Techstars London Winter 2014: The Trilogy

Just over 3 years ago Techstars announced its launch in London and in the intervening period, it has gone on to open a further three programmes that includes Techstars Berlin, the Techstars Metro Accelerator and the Barclays Accelerator which has recently opened in New York. Any doubts about whether the European tech scene has hit its stride has been dispelled.

Demand to get tickets for the Techstars London Demo Day has been unprecedented and with over 1,000 people signed up; making the event into one of the top 20 tech events in Europe. As a result, a second screen at the Genesis Cinema has also been opened to allow everyone to attend – effectively running a second Demo Day simultaneously – think Techstars “unplugged”.

Alongside the Demo Day itself, fireside talks and panel discussions have also been arranged with moderators including David Rowan (WIRED), Mike Butcher (Techcrunch) and Robin Wauters ( Participants include Liam Casey (PCH International), Nicolas Brusson (BlaBlacar), Usman Haque (Umbrellium), Roland Lamb (Roli) and Mikkel Svane (Zendesk); as well as investors from Union Square Ventures, Wellington Partners, Balderton Capital and Index Ventures.

From over 1,000 applications to pick from Techstars London Winter 2014 finally settled on 10 companies that includes our first company from Kazakhstan, and founders from the Middle East, Canada and the US. There is also a strong representation from London and elsewhere in the UK – including companies from Edinburgh, Cambridge and Norwich!! The batch also includes five companies led by previously successful entrepreneurs with the average age of the founders being 33 years old.

  • BidVine:  a service to help you find the right professional without all of the legwork;
  • Big Data for Humans: a B2B solution that automating customer insights without massive costs of employing data science;
  • GeoSpock: a real-time database that can handle can any scale data with no performance degradation;
  • Indybo: modular robotic toy company that transforms the way kids learn about programming and electronics;
  • Kimono: an enterprise messaging platform that transforms how people communicate at work, with an unbelievably simple solution;
  • Knyttan: is a vertically integrated fashion brand whose unique technology allows it to offer more designs and respond to trends faster than any existing retailer;
  • Lystable: is the platform for the lean enterprise, helping large organisations manage their suppliers and external resource;
  • Rainbird: is a symbolic AI platform that is transforming the way that businesses are automating human-intensive knowledge work;
  • Swarm: allows you to create and crowd fund a collaborative company.
  • UB: provides a native shopping basket for apps that aggregate products, significantly increasing their conversion rate.

Announcing the 10 Companies for the London Winter 2014 Class

Today Techstars London welcomes another exceptional group of entrepreneurs into our Winter 2014 Class.  From across a broad spectrum, companies come from a multiple of sectors including B2C and B2B, but also include for the first time hardware companies (IndyBo & Kynttan) and crypto-currency startups (Swarm).

As a demonstration of the growing maturity of the UK ecosystem, a greater number of teams come from the UK including London, but also Edinburgh, Cambridge and Norwich!!  However, as with other programmes we have also attracted overseas teams from United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan.

As with the previous Techstars London programmes, half of the companies include entrepreneurs who have participated in successful startups – but we also welcome two companies founded by younger single founders.  A full list of the companies participating in Techstars London Winter 2014 are listed below.

  • BidVine is a fast, free way to get competing quotes for local services from interested and available professionals.
  • Big Data for Humans brings analytics to everyday marketers so they can substantially increase ecommerce revenues and profit.
  • GeoSpock is a real-time geo-location database that allows for location based services to scale bigger, be faster & run cheaper.
  • Indybo is a revolutionary robotics toy that teaches kids the basics of programming and electronics in a fun and intuitive way.
  • Kimono is a new enterprise communication platform, enabling organised, productive messaging across teams, groups and between organisations.
  • Knyttan sits at the intersection of hardware, software and knitwear creating a platform for unique, custom clothing on an industrial scale.
  • Lystable is a beautifully simple tool that helps agencies manage their suppliers.
  • Rainbird allows you to structure package your expert knowledge creating a virtual ‘you’ others can consult with to solve problems.
  • Swarm is a Bitcoin-powered crowdfunding network with unique incentive structures for distributing risk and sharing rewards.
  • UB provides customers a single basket for the whole internet, save items from any site and checkout everything at once.

Come Join us for Techstars Demo Day in London – All are Welcome!

