Demo Day on June 20.

With over 1,000 applications to pick from Techstars London Spring 2014 finally settled on 11 companies from 8 different countries including USA, Estonia, Germany, Spain, Israel, Ireland, South Korea as well as the UK.  To bring this truly international line up to London, 13 entrepreneur visas have had to be quickly issued before the start of the programme.

To really challenge people’s perception of a company participating in an accelerator consider this, the companies already have over 50 staff, that includes two previously successful entrepreneurs and five of the 11 companies have already raised $4m in total.

  • Avuba is fixing banking by building a mobile first bank service.
  • Eat In My Seat allows you to skip the queue at venues by ordering directly to your seat.
  • eRated lets you use one reputation score in a world of marketplaces.
  • Good Audience increases your reach and gets your brand, product or service in front of over 400 million active social media users.
  • Lingvist is an adaptive language learning tool that significantly reduces the time needed to learn a new language.
  • Magnific connects readers, writers and curators for a more personalised reading experience.
  • Proximus is an analytics engine that examines the behaviour of consumers using innovative indoor geolocation technology.
  • Pubble uses everywhere your customers live online to build an active community on your website
  • Smile Family is a mobile community for moms.
  • Spatch is a new decentralized communication protocol built on top of email.
  • Zzish helps developers make education apps more engaging and effective.

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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.

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Top 11 Reasons to Apply to Techstars in London

The final deadline to apply to Techstars in London and NYC is the same– end of day on December 31st. Life just isn’t fun without a bit of family rivalry. So here are the top 11 reasons to come to London instead:

1. We’re strict


2. But we do have a sense of humo(u)r

2 part 1.jpg

3. Our Tube is inspirational

4. You will love all the different nationalities and accents here

2 part 2

5. It really doesn’t rain that much


6. And the food is pretty darn good


7. We drive on the other side of the road


8. You will have more (warm) beer than you’ve ever had


9. Your friends will love your awesome new British accent


10. Our pigeons will become your best friends


And the extra special #11 reason:

11. David Cohen is secretly related to Prince William and is a Duke himself


Looking forward to your application!

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Applications Are Open for London and NYC 2014

Applications for the Spring 2014 sessions of Techstars in London and New York City open today, October 28th. You have until December 31st, 11:59 PST to apply but we encourage you to submit your application by our early deadline of December 6, 2013 so we have more time to get to know you and your team.

For details on why applying early is important and how to stand out from the vast pool of applicants, see Managing Director Nicole Glaros’ post from last year. If you’re wondering if you’re too far along and whether Techstars would be a good fit for you, we leave it to our founders to weigh in on their experiences with us.

Techstars companies average $1.5M in funding. In a world where startups are likely to fail, the majority of our 300+ portfolio companies are alive, well or acquired. We back the best startups with the most effective entrepreneurial network in the world.

Apply now.

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