Just over a year ago, we thought we’d try something new. What if instead of making founders relocate for three months to participate in one of our world class mentorship driven Techstars accelerators, we used technology to bring Techstars to them? They could participate from, well, #anywhere! And with that thought in mind, Techstars Anywhere, our (mostly) virtual accelerator was born.
This year, we opened applications for Techstars Anywhere to the public for the first time and had an amazing response from founders around the globe. In fact, 52% of our applications were from outside of the United States. As we worked to find the 10 founding teams that would be part of this class, we ended up focused on time zones within the United States and Canada to ensure that the companies could participate to the fullest. It was an incredibly competitive applicant pool that resulted in a less than 1 percent acceptance rate.
We refer to Techstars Anywhere as our (mostly) virtual accelerator because while most of the time is spent remotely, we think it’s important to spend time together in person too. For this program we spent the last week together in Los Angeles and we’ll be meeting up again in Boulder and then in San Francisco. The rest of the program we leverage the amazing Techstars network to provide remote access to the best mentors and investors in the world.
Here’s a photo of Techstars Anywhere in Los Angeles last week with Techstars Alum and founder of SendGrid, Isaac Saldana:
As we get ready to dive in to meeting with mentors and helping these 10 founding teams succeed, it’s my pleasure to introduce the Techstars Anywhere Class of 2018, Techstars Class 117:
StoryTap, from Vancouver, BC, creates the easiest way for marketers to get quality authentic brand directed video testimonials from their customers.
Trust & Will, from San Diego, CA, is modernizing estate planning for millennials. Create a complete and legal will in 15 minutes or less.
Flikshop, from Washington, DC, turns photos from your phone into physical postcards to help families stay connected to their incarcerated loved ones.
DNSFilter, from Washington DC, provides IT professionals with a cloud based solution that allows them to manage their user’s online experience and protect them from security threats.
Filtered.ai out of Boston, MA, uses AI to help teams identify, evaluate and hire the best engineers based on both technical and cultural fit.
Queen of Raw, from New York, is a marketplace connecting designers with manufacturers’ unused raw materials, increasing profit, reducing waste, and revolutionizing supply chains.
BioInteractive Technologies, also from Vancouver BC, makes a wristband that allows users to control any connected device, hands free.
TokenClub, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, offers a monthly subscription to curated and vetted ICO tokens.
Goodr, from Atlanta, GA, is a sustainable waste management company that leverages technology to redirect surplus food from food service providers to the millions of people who are food insecure.
Lynq, from New York, provides long distance location anywhere in the world – stay connected for miles without phones, networks, maps or infrastructure.