Applications Now Open for Techstars Q2 2019 Mentorship-driven Accelerators!

Want to Define New Cross-border, Cross-currency Money Movement Technologies or Deliver Winning Sportstech Solutions? Applications Now Open for Techstars Q2 2019 Mentorship-driven Accelerators!

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, is excited to announce the opening of applications for two 2019 Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerators across the United States.

Techstars will be opening applications on December 3rd for two new mentorship-driven accelerator programs: Western Union Accelerator, Powered by Techstars, based in Denver, Colorado, and Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy, based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Each accelerator is accepting applications through March 3rd, with programs kicking off the week of June 10th.

As a global leader in financial services in cross-border, cross-currency money movement with a heritage of over 150 years of innovation, Western Union (NYSE: WU) is excited to help startups bring cutting-edge customer solutions to the ever-changing financial services industry, and have access to entrepreneurial talent and emerging technologies. Western Union Accelerator, Powered by Techstars is looking for entrepreneurs and startups addressing digital customer experience, point-of-sale solutions, fraud prevention, digital ID, cross-border transaction processing, digital wallets, and other related technologies.

Founding partners of Techstars Sports Accelerator including Pacers Sports & Entertainment, NCAA, Indiana Sports Corp, Next Level Fund and 50 South Capital, and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series are proud to come together to propel innovation geographically in the Indy region, as well as industry-wide in the world of sports technology. The business of sports is big and the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy will focus on disruptive technologies across the sports landscape from solutions for fans, player/driver safety, ticketing, merchandising, athlete performance management and athlete wellness across the technology spectrum. Everyone will be a winner!

At Techstars, we’ve created the network that supports your startup by surrounding you with the right people to mentor, inspire and challenge you and your team. Check out these founder stories from Techstars alumni companies like SendGrid, ClassPass, and DigitalOcean to learn how each Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator program facilitates an environment where entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses and move towards growth and success.

This past October, SendGrid (Techstars Class 4) was acquired by Twilio (a Techstars Ventures portfolio company) for nearly $2 billion. Both Twilio and SendGrid have been impacted by Techstars over the years. In many ways, this deal is just the latest, headline-grabbing step in a nearly decade-long story about the power of the Techstars network in action.

Over the past 11 years, more than 1600 companies from countries around the world have participated in Techstars accelerator programs, raising over $6 billion in funding. With Techstars worldwide network of 10,000+ mentors, partners, investors and founders, we’re excited to continue our mission and source the next wave of promising entrepreneurs to join our community. Apply today to take the next step in your startup journey and join the Techstars worldwide network.

Start here to apply to Techstars. If you’re curious to know more, tell us about your company by filling out our general interest form.








The Dangers of the Contractor Hack

By David Brown, co-CEO of Techstars

Here’s a “hack” that I’ve observed growing startups often attempt. I call it the “contractor hack.” And it can be dangerous.

It starts off because a department head doesn’t have the budget to hire a person. To go through the approval process to get one hired is an impossible gauntlet. So instead, they use the contractor hack.

Here is the hack: first, you hire a temporary contractor. It’s not hard to do, or even to get approval for. You just say, “I know the hourly rate is a bit high, but it’s only for a short time to get over a hump, and we can cancel them at any time.” Easy-peasy. You have a “temporary” contractor.

After a  year or so, your contractor becomes indispensable. Then you say you have a great idea: “Let’s save some money by converting this contractor to a full time role. We can pay her less, since we’ll be providing health or other benefits!” Genius.

Suddenly, you have lots of employees who started as contractors, and your middle managers have figured out how to hack your hiring system. If you are a startup, please don’t get into or allow this habit as you scale. Ask your CFO to keep close track of contractor expense and put a vice grip on this type of nonsense.  

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Ready to grow your startup the right way?  Apply to a Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator.








Techstars Forms Strategic Partnership with Union

Boulder, CO and Washington, DC — Today, Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and Union, the platform that connects startup founders, mentors, investors, and corporate innovators around the world, announce a strategic partnership to support the Techstars network with the Union platform.

Techstars and Union share a mission to empower the worldwide entrepreneur network and, through this strategic partnership, they will use their respective resources to create new opportunities for Techstars entrepreneurs by creating easier ways to connect, share ideas and network with each other. Additionally, Techstars and Union will collaborate to develop new technology solutions that will improve the overall experience for Techstars and all of the communities currently on Union.

“Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed and our partnership with Union will help our worldwide network create even more high-impact opportunities for Techstars alumni,” said David Brown, co-CEO and founder of Techstars. “Our partnership with Union will allow us to improve our online community for our thousands of founders, investors, partners, mentors, community leaders and others.”

