Lesa Mitchell joins The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars to help startups disrupt legacy enterprises

Many industries that aren’t top of mind for most of us but serve our most basic everyday needs – from industrial production, transportation infrastructure and environmental services and safety – all are facing technological disruption and innovation.

The Heritage Group (THG) and Techstars are working together to help entrepreneurs and startups disrupt these legacy industries through The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars located in Indianapolis. As an experienced Techstars Managing Director and long-time mentor, Lesa Mitchell is taking the helm as Managing Director to work with founders looking to disrupt existing markets by pioneering the next generation of solutions across the spectrum.

“With my background as an executive in a large scientifically focused organization, an entrepreneur and one of the lead funders and board members in the creation of the NSF iCorp, I’m excited to work with founders across scientific and technology fields to help them identify challenges and opportunities and grow their businesses,” says Mitchell. “Working with a company like The Heritage Group provides startups the chance to work across multiple companies that could become customers, and obtain access to expertise that will help them scale.”

The Heritage Group, an innovation organization with deep expertise and significant holdings in industries such as transportation, infrastructure, materials, environmental services, specialty chemicals and fuel products is a leader in many of the industries it seeks to transform. In addition, THG’s venture arm, Heritage Ventures, is one of the largest investment vehicles in the Midwest focused on early and growth-stage opportunities, with flexibility to invest at any stage across the venture capital spectrum. THG is eager to merge its long history of innovation in the industries it serves with today’s innovators and is eager to mentor early-stage companies through the accelerator.

“Our aspiration is to bring THG’s spirit and experience, at scale, to a much broader range of early-stage companies and opportunities,” says Amy Schumacher, president of THG.

The program is currently accepting applications for its inaugural class. Specific areas of interest for the program include:

  • Environmental and Recycling: new materials that decrease the need for clean-up; waste management and/or waste water recovery solutions; and more.
  • Construction and Materials: Building infrastructure including materials and techniques; new equipment and safety solutions.
  • Specialty Chemicals & Energy: Special chemical products across a range of lubricants, solvents, fuels and other specialty chemicals; energy generation including battery technology
  • IT and Industry: Industrial internet of things; vehicle to infrastructure sensor technologies; software/SaaS models

Participants in the program will have access to the Techstars worldwide network and to THG’s highly knowledgeable business leaders and experts in a variety of industry-specific specializations. In addition, entrepreneurs will work with the THG’s research and development team who play a critical role in developing new startups with novel technologies.

Does The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars sound like a good fit for your company? If so, we want to hear from you. Request more information about this program, schedule one-on-one office hours with program staff, register for our upcoming AMA (Ask Me Anything) on May 9th, or apply now.








Ready to Disrupt Health Care? Applications open for the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars

The digital health market is transforming before our eyes. Unprecedented capital is penetrating the health-tech sector, with startups seeing over $8B in funding in 2018, exceeding 2017’s $5.7B venture funding, and digital health IPOs are starting to infiltrate Wall Street. Digital health acquisitions are making headlines as well, like that of PillPack, a Techstars portfolio company, which was acquired by Amazon in 2018 for nearly $1B.

With the market primed for innovation, the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars is launching in Minneapolis to collaboratively develop innovations in digital health and wellness.

“Advances in sensor technology, pattern detection, personalization efforts, behavioral science, and our understanding of wellbeing are all coalescing. At the same juncture, the legacy model of care has led us to a point where costs are unsustainable and population health trends are going in the wrong direction,” said Matt Miller, managing director of the program. “There has never been a better time to pursue innovation and disruption across the continuum of health services.”

Miller’s background in health care is extensive. He’s been an angel investor, an entrepreneur, an early-stage startup employee, and a corporate leader in the industry.  He also has a doctorate with research focused on health behavior change interventions.

“All of these experiences blend into my new role as managing director. Knowing how challenging it is to be an entrepreneur, I am committed to helping founders be successful without sacrificing their own health. I look forward to helping them identify and pursue opportunities, navigate complex challenges, grow their businesses, and transform the health care system.”

UnitedHealthcare is focused on making health care simpler, more personal, and more accessible. The UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars will focus on how technology can be leveraged to solve today’s most present problems across the industry. This mentorship-driven accelerator is one way UnitedHealthcare is showing its commitment to innovation in the industry.

“Some of the most complex parts of health care are the ripest for innovation,” says Joel Nelson, vice president of innovation at UnitedHealthcare and program director for the accelerator. “As a health care company that serves nearly 50 million people, we hold ourselves accountable to helping people live healthier lives – our partnership with Techstars is another example of our commitment to developing innovations that make the health system work better for everyone.”

Applications for the inaugural class of the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars are open now through May 12, 2019. The accelerator is interested in startup technologies focused on scalable solutions for health behavior change, aging in place, mental health, addiction, nutrition, fitness, wellbeing, complex care coordination, direct-to-consumer wellness innovation, data integration, social determinants of health, communication tools for health professionals, care automation, remote diagnostics, and more.

