An Entrepreneur’s Journey: Nadya Nguyen of HidrateSpark

Building a startup takes founders through a long journey, from inspiration to scaling your company and ultimately an exit. At Techstars, we’re excited about helping entrepreneurs no matter where you are in the entrepreneur’s journey – from inspiration to IPO.

Nadya Nguyen from HidrateSpark is one example of an entrepreneur who has successfully traveled through the Techstars network. In 2014, Nadya and her team participated in a Startup Weekend and created the first smart water bottle in 54 hours! Their product was well-received and soon after they applied to and were accepted by the Sprint Accelerator, powered by Techstars!

You can learn more and watch this quick video on HidrateSpark below. Congratulations to Nadya and HidrateSpark!

[VIDEO] Founders are Crazy

Meet Vijay Bangaru. Vijay is one of the amazing mentors in the Techstars network. He started mentoring in 2013 with GoodApril and was part of the team at MapQuest who acquired Everlater (Boulder ’09).

Vijay is the former CEO of, a mobile commerce startup. He’s currently involved in advising early stage companies and investors, and is a technology and product executive with a solid record of entrepreneurship building innovative new products at Google, Microsoft, and MapQuest. He’s currently running an engineering group building multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and new Infrastructure-as-a-Service products as a Senior Director of Engineering for Oracle Public Cloud.

“Ultimately at the end of the day it’s your decision. Your decision is probably the right one because you’re in it 90 hours a week.” – Vijay Bangaru

Watch a 60 second Mentor Spotlight video on Vijay below!

Thank you, Vijay, for your dedication and passion for helping entrepreneurs!

How to Navigate the Minefield of Motherhood and Career

Are you a female founder juggling a startup and kids or thinking of having a baby soon?

Allyson Downey, co-founder of weeSpring (NYC ‘13), knows how tough it is to navigate pregnancy, parenthood and profession. She took her own experience, plus the wisdom she gathered interviewing 75 women who have “successfully traversed the minefield that is having a baby while having a career,” and put it all together in a hands-on guide called, Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood.

“For many women in their 20’s and 30’s, the greatest professional hurdle they’ll need to overcome has little to do with their work life. The most focused, confident, and ambitious women can find themselves derailed by a tiny little thing: a new baby. Here’s the Plan offers an inspiring roadmap for working mothers steering their careers through the parenting years.”

Learn more about Allyson in the Founder Spotlight below and check out the book!


Founder Spotlight: Nadya Nguyen of HidrateSpark

Nadya Nguyen of HidrateSpark (Sprint ’15) has had a unique entrepreneur’s journey: she first traveled through the Techstars network as a participant in a Twin Cities Startup Weekend and then continued when she was accepted into the Sprint Accelerator in 2015.

HidrateSpark is a connected water bottle that syncs with your phone to track your daily water intake. It’s been called “the water bottle of the future” and has been covered by Fast Company, Forbes, Mashable and Buzzfeed.

Nadya, a 2014 business graduate from University of Minnesota, has entrepreneurship in her blood. Her parents were entrepreneurs in Russia with the mission to help give their children the best opportunities possible.

Now, Nadya and her team at Hidrate are building ways to help people improve their health starting with the HidrateSpark water bottle. Order your water bottle here and check out this 60 second video on Nadya below!

You can learn more and watch Techstars Founder Spotlights here.

Founder Spotlight on Jacqueline Ros of Revolar

Founder Spotlights are 60 second profiles about Techstars founders. There are so many inspiring entrepreneurs around us — we want to highlight them!


Jacqueline Ros is the CEO and founder of Revolar, a Techstars Boulder 2015 company. Revolar is a wearable technology that empowers you through unique safety intervention solutions. You can order your Revolar today, shipping on April 1st!

Jacqueline and her team ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, made the Top 25 for Sir Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge, and most recently closed a $3 million financing round with The Foundry Group.

Where Are They Now? Sphero

The latest company in our Where are They Now? series features Boulder-based Sphero, who first graduated from Techstars in 2010. Their passionate mentor, Paul Berberian, joined as their CEO later on that year. Sphero has grown quickly and even with their popularity and success, decided to go through the Disney Accelerator program in 2014. This experience led to an exciting opportunity to be involved with a new robot named BB-8—a new character in the upcoming installment of the Star Wars series!

Sphero is also making a positive impact on the world with their SPRK (Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids) program. By combining technology and robots, they’re teaching and inspiring children of all ages.  Whether you’re an educator or a parent, SPRK lessons give kids a fun crash course in programming while sharpening their skills in math and science.

Check out the video below and congratulations to everyone at Sphero!

Where Are They Now? – Ovuline

As we head into Easter weekend,  check out our new video about Ovuline as a part of our Where Are They Now? series.

Ovuline (Techstars Boston 2009) uses big data and mobile apps to help women conceive faster and have healthier pregnancies.

Ovuline’s mobile apps, Ovia Fertility and Ovia Pregnancy, are the leading women’s health apps in the Apple Store and Google Play, having helped over 2M women track their cycles and start healthy families.

In this season of new life and fertility, watch the story of how Ovuline is tracking “a new pregnancy reported every 70 seconds!”

Where Are They Now? – Ovuline “Focus on the product”

Localytics raises an additional $35m in funding

We’re excited to release this new short video, Where Are They Now? on Localytics, who just yesterday announced $35 million in venture capital, bringing total funding to around $60 million.  Localytics, a predictive app marketing and analytics company, went through Techstars in 2009. They stayed in Boston after the program ended and now have additional offices in London and San Francisco.  Watch this short video to learn more about Localytics and some of the key factors that they attribute to their success.

Learn more about Localytics here.

Want to apply to Techstars? Check out the schedule here.

Where Are They Now? – Simple Energy “Hiring the right people”

Check out our new video highlighting Simple Energy, a company making a positive impact on the world. Simple Energy is changing how millions of people think about energy and how utilities engage with their customers.  It has saved enough energy to take a city the size of Boulder or even Salt Lake City completely off the grid!

If you’re in Boulder next week, come see Simple Energy Founders, Yoav Lurie and Justin Segall, speak at Entrepreneurs Unplugged Tuesday, March 31st at 5:30 p.m.

Simple Energy is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that uses behavioral science, big data analytics, and digital marketing techniques to change how people think about energy. Essentially, they incentivize consumers to save energy with targeted messages, personalized insight into energy consumption, and rewards.

The Simple Energy story is part of our video series on the growth and learning lessons from Techstars companies, Where Are They Now?

Congratulations to the Simple Energy team!

Where Are They Now? – Simple Energy “Hiring the right people”

Startup Stories – Contently

Contently, who went through Techstars New York in 2011, is a marketplace that connects quality journalists with amazing publishers. They have been growing at an extraordinary rate.  Today with 50,000 journalists, nearing 70 employees, and 100 enterprise customers, mainly Fortune 500s like Coca-Cola, GE, Google, and American Express.  It’s impressive to watch them grow and make a positive impact in the world of marketing.

People have always said history is told by the victors but now in the digital age everyone has the opportunity to record their own history.  So in a sense those who tell the stories do rule the world today.
– David Goldberg, Contently

Watch this video below to hear about how they tackled the struggles of growing fast in a booming industry.  You can watch more videos about Techstars companies here.

Startup Stories – Contently “Growing in a booming industry”

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