The Techstars worldwide network includes more than 3,000 accelerator alumni, 4,000 mentors, 1,500 startups and nearly 50 Mentorship-driven Accelerator programs as well as thousands of community leaders from their global Techstars Startup Week and  Startup Weekend community programs. This network will join the Techstars community on Union through a staged deployment that aligns with the timing of upcoming programs. They will work together to integrate the current suite of tools developed by Techstars with Union’s features and find new ways to open up more resources for startups around the world.

“Our mission at Union is to create a truly global startup ecosystem where resources and connections transcend geography. In Techstars we found a like-minded partner that is equally committed to developing and sharing the best opportunities so more entrepreneurs can succeed,” said Evan Burfield, CEO at Union. “We are thrilled to welcome the entire Techstars community to the Union platform and to continue our work together.”

The Union community already has over 800 learning resources and classes, 1,700 mentors and facilitates over 4,000 connections every month and powers other leading startup programs around the world like Capital Factory, 500 Startups and Darwin Startups among others. This provides entrepreneurs with access to crucial insights and connections with innovators regardless of where their startups are located. The platform is currently used by 75 incubators, accelerators, startup hubs, and investor groups around the world.

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About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,500 companies with a market cap of $15 Billion. www.techstars.com

About Union

Union empowers startup communities around the world. Our platform provides entrepreneurs, startup hubs and innovation teams with the best resources, networks and data architecture to transform their operations regardless of location. To learn more, visit Union.vc.

CONTACT

Joanie Kindblade
Techstars
joanie.kindblade@techstars.com

Marisela Montenegro
Union
marisela@union.vc








The Key to Fortune 500 Survival is Actually Embracing the Disrupters

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, announced today two new ways that will help Fortune 500 companies engage faster with the Techstars Network to drive innovation and disruption in their industries: Techstars Network Engagement Program and Techstars Innovation Bootcamp.

Long known for its worldwide mentorship-driven accelerator programs, Techstars created the new programs to help large corporations confront the threat of disruption to their businesses faster. Techstars has more than 1,600 startups in its accelerator portfolio with a market cap of more than $16 billion. By connecting early-stage companies with larger corporations looking for innovative solutions, Techstars is helping startups in our network succeed, while also helping large corporations stay closer and engage earlier and more effectively with disruptive innovations.   

How? Through two way mentorship. Startup founders provide insights and technology solutions that represent the disruption that large corporations are seeking. Corporations are able to offer startups business development opportunities, market insights, proof of concepts and potentially investments. It’s a win-win partnership.

Take Amazon’s acquisition of PillPack (a Techstars company). PillPack, a tiny start up, moved the entire global pharmaceutical market, putting companies like Walgreens and CVS in danger of losing enormous portions of their core business because they weren’t thinking ahead or outside of the box. Techstars’ new programs puts disruptors in direct contact with large corporates so that they can work together to solve business challenges before they’re in competition with each other.

About Techstars Network Engagement Program

Techstars Network Engagement Program provides corporate partners with unparalleled access to the Techstars worldwide network of entrepreneurs. Techstars Network Engagement Program helps partners identify internal challenges, implement proof-of-concept solutions, scale new technologies and expand their portfolios.

“By partnering with Techstars, we’re able to take advantage of their proven ability to source and support the world’s most promising startup founders and help them achieve lift-off through initial investment, business development and mentoring. Through local engagement with QBE subject-matter expertise and leaders, we hope to provide a strong network of mentors and supporters to help Techstars entrepreneurs succeed – at every stage of their journey,” Ted Stuckey, Managing Director of QBE Ventures.

About Techstars Innovation Bootcamp

Techstars Innovation Bootcamp is a 54-hour internal innovation event that empowers employees at large corporations with an intense, yet fun, process to help identify and rapidly advance new business concepts. Cross-functional teams pitch business innovations to a panel of judges at the end of the 3-days with a goal of further advancing their ideas. Techstars Innovation Bootcamp creates a culture for advancing entrepreneurial ideas, learning startup methodologies, and rapidly advancing new business concepts.

“Equinor piloted our first Techstars Innovation Bootcamp in London earlier this year and, after a successful program, we rolled out additional programs in Stavanger, Oslo, and Houston.

The Techstars Innovation Bootcamps have had three benefits: (1) Exposing Equinor employees to the startup business culture (i.e. toolkit, mentors, pace of delivery), (2) Rapidly assembling a meaningful portfolio of investible innovations and (3) Strengthening the engagement between the Corporate Innovation Function and the Business Lines.

