Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars Spotlight: NUA Surgical Aim to Improve the Safety of Cesarean Deliveries

Highlights of student-led ventures participating in the LaunchPad Lift Cohort, part of the Blackstone LaunchPad® powered by Techstars® entrepreneurship program

NUA Surgical Team

When a baby is born, everyone hopes for a smooth and safe delivery. But that doesn’t always happen. In cases involving a cesarean (C-section) delivery, whether planned or emergency, there are risks involved for the mother and baby.

 NUA Surgical, a researcher-led venture from NUI Galway’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars entrepreneurship program, is developing an obstetrics product that improves the safety of the mother undergoing a cesarean delivery.

In a C-section delivery, doctors remove the baby from the mother’s lower abdomen. In the medical journal The Lancet, a recent study estimated that globally “29.7 million births occurred through cesarean section in 2015,” almost double the number from 2000. In the U.S., C-sections account for 32 percent of all deliveries, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

As with all major surgery, delivery by C-section can result in complications. Post cesarean, mothers face a risk of surgical site infection (SSI). SSIs are reported to be the “second most common health care-associated infection in Europe and the US” according to the World Health Organization

Depending on various factors, SSIs following c-section can occur up to 20 percent of the time, causing severe pain, discomfort, even death to an otherwise healthy new mother. SSIs are also becoming a major cost burden on the healthcare system, according to the BJOG, an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the NCBI.

NUA Surgical wants to change this, and make C-sections safer for mothers and better for doctors. “Our novel medical device will be used by physicians during surgery and is intended to improve the quality of surgery for both the doctor and patient,” said Founder of NUA Surgical, Barry McCann. “The needs and requirements of physicians, patients and hospitals are all vital ingredients into our device design, and we are committed to delivering innovation that will positively impact these key stakeholders.”

The team at NUA Surgical have over 50 years of combined industry experience covering commercial, technical and design development requirements. Barry McCann is a previous BioInnovate Ireland Fellow and founded NUA Surgical based on the unmet clinical need discovered during the fellowship; Marie-Therese Maher is an engineer and project manager who spent fourteen years in Research & Development with Medtronic; And Padraig Maher is an engineer with over twenty years’ experience in the medical device industry and has a passion for resolving technical challenges. They were awarded a Commercialisation grant from Enterprise Ireland and the European Commission, and aim to spin out of NUI Galway in 2020.

The team is in prototype phase and conducting some preclinical trials and testing in preparation for regulatory submissions to the US and EU.

NUA Surgical was selected for the inaugural LaunchPad Lift Cohort, a 10-week personalized mentorship-driven program for student-led ventures, which comes with a $10,000 grant upon completion of the program to help move their business forward.

“The Cohort is a great opportunity for NUA Surgical. With the help of Techstars, we aim to expand our network of advisors, key opinion leaders and potential investors,” said Barry, Marie-Therese and Padraig. “Our team have set clear objectives that we wish to achieve during the Cohort. We’re focused on activities that can be accomplished within the specific timeframe, and ones that require the assistance of the Techstars worldwide network of mentors.”

Learn more about LaunchPad HERE

Follow our LaunchPad Lift Cohort series where we highlight each student-led venture.








Preserving Lives: Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars Spotlight on Lazarus, Tech for Law Enforcement

Highlights of student-led ventures participating in the LaunchPad Lift Cohort, part of the Blackstone LaunchPad® powered by Techstars® entrepreneurship program

Lazarus founders Ben Omonira and Elise Hackney.

Technology companies and innovators are taking a lead on developing less lethal devices for law enforcement to reduce fatal police encounters.

In July 2016, a Dallas ambush inspired Lazarus founder Ben Omonira to provide first responders with an alternative method of stopping a threat while preserving the life. Lazarus, a student-led venture from Texas A&M’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars entrepreneurship program, is currently in prototype phase for the development of a less lethal projectile which could help law enforcement safely and effectively deal with threats, while preserving lives.  

“First responders are actively looking for new technology and methods to stop a threat without losing a life,” say Lazarus founders Ben Omonira and Elise Hackney.

“Our company’s number one priority is to give law enforcement agents the tools they need while preserving lives. We do this by bridging the gap between lethal and non-lethal options.”

Lazarus is in the process of securing a patent for their solution and working to produce an MVP by May 2020.

Lazarus was selected for the inaugural LaunchPad Lift Cohort, a 10-week personalized mentorship-driven program for student-led ventures, which comes with a $10,000 grant upon completion of the program to help founders move their businesses forward.

“We operate in an industry that deals with important but difficult topics, and want to create a brand that is seen as positive and focused on safety – both for law enforcement and society at large.  We are excited about the opportunities to learn through Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars” as we continue to grow our business.”

Learn more about LaunchPad HERE

Follow our LaunchPad Lift Cohort series where we highlight each student-led venture.


After the Exit: What’s Next for SendGrid Founder Isaac Saldana?