Techstars loves the London startup community, and for the first time ever we’re inviting the larger community to come attend Demo Day on June 20th, 2014. Check out some of the innovative companies you’ll get to hear from!

RSVP here: 

Following are 10 reasons why this cohort is awesome and you should come and attend.

1. We’re starting to like cricket



2. We’ve become fascinated with Sainsburys cookies



3. We work hard – sometimes too hard



4. We embrace the English weather



5. We love sharing



6. We work even at networking drinks



7. We love Oculus Rift c/o Facebook



8. Some of us have adopted royal manners



9. We work only on standing desks



10. We’ve learned to love English takeaway


Techstars in London 2014: The Sequel

Just over 12 months ago Techstars launched in London and now we are launching its sequel today – bigger and better – that will end with a Demo Day on June 20.

With over 1,000 applications to pick from Techstars London Spring 2014 finally settled on 11 companies from 8 different countries including USA, Estonia, Germany, Spain, Israel, Ireland, South Korea as well as the UK.  To bring this truly international line up to London, 13 entrepreneur visas have had to be quickly issued before the start of the programme.

To really challenge people’s perception of a company participating in an accelerator consider this, the companies already have over 50 staff, that includes two previously successful entrepreneurs and five of the 11 companies have already raised $4m in total.

  • Avuba is fixing banking by building a mobile first bank service.
  • Eat In My Seat allows you to skip the queue at venues by ordering directly to your seat.
  • eRated lets you use one reputation score in a world of marketplaces.
  • Good Audience increases your reach and gets your brand, product or service in front of over 400 million active social media users.
  • Lingvist is an adaptive language learning tool that significantly reduces the time needed to learn a new language.
  • Magnific connects readers, writers and curators for a more personalised reading experience.
  • Proximus is an analytics engine that examines the behaviour of consumers using innovative indoor geolocation technology.
  • Pubble uses everywhere your customers live online to build an active community on your website
  • Smile Family is a mobile community for moms.
  • Spatch is a new decentralized communication protocol built on top of email.
  • Zzish helps developers make education apps more engaging and effective.

London Hackstars and Associates 2013: Where are they now?

Whenever there is a Techstars programme, we like to bring talented individuals who may not have an idea or company, but nonetheless want to contribute their skills to help startups succeed. Some of these individuals are designers/coders, and we call them Hackstars – others are more business or marketing focused, and we call them Associates.

During the three month programme, Associates and Hackstars work closely with the companies, shaping their day to day operations and contributing in a meaningful way alongside the founding teams. In return, they get experience in spades, learn what it’s like to execute furiously and become a part of the Techstars family.

Our last batch of London Hackstars/Associates have done some amazing things:

Chuka Amadi is a Boston-based freelance product designer and art director

* Erik Anderson, an Associate in London is a Program Manager at Startup Wise Guys, an Estonian accelerator

* Bronwyn Barnett is currently an Executive Assistant at InnoTech Summit

* Rob Esris became the Director of Engineering at NYC-based Modabound

* Hadi Laasi, a Hackstar, and Giacomo Summa, an Associate, are now the founding team at Stylect, an Oxygen Accelerator company

* Lucija Matic attended the Global Startup Youth Program in Malaysia and mentored a winning team

If you’ve always fancied working alongside great startups, our next London programme starts mid-March. And though you might not have the team or the idea yet, if you have startups coursing your through veins, we’d love to talk to you.

Apply to be a Hackstar here and an Associate here.

Top 11 Reasons to Apply to Techstars in London

The final deadline to apply to Techstars in London and NYC is the same– end of day on December 31st. Life just isn’t fun without a bit of family rivalry. So here are the top 11 reasons to come to London instead:

1. We’re strict


2. But we do have a sense of humo(u)r

2 part 1.jpg

3. Our Tube is inspirational

4. You will love all the different nationalities and accents here

2 part 2

5. It really doesn’t rain that much


6. And the food is pretty darn good


7. We drive on the other side of the road


8. You will have more (warm) beer than you’ve ever had


9. Your friends will love your awesome new British accent


10. Our pigeons will become your best friends


And the extra special #11 reason:

11. David Cohen is secretly related to Prince William and is a Duke himself


Looking forward to your application!

Smart Immigration: Techstars London approved for UK Entrepreneurs’ Visa

Today, Techstars London has been approved as a Recognised Seed Competition in the UK; which combined with the Techstars total investment of £75k ($118k) effectively provides entrepreneurs sufficient points to qualify for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa.  Techstars London’s newly approved status will allow Techstars to offer any team from anywhere in the world a place on a Techstars programme and continued support locally after the programme.