Does the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars sound like a good fit for your company? If so, we want to hear from you! Read through our FAQs to learn more about Techstars accelerators, request more information about this program, schedule one-on-one office hours, join us for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on April 25, attend a Meet & Greet event, or apply now through May 12, 2019.








Shipping Solutions in Singapore: Applications are Now Open for the World’s First Global MaritimeTech Accelerator

In Singapore, the port and the thousands of ships that pass through it are the everyday background of life. The island city-state is one of the world’s leading maritime hubs, and every large actor in the maritime community must have a presence. It’s also a Techstars hub with extensive VC activity and a diverse and multicultural population that share English as a common language.

That’s why Singapore was the clear choice for the world’s first global MaritimeTech accelerator: EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator powered by Techstars.

“It’s the perfect place for entrepreneurs in maritime tech to base themselves for a few months to build out their network and realize new business partnerships,” says Dhritiman Hui, the new managing director of the mentorship-driven accelerator program. Applications for the program are open now, and are due by July 7, 2019.

Shipping is one of the oldest industries in the world, yet it has significant progress to make in terms of technological advancements in order to bring it on par with other mature industries.

“The maritime world has traditionally lagged behind other sectors when it comes to embracing and leveraging the power of digital solutions and new technology,” Hui says. “Now, the confluence of new regulation, an influx of tech-savvy entrepreneurs interested in the space, and large, deep-pocketed VC funds, intrigued by the size and the possibilities of the maritime sector, are threatening to shift that paradigm.”

Through this accelerator, Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and EPS, a global leader in maritime tech, will provide tools, access, and mentorship to the next generation of entrepreneurs in the shipping and maritime industry. These entrepreneurs have the opportunity to drive dramatic impact in this $183 billion global industry. Costs involved in global shipping are currently so large that new efficiencies and technologies could save millions of dollars industry-wide—and positively impact climate change.

Having spent several years in the maritime sector, Hui has deep familiarity with the countless technological opportunities in the space. Hui also serves as managing director of Techstars other accelerator based in Singapore, Rakuten Accelerator, powered by Techstars. “I’m excited to be a shoulder to lean on for founders building businesses in Singapore,” he says.

While the accelerator is open to any startup with technology applicable to the maritime industry, the following themes will be especially considered: Fuel efficiency, vessel and commercial optimisation (including AI/IoT), shore-side technology, safety, cybersecurity, 3D printing and advanced materials, immersive technologies (AR/VR), and environmental preservation.

Does EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator powered by Techstars sound like a good fit for your company? If so, we want to hear from you! Request more information about the program, schedule one-on-one office hours, or apply now through July 7, 2019.








Global Applications for the Techstars Worldwide Network are Now Open!

There’s an often-repeated stat that 90 percent of startups fail. Not sure the source is, but no doubt that it scares entrepreneurs. At Techstars, we see the reverse in our accelerator portfolio – 90 percent of our startups are active or have successfully exited. Which statistic reflects your business? If you’re ready to succeed, take the next step and apply now to the Techstars worldwide network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders.

At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Our mentorship-driven accelerator programs invest in founders to help them do more faster. Over the past 10 years we have helped over 1,274 companies grow and raise over $4.4 billion in funding, with a market cap of $11.4 billion. Now, we are excited to start the search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

We are reaching new regions and verticals around the world with our newest mentorship-driven accelerator programs. Applications are opening for five new programs:

Take the next step in your journey and apply to join the Techstars worldwide network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders.

This is more than a three month program, the Techstars worldwide network is for life. Listen to stories about our founders from Techstars alumni companies like SendGrid, ClassPass, and DigitalOcean.

Application deadline is April 8, 2018 for most programs. We will be announcing details for information sessions and online events where you can connect with Techstars founders and team, as well as mentors who have the experience and proven track record to help you succeed. Be on the lookout for more details soon!

When you apply, you can choose from any of the following locations and verticals:

For tips and resources on the application process, check out our Application Toolkit.








Five Global Techstars Programs Open Applications

Now Accepting Applications to Five Techstars Accelerator Programs Around the World

Techstars has opened applications for five more mentorship-driven accelerator programs in Berlin, New York City, Oslo, Paris and Toronto. Don’t miss your opportunity to grow your business– join the Techstars worldwide network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders. Take the next step and apply now.

The following programs are now accepting applications:  

Three Months, 1,500+ Mentors and a Network That Lasts a Lifetime

The Schedule:

  • Applications Open: February 19, 2018
  • Application Deadline: May 13, 2018
  • Programs Start: September 10, 2018
  • Demo Days: December 5, 2018

Applications are still open for 17 other Techstars global accelerator programs. See the full list here.

Have More Questions? Meet the People who Make it Happen.

Techstars managing directors want to meet you. They’re on the road hosting information sessions and office hours. Here’s a list of all the stops on the Techstars Roadshow where you can sign up for in-person meetings and interactive, online Q&A programming to learn more about specific programs.