Techstars Studio is Isaac’s Way of Giving First & Giving Back

Ever wondered what a startup founder does after their company is acquired for billions of dollars?

Isaac Saldana, Co-founder of SendGrid—which was acquired by Twilio for $3 billion in an all-stock deal in October 2018—isn’t lounging on a beach. He’s helping other entrepreneurs create companies, using everything he learned by building SendGrid. And he’s returned to Techstars, the company that taught him how to build SendGrid, to do it.

Just months after SendGrid’s headline-grabbing exit, Isaac has a new job, as Chief Technology Officer for Techstars Studio, a new Techstars offering that will empower members of the Techstars worldwide network to rapidly envision, validate, and launch disruptive startups.

Techstars For Life

“When I started building SendGrid, it was to solve a problem I had. I wasn’t thinking about acquisitions or the company going public.” Isaac says. “I had a problem, I thought I could fix it, I tried, and I couldn’t. And because I couldn’t, I became passionate about trying to solve it.” Isaac was on a mission to help businesses solve the problem of email deliverability, and he ultimately did it so well that by the time SendGrid was acquired, the company was the world’s largest email delivery platform.

But back in 2009, Isaac knew he needed help to build SendGrid into a successful company. His first company had a great idea and a great team, but failed for lack of funding. His second company had a great idea, a great team, and funding, but didn’t have the right mentorship. “We didn’t know what we didn’t know,” Isaac says. “We didn’t know the right questions to even ask.” That company failed as well. So when SendGrid was just starting out and Isaac saw the opportunity to apply to a Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program, he jumped on it.  

“Techstars really, really helped me get SendGrid started,” Isaac says. “I attribute a lot of the reasons for SendGrid success to Techstars.” The benefits lasted far longer than the three months of the accelerator program. Over the years, Isaac hired from the Techstars network, and formed partnerships through the network as well.

Give First, Give Back

Returning to Techstars as a key player in Techstars Studio feels to Isaac like giving back—and an opportunity to be even more involved in Give First—the core Techstars value that encourages all members of the Techstars network to give of themselves, of their time and expertise, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

“I feel so thankful to the network. I’ve experienced the value that it provides first hand,” Isaac says. “Techstars makes a difference to entrepreneurs, and Techstars Studio was a great opportunity to get involved in the mission and contribute to it.”

Techstars Studio

To Isaac, Techstars Studio makes sense because it makes use of so many of Techstars strengths: a network of top quality talent, experience building successful companies, access to intelligent funding. “People used to think that you only needed a great idea, or great entrepreneurs, or great engineering,” he says. “Now they realize that you need more. Techstars has everything you need to build great companies from the ground up.”

For himself, personally, Isaac is looking forward to working with the amazing people in the Techstars network. “I want to work with the great talent of the Techstars network, to help them and also learn a lot from them, and become a better entrepreneur myself.”


Diverse Startups Do Better: How To Make Yours More Inclusive At Any Stage

“Decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers show that socially diverse groups (that is, those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) are more innovative than homogeneous groups.”

—Scientific American, “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter

“Our latest research finds that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.”

—McKinsey & Company, “Why diversity matters

As an entrepreneur—and as a human being—you know that having a diverse founding team, advisory board, and team of employees is both the right thing to do and good for business.

Still not sure about this? Check out this terrific article from Scientific American, “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter” and this McKinsey report on “Why diversity matters.”

Focusing on Diversity & Inclusion can be difficult for busy founders who are trying to get a new company off the ground. That’s why we want to offer some simple and actionable advice for founders about how to create a diverse and inclusive company, starting from the very beginning. This advice is based on Techstars Founders Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, including the Kapor Capital Founders’ Commitments. All participants in our mentorship-driven accelerators sign on to these commitments; we believe that they can be helpful to founders everywhere.  

Set Goals

Setting goals around diversity and inclusion is an important first step. You can’t meet goals you don’t set, so the very act of setting goals is meaningful—even if you don’t meet them yet.

Of course, not all companies are the same, so nor should their goals be identical. In setting your goals, take into account your company’s funding stage, employee size, customer base, and core business.

Keep Yourself Accountable

Now that you’ve got some goals, hold yourself accountable to them. Keep track of how you’re doing, and include progress reports on D&I in your quarterly investor updates.

Review (or Set) Policies

When was the last time you looked at your company’s anti-discrimination and harassment policy? Do you even have one?

Take the time to review your policy, and if you don’t have one yet, set one. A major step toward building an inclusive environment is making sure everyone feels welcome and respected; a good way to do this is to make sure your values are reflected in your priorities.

Here are some samples that you can use:

Example of a non-discrimination policy:

(Your company) is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity in any and all terms, conditions or privileges of employment including hiring, promotions, termination, training and compensation.  (Your Company) does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, where applicable.

