Techstars is shifting to a two term schedule. It’s better for founders. Here’s why …

Sep 12, 2023

A note from Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet

I joined Techstars in 2021 with a vision: to scale Techstars to be the best and largest pre-seed investor in the world. As of 2023, Techstars is the largest pre-seed investor in the world, per PitchBook. It’s that achievement that positions us to show up as the best pre-seed investor and unrivaled choice for founders. 

Ultimately, we want Techstars to be the first name that comes up in entrepreneurs’ minds when they're looking for their first check, mentoring, and a network.

With that vision in mind, we are making a change to our accelerator program schedule to deliver  an unmatched choice and greater opportunities to entrepreneurs. In 2024, Techstars will move to a two term schedule, meaning the vast majority of our accelerator programs will start together and end together, twice a year. 

We believe this shift will create an even better experience for founders starting at the application phase, as well as drive greater success for our portfolio companies post-program. 

Today, applications open for the first Spring Term of this new schedule. The opportunities for dynamic entrepreneurs this term are immense: 

  • We will be running 20 programs in 15 cities across four countries. Three programs are fully remote so founders can participate virtually, from any location around the world. 

  • Six programs will be powered by our corporate partners including Equitech, The Ohio State University, Build in Tulsa, and several others, who bring industry-specific expertise to our founders.

  • Six programs will run in partnership with J.P. Morgan through our Advancing Cities fund, focused on giving underrepresented entrepreneurs greater access to capital and opportunities. 

Aligning our programs to two terms means we’ll create better funding opportunities for our portfolio companies.

This shift also gives founders a greater advantage with our reimagined Demo Day, which will leverage the collective strength of over 250 companies finishing at once, combined with our vast investor network to create a deal flow moment in time.

As it is now, we host 50+ Demo Days every year, in every region we operate in. That creates a lot of noise, and frankly, it makes it difficult to connect founders with large numbers of global venture investors in a concentrated format. In 2024, we’re leveling up our events to create those opportunities. Twice a year, we will host exclusive, invite-only investment events that will convene Techstars graduates with angel and VC investors, foster meaningful connections and fuel fundraising and investment success. 

We’re still entirely focused on being better for founders.

Over 3,736 companies have graduated from a Techstars accelerator program. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate that 8,616 ambitious founders have trusted us to help them build world changing businesses because they know we are fixated on helping them succeed.

Stats from PitchBook show we are helping them do just that.

  • 74% of Techstars companies raise capital within three years, more than any other accelerator

  • 31% of Techstars companies exit within eight years, more than any other accelerator

Since 2006 when we held our first program, what has resonated most with founders is our personalized approach to our programs,  intimate class sizes and individualized attention that fit founders’ specific needs. 

We are immensely privileged to have a network of over 15,000 investors, nearly 4,000 mentors, and 100+ corporate partners like eBay, Audi, ABN AMRO, and The Minnesota Twins, among many others.

Our post-program Portfolio Services leverages the power of that massive network to give our portfolio companies unparalleled advantages by negotiating the best deals, developing unique investor matching, and creating a community that is available to founders through their entire entrepreneurial journey. 

Looking at Techstars today, I’m immensely proud of the foothold we’ve established amongst the most prominent pre-seed investors. It’s worth repeating our claim as the largest pre-seed investor in the world  because this title reflects our many advantages in how we help entrepreneurs succeed: our massive network of founders, investors, mentors, and partners, an ability to identify innovation trends early on, and access to data to expand our investment capabilities.  

What’s next? 

First and foremost, we will be excited to welcome over 250 new portfolio companies to our portfolio when the Spring Term starts in March 2024. 

Most importantly, we look forward to continuing to invest in more companies every year and help entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world succeed. If you’re a founder with a great idea, get in touch with us here.

Two term graphic