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On the same day that PillPack founders TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen started in the Techstars Boston 2013 class, they also formally started the company. On that day, they hadn’t yet raised the $4 million they would take in during the 3-month mentorship-driven  accelerator program or the $117 million as they jumped from Series A, Series B, Series C, to Series D. They weren’t on Forbes 30-Under-30 list. They didn’t have pharmacy licenses in all 50 states.

They certainly hadn’t been bought by Amazon for almost $1 billion.

Neither they nor we knew that any of these things were going to happen–but we had a feeling they might. That’s why we bet on them. On the day that TJ and Elliot started PillPack and joined Techstars, we knew they had a great team and they were passionate about a great idea. From that day on, they also had Techstars’ engaged mentors and our worldwide network dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed.

In the Techstars announcement of that Boston 2013 class, the description for PillPack is just two words long: “Pharmacy Simplified.” Today, if you google PillPack, along with all the articles announcing and analyzing the acquisition, you’ll still see those two words. This is a company that always knew its mission, and was laser-focused on helping people with a timeless problem. PillPack lets users order their medications online, and receive them in pre-made doses. Users love the company for exactly that simplicity, which shows up in the clean design and pleasing customer experience.

Amazon also loves them for these same reasons: “PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” says Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time.”

From day one to a nearly billion dollar acquisition, the Techstars network is here to help entrepreneurs–like TJ and Elliot–succeed.


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Ari Newman
Partner at Techstars Ventures. Prior to his focus on early stage investing, Ari spent over a decade as an entrepreneur, founding several companies and joining other venture backed technology companies.