Announcing the 2018 class of Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy

With ten companies arriving today in Denver, Colo. – we are thrilled to announce Techstars Class 145 – the inaugural class of Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Rooted in hope, urgency and action – we are honored to be supporting these companies that wake up everyday to solve for a future where both humans and nature thrive.

Representing a diverse set of industries and founders, these companies work across areas as broad as water, waste, renewable energy, fisheries and the built environment.

Over the next three months, companies will receive mentorship from world-class scientists and subject matter experts from The Nature Conservancy in addition to business and technology mentorship from the broader entrepreneurial community. The program caps off with Demo Day on October 17th in Denver.

We’d be remiss not to thank each of you that has played a part in building a strong foundation for this program. Together, we look forward to doing work that matters – for people and the planet.

Without further ado, please meet our 2018 class:

Aqulytics  

Aqulytics is a data collaboration platform for the sustainable management of water championing open and transparent data throughout the globe in order to combat the effects of pollution in freshwater resources.

Conserve With Us

Outdoor places are disappearing. Every 3 days, land roughly the size of Manhattan is lost to development.  Conserve With Us is an online conservation fundraising and engagement platform that mobilizes capital and communities to conserve the natural resources we all care about.

FlyWire

Presently 88% of global fisheries are not certified as sustainable.  FlyWire’s patented video technology solves the observer data deficiency problem – critical to transitioning the world’s commercial fisheries to certified sustainable.  

Lotic Labs

Environmental data science platform to drive financial stability in the water sector in the face of climate change and weather volatility.  The platform allows for rapid design and testing of financial contracts including weather risk transfer (insurance) and green bonds. Additional applications include conservation/impact assessment, water price optimization, and city-scale climate risk modeling.

Nikola Power

Clean technology solutions provider that improves renewable energy project economics through optimized decision making in project design, operations, and finance for energy storage applications.

Node

Technology platform to deliver radically sustainable and healthy homes for everyone.  NODE’s platform will leverage standardized components designed for simplicity: allowing 4 people – without any special skills – to assemble an entire house in under a month, delivering the most sustainable homes at 50% of the cost and 25% of the time.  

StormSensor

Creating the world’s first smart urban watersheds by providing our customers, including municipalities and large facilities, the information they need to identify, track, predict, and prevent pollution & flooding in real time.

Sustain

Sustain is a B2B SaaS platform that incentivizes and rewards employees to reduce the amount of core utilities they consume. Helping corporations reduce their environmental footprint, save money, and drive employee engagement.

This Fish

Global provider of seafood traceability software that improves business efficiency and increases trust and transparency in seafood supply chains. Mission is to improve the social, environmental, and financial sustainability of seafood enterprises and fish harvesters by making seafood supply chains more transparent.

WatchTower Robotics

20% of clean water produced every day is lost due to leaks. Currently those leaks are often found too late, after they break and cause sinkholes on the streets. WatchTower Robotics patented technology exists to find leaks, save water and protect infrastructure.

 








Accelerating Sustainability: Jenna Walker Joins Techstars Sustainability as Managing Director

As an entrepreneur for many years, I’ve had the good fortune of being on the entire path from googling how to be a CEO, to growing and leading that same powerful team to a successful exit. While the road has been ever winding, there has always been one constant: in the things I choose to show up and build – both head and heart must always be aligned. It’s what makes us powerful. It’s what keeps us showing up every single day to do the hard work of company building. And on those days where optimism wanes, that same strong belief can conquer fear.

So, when deciding what to build next – I set out on the same mission to align head and heart. I engaged with nonprofits, for-profits, foundations and founders on a path to understanding where there might be a fundamental need for creating impactful solutions for society through startups. And, together, we worked on some big questions. How might we reduce single-use plastics in consumer goods? How might we use technology to help reduce food insecurity? How might we build solutions to help identify and reduce exposure to toxic stress in children? How might we improve our health through connection to nature?

The questions were big and the impact on my heart was much bigger. I made the decision, whatever was next, it would help solve for a more sustainable future for people and planet.

That’s why, today, I’m so proud to announce that I’m joining the Techstars family as the managing director of our first-ever Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. This is going to be powerful and I can’t wait to support founders on their path to building a more sustainable future, where nature and people thrive together.   

This is a big call to action – and it has all of my attention and energy. And…if you are founder working in this space, this should have your full attention too.  

This accelerator represents a rare powerful three way partnership between Techstars, The Nature Conservancy and smart mission-aligned investors. (Read: lots of opportunity and deep robust global networks to drive your disruptive technology forward at scale.) And trust me, The Nature Conservancy is showing up in full force…you can learn more from their inspiring CEO Mark Tercek in this Forbes article.    

Driven by science-based optimism, The Nature Conservancy’s work spans 72 countries, 50 US states with over 400 scientists, 3600 conservationists, one million + dedicated members and decades of work collaborating with the private sector across thousands of companies.  Combine their commitment with the Techstars network of over 10,000 mentors, 1,200 portfolio companies across 16 countries and $11 billion market cap – together, we’ve got a network at the ready. From mentorship with leading TNC science experts and executives, to creating the possibilities for pilots and partnerships, to deep functional business expertise across the technology community – we know that getting the right people together at the same table is going to be powerful on your path.

So what kinds of companies are we looking for?

We are searching the globe to connect with you, the founders, building commercially viable technologies and business models that can help governments, companies and communities provide food and water sustainably and tackle climate change. You are a mission-driven, for-profit company that can provide solutions at scale.

You are asking yourselves questions such as, “How might we provide food and water sustainably in a future where there are 9 billion people on earth?” “How might we use technology to tackle climate change?” or “How might we build solutions to support a world where both nature and humans thrive?”

You work across areas as broad as agriculture and soil health to fisheries, forests, aquaculture, water data and markets, climate adaptation, carbon sequestration, green printing cities and beyond. Your applications of technology may be broad but you know exactly why your solution drives impact at the core of what you do.

If this sounds like you, applications are open now and we are excited to start a conversation with you! The program begins July 16th in Denver and I’m confident it’s going to be a powerful place to be.   

Together, we’ll strive to build significant value in your significant ideas. That’s my commitment to you, the founders, doing hard work that matters – for people and the planet.

Not a founder but want to help? Get involved by sharing this program with your networks or visit this page to sign up for ongoing updates.  Sign up for Office Hours with the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator team here