Techstars celebrates 61 exits during annual Gold Shirt ceremony

Aug 28, 2023

THE Gold Shirt: Techstars celebrates the 2022 portfolio exits

What’s a gold shirt? It all started in 2007 when SocialThing was acquired. It has become a tradition at Techstars to give a gold shirt to the companies that have exited. We want to celebrate the entrepreneurs behind these exits, no matter how big or small. It’s the accomplishment of a vision and mission these entrepreneurs had.

The Techstars impact

Nicolas Christiaen is pretty clear about the impact the Techstars experience had on his career. 

“It’s still the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had professionally,” said Christiaen. 

“We got our little Belgium team to New York for the accelerator and it changed our life completely.” 

Christiaen was one of 61 founders honored with the esteemed Techstars Gold Shirt during a special ceremony on Aug. 24. Since 2007, when the first Techstars portfolio company exited, David Cohen and members of the Techstars team have celebrated exits for portfolio companies with a gold shirt. His company, Cashforce, was acquired by TIS. 

Janice Omadeke attended Techstars in 2022. Her company, The Mentor Method, an enterprise software that transforms company culture through mentorship was recently acquired by The Cru. She credits Techstars with ushering her through the complicated mergers and acquisitions process. 

“The mentors that we met through Mentor Maddess were so helpful reviewing different documents, making sure the team was in the right formation and everything that we needed to have a cohesive package in order for that to be a successful translation for everyone involved,” said Omadeke. 

Robi Ganguly and his co-founders had been working on their company, Apptentive, for over a year when they were accepted into a Techstars program. “Techstars was so powerful for us,” said Ganguly. Ganguly thanked David Cohen for “kicking us into shape the first couple weeks of the program.”

“It was totally necessary and memorable,” said Ganguly.

Indeed. Cohen gets it, and lauds the founders for earning the gold shirt. 

“As founders, we like to create things that impact the world and last and affect people in good ways,” said Cohen. “I’m proud we can help you in some small ways.” 

“This group of 61 companies has had an enormous impact and that’s so important.”