The co-ownership with Techstars on bootcamp outcomes and the ability to create a healthy tension between startup business practices and corporate expectations have been keys to our success.” Laurent Poncet, Head of Business Model Innovation at Equinor.

Learn more about Techstars Network Engagement Program and Techstars Innovation Bootcamp.








Techstars Opens Third Accelerator in Denver Area

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in cross border, cross currency money movement, have come together to spur the next generation of disruption in the fintech sector with a focus on payments and seamless global money transfer, and are pleased to announce the Western Union Accelerator Powered by Techstars. This is the third mentorship-driven accelerator program for Techstars in the Denver-metro area, following Techstars Boulder Accelerator and Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in Partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

Entrepreneurs in the program will create innovative solutions to some of the industry’s latest challenges including ML/AI, crypto and blockchain technologies, analytics and omni-channel platforms while leveraging both the start-up industry’s leading minds complemented with the corporate experience of Western Union’s executives.

Western Union and Techstars encourage all fintech, payments and related field startups addressing digital customer experience, point-of-sale solutions, fraud prevention, global identification, cross border transaction processing, digital wallets, and related technologies to apply to the accelerator program.

By partnering with a global company like Western Union, Techstars can foster the right connections for a multitude of startups and help them gain access to the mentorship and resources they need to succeed. Colorado is already one of the leading technology centers in the world, led by companies like Western Union. This partnership will foster innovation and help change the fortunes of young innovators locally and globally by bringing their ideas to life for people around the world.

Applications will open in December 2018 with the program kicking off in June 2019. Companies interested in applying are encouraged to fill out the General Interest Form.








Doubling Down on Innovation in Indy: Announcing Techstars Sports Accelerator, Powered by Indy

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and the SportsTech founding partners Next Level Fund, Indiana Sports Corp, NCAA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment and supporting partners the Indianapolis Colts, Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are joining together to bring a new mentorship-driven accelerator program to Indianapolis: Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy.

The three-year accelerator program will launch at the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May of 2019 and will support innovative startups across many sectors, stages and business models aiming to combat issues in sports technology.

The Techstars Indy team will source, select and accelerate 10 of the most-talented companies in the following potential areas: fan participation, player/driver safety, ticketing, merchandising, athlete performance management, athlete wellness, among others. The accelerator provides startup founders with mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts, and the chance to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the culmination of the 13 weeks.

The Techstars Sports Accelerator will have a key focus on innovation with goals to foster early identification of key trends for future technology in sport; meaningful engagement with early-stage sports tech companies; embrace technologies and business models that will impact the sports industry; and enhance a culture of internal innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Applications will open in December 2018 with the program kicking off in May 2019.Companies interested in applying are encouraged to fill out the General Interest Form.








Innovation in Indianapolis: Announcing The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and The Heritage Group’s (THG) New Ventures Group today announced The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars. This new mentorship-driven accelerator program will be based in Indianapolis and kicks off in September 2019.

The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars will select a group of 10 startup companies from applications from around the world — including the most promising local and regional early-stage ventures. The companies will gather in Indianapolis for an intensive three-month program of research and development, mentorship and collaboration at The Center – THG’s state-of-the-art office space.

Led by a Techstars Managing Director and staff, and augmented by THG New Ventures personnel, the experience will culminate in a Demo Day wherein every company will pitch its newly polished business to an audience of venture capitalists, corporate innovation leaders and industry experts. The goal is to facilitate venture investment in the companies while broadening and energizing the local entrepreneurial community.

Applications for the first Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars will open in early 2019, with a focus on companies innovating in the materials science, environmental services and specialty chemicals fields.Companies interested in applying are encouraged to fill out the General Interest Form.








Applications Open: Join the Worldwide Network

“Becoming part of Techstars on my third startup, it poured fuel on the fire, made everything go faster. I don’t care how many startups you’ve been in, you’re always learning, so it’s a discovery phase, and Techstars makes stuff happen.”

—Alexander Griffiths, CEO of SocialCrunch

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps  entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 11, years more than 1,500 companies have participated in our mentorship-driven accelerator programs and have grown and raise over $5.5 billion in funding,. We’re continuing our mission and are sourcing the next  wave of promising entrepreneurs to join our worldwide network! Our managing directors and program staff look forward to to meeting your team and discovering your company’s potential.

Today, applications are open for multiple Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator programs,  around the world. Apply now to take the next step in your journey and join the Techstars Worldwide Network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders.