The approval will allow Techstars London teams from outside of the EU, to work in the UK for up to 3 years and towards the end of this period, can apply to extend their stay by a further 2 years if they want to continue living here.  Furthermore teams, after 3 years have the right to apply for permission to settle in the UK if their business has created at least 10 new full-time jobs in the UK.  Partners and children of the teams can also apply for settlement.

The UK’s progressive approach to immigration for startups and entrepreneurs provides Techstars London the certainty required to accept teams from outside of the EU; knowing that Techstars can continue to support them beyond the 13 weeks of the accelerator programme in the UK.  Combined with tax incentives for both investors and entrepreneurs, the UK is becoming a real alternative for ambitious entrepreneurs from around the world while the US debates with its immigration policies.

Immigration policy and its impact upon the location of a startup when it is seed funded has an increasingly massive influence upon how and where the startup evolves.  An excellent example of this is GrabCAD from Estonia which participated Techstars Boston in 2011.  GrabCAD’s initial seed round in Estonia was less than 2% of the total $15m funds raised, yet 40% of their employees are based in Estonia.  Another example of this is the massively successful Huddle, who are one of the original members of TechCity community in London.  To date, Huddle have raised a total of $40m, of which 10% was raised locally in their seed and A rounds – yet today 75% of their employees are based in London.

If you are team from outside of the US and want to participate in Techstars’s awesome mentor led programme, don’t hesitate, apply to Techstars London today.

Spend Your Summer at Techstars London: Seeking Hackstars and Associates

You don’t need to have a startup to apply to Techstars London.

That’s right, we’re looking for kick-ass developers, business hot shots, and exceptional students to take part in the programme – providing muscle to the teams as a HackStar (technical intern) or Associate (business intern). These are three month positions spanning the programme duration, which will run from July through September 2013. These internships are paid positions.

Want to work alongside the fast-paced teams, build amazing connections, and spend your summer with the inaugural Techstars London programme? We are seeking awesome applicants from across the UK and beyond – we look forward to hearing from you. Details and applications below:

You’re a brilliant developer, a great designer, a UX star, you can execute like mad, sling top-quality code with the best of them, or turn pixels into perfection, and you’ve always wanted to go through Techstars… but you just don’t have a team or idea. Dilemma! Until now… Enter HackStars. The Techstars companies always need more technical skill to help them do more faster during the program. Hackstars are highly-skilled software developers and designers that would love to work with the companies and go through the Techstars program.  Plus, you get paid for the program (just like the founders) and most HackStars ultimately land a job or co-founder status with one of the startups. What a great way to hack into Techstars! Apply here.

Interested in becoming a Techstars associate? You will help build the next amazing batch of internet startups, as they grow from early stage to venture-backed companies. From entrepreneurs, to investors, to mentors, your network is about to explode beyond all reasonable comprehension. You will have the opportunity to sit in on mentor meetings – get to know the best entrepreneurs and investors in the city, up close and personally. You will also have access to full involvement in Techstars social events with the founders and local community. Apply here.

Techstars London Applications Are Open

Applications are now open for the augural Techstars London programme that will start on July 3 and end on September 27 with what we predict will be the most impressive Demo Day to be held in Europe by an accelerator programme to date. Techstars, the #1 startup accelerator in the world, will not be cutting any corners with the London program; our plans will be to create a programme with unprecedented resources from both the US and Europe.

We have already announced that every company that participates in Techstars London will be offered a total of €85k as well as intense mentorship from hundreds of the best entrepreneurs in the world. Initially each company will receive €15k for 6% equity, which has no special rights or controls, and that puts us squarely on your side of the table for the life of the company. In addition, you will be offered a €70,000 convertible debt note by a group of prominent VCs immediately upon acceptance into Techstars London.

Alongside the funding described above, companies that participate in London can also expect the highest quality of mentoring for which Techstars is renowned. To illustrate Techstars’ commitment to London, David Cohen will be onsite in London for the first month of the programme.

Over the next few weeks we will be making a number of additional announcements that will be specifically related to the London program. Watch out for some very exciting news over the next few weeks. You have until May 5 to compete for one of ten places on the programme, with an early deadline of April 19. To apply for a place in Techstars London, complete your application here.