We are also excited to open applications for five new programs: Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator, Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator powered by Techstars, BSH Future Home Accelerator Powered by Techstars, Techstars Bangalore Accelerator, and Techstars Lisbon in partnership with Semapa Next.

In every Techstars program you’ll work alongside companies in your program who are similarly accelerating their businesses. We create an environment that is conducive to helping your startup every day by surrounding you with people who will mentor, inspire, and challenge you. Listen to stories about our founders from Techstars alumni companies like SendGrid, ClassPass, and DigitalOcean.

We will be announcing details for information sessions and online events where you can connect with Techstars founders leading innovative startups, as well as mentors who have the experience and proven track record to help you succeed. Be on the lookout for more details soon.

Applications are open today., You can choose from any of the following locations and verticals:

Start here to apply to Techstars. For tips and resources on the application process, check out our Application Toolkit.








Techstars Opens Portuguese Mentorship-Driven Accelerator with Semapa Next

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and Semapa Next, the venture capital business unit of the Semapa Group, are partnering to bring a new mentorship-driven accelerator program to Lisbon, Portugal: Techstars Lisbon Accelerator in partnership with Semapa Next. Semapa Next is the Venture Capital arm of Semapa, a leading diversified Portuguese group, listed in the Lisbon Stock Exchange with two of the most significant market caps. Hugo Augusto will be the managing director for the accelerator program.

Techstars has long had a presence in Lisbon through the Techstars Startup Weekend, dating back to 2011 and a sizeable number of Techstars accelerator alumni are Portuguese companies. These alumni are part of a growing but highly experienced mentor pool that has contributed to the recent rise of Portuguese unicorns (Farfetch and Outsystems) and billions of dollars raised from startups to scale-ups (Unbabel, Veniam, Feedzai, among others).

Semapa can mobilize a wide array of strategic partnerships with leading local and international corporations to provide access to piloting opportunities, distribution channels and additional mentoring. The mentorship-driven accelerator program will invest in startups that develop innovative products, technologies and business models resulting in a significant digital transformation in companies and people’s lives.

Techstars and Semapa Next will invest in startups that are bringing Digital Transformation to the following key areas:

Industrial & Environmental Tech startups that use deep technology such as AI or Machine Learning to transform the core processes of industrial businesses with strong supply chain operations, manufacturing plants, and extensive distribution networks.

Smart Transportation startups that use technology to create and deliver new mobility solutions to transform the logistic processes of businesses and the way people and vehicles move within and around cities.

Travel & Leisure Tech startups that use technology to radically transform current business processes in the Travel & Tourism industry and leverage technology to rethink the way tourists travel, explore tourist destinations and live new experiences.

Applications for the Techstars Lisbon Accelerator in partnership with Semapa Next open today and the program will start in March 2019. For entrepreneurs interested in applying, please check out the application toolkit.








Techstars Partners with Alchemist to Launch Blockchain Accelerator in NYC

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and Alchemist, a global blockchain advisory group, are partnering to bring a new mentorship-driven accelerator program to New York City: Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator. Yossi Hasson of Techstars and Steven Nerayoff of Alchemist will lead the program along with other mentors and experts from both companies.

The dedicated blockchain accelerator program will focus on blockchain infrastructure and protocol development, cryptocurrencies, security, and distributed applications in finance, IoT, education, real estate, retail, insurance, energy, health and wellness, and more. The accelerator program will address challenges that blockchain founders face when trying to build and scale their blockchain business as well as give them access to expert mentors.

Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator will help founders gain access to expertise in the nascent – yet rapidly growing – cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, helping them do more faster. Selected companies will not only benefit from resources across Techstars and Alchemist’s ecosystems, but will also have the opportunity to work closely with leading market players in the blockchain industry.

Techstars has long been investing in blockchain technology, with more than a dozen successful companies already in its portfolio. The move to launch a dedicated blockchain accelerator in New York City acknowledges the specific challenges that blockchain founders face when trying to build and scale their blockchain business. These challenges include: complex regulatory environments, rapidly changing technology landscapes, token design, community building, and difficulties attracting talent. Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator aims to help founders address these challenges by creating a program that gives them access to Techstars’ and Alchemist’s worldwide mentors.

Applications for the Alchemist Blockchain Techstars Accelerator will open on July 23, 2018 and the program will start in February 2019. For entrepreneurs interested in applying to Techstars Blockchain Accelerator, join our Telegram Group and please check out the application toolkit.

In addition, the team will include Maja Vujinovic, a blockchain pioneer, investor and former CIO of Emerging Tech at GE Digital, and Gary Rubinoff, a seasoned venture capitalist nurturing emerging companies into category leaders for the past 25 years.