Example statement on addressing bullying, discrimination and/or harassment:

A repeated pattern of physical and/or non-physical behaviors that (a) are intended to cause fear, humiliation or annoyance, (b) offend or degrade, (c) create a hostile environment or (d) reflect discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual athlete or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression or mental or physical disability; is prohibited.

These are just a few key steps, but if you do all three, you’ll have made a very good beginning toward building a diverse and inclusive company.

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Do you have questions about how to build D&I into your startup?

Come to our AMA on March 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm ET “Diverse Startups Do Better: How To Make Yours More Inclusive At Any Stage” with Jason Thompson, Techstars VP of Diversity & Inclusion and Allyson Downey, weeSpring founder and author of Here’s the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood.


Get Help Faster: Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars Spotlight on My Wellbeing, a Therapist-Client Matching Service

Highlights of student-led ventures participating in the LaunchPad Lift Cohort, part of the Blackstone LaunchPad® powered by Techstars® entrepreneurship program

Sometimes we all just need to talk out our worries, stresses, and challenges with someone who is trained to help process the curve balls of life. Unfortunately, most people don’t seek professional care because it’s hard to find the right therapist-client fit.

To solve this problem, My Wellbeing, a student-led venture from New York University’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars entrepreneurship program, developed a therapist-client matching service that takes the stress out of finding the right mental health professional and improves retention of care.

Clients answer a five-minute questionnaire identifying their needs and what they’re looking for in a therapist. Within 24 hours, My Wellbeing sends a match and encourages them to schedule a free phone consultation with the therapist. Clients have the option to book the therapist or request another match.

“Ninety four percent of individuals who speak with their therapist by phone express a positive match and schedule an in-person appointment,” says Alyssa Petersel, My Wellbeing founder.

During her Masters in Social Work program, Alyssa discovered that finding mental health services that matched a client’s need was a growing problem, and when a client didn’t feel compatible with a therapist they would cease care.

“One in four Americans are in need of therapy but don’t seek care because they don’t know where to begin. Of those who do go to therapy, over half drop out prematurely because they don’t feel a strong connection with their therapist,” Alyssa explained.

Since the company launched in August 2017, My Wellbeing facilitated over 3,500+ matches. Therapists can sign up to be in the network and matched with clients. My Wellbeing is currently offered in the New York City area, with plans to expand in the near future.

My Wellbeing was selected for the inaugural LaunchPad Lift Cohort, a 10-week personalized mentorship-driven program from Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars for student-led ventures from the United States and Ireland, which comes with a $10,000 grant to help move the business forward.

“We have benefited from the perspective and generosity of countless mentors, without whom we would not be where we are today. We look forward to participating in this exciting new community with Techstars, Blackstone, our mentors and advisors, and our colleagues in our cohort, to #givefirst and grow together,” said Alyssa.

Learn more about Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars HERE

Follow our LaunchPad Lift Cohort series where we highlight each student-led venture.


Techstars and Starburst Announce Space-Focused Accelerator Program With U.S. Government And Corporate Consortium

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Maxar Technologies, SAIC, and Israel Aerospace Industries North America (IAI North America) Unite to Disrupt Space Industry

LOS ANGELES and BOULDER, Colo.– Techstars and Starburst announced today their joint effort to help entrepreneurs succeed in aerospace. The Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator, a new Los Angeles-based program, will focus on the next generation of space technology companies and related frontier technologies. Matt Kozlov will be the managing director of the program. Matt previously led the Cedars Sinai Accelerator Powered by Techstars in Los Angeles and has invested in over 30 companies. Van Espahbodi, co-founder and managing director of Starburst, will be advising Kozlov and the broader program, applying his experience of accelerating over 300 aerospace startups.

Building on Techstars success running more than 150 accelerator programs around the world with both government entities and Fortune 500 corporations, coupled with Starburst aerospace industry experience and expertise, this new mentorship-driven accelerator has formal sponsorship from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Maxar Technologies, SAIC, Israel Aerospace Industries North America (IAI North America), and the U.S. Air Force, with support from The Aerospace Corporation.

With recent technological breakthroughs such as reusable rockets, 3D printing, advanced materials, and miniaturization of satellites (“smallsats”), as well as the introduction and adoption of new business models, the opportunities for entrepreneurs and corporations are unprecedented. New business models will be a focus for the accelerator, and the consortium will be looking to work with startups that have a use case for new space and related technologies in fields such as energy, communications, robotics, and autonomy. Breakthroughs in these industries contribute to why Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently estimated the space economy will be worth more than $3 Trillion by 2045.

“The space industry is massively exciting but also quite complex,” said Matt Kozlov, managing director of the Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator. “We are bringing together vital industry leaders, both public and private, who will help entrepreneurs navigate the industry and provide unprecedented commercial support and mentorship. We will help founders achieve two years of commercial traction in three months. Given the pedigree of our sponsors, I expect this program will very quickly become a vital resource for entrepreneurs building frontier tech.”

“The list of incredible companies just keeps growing,” said Van Espahbodi, co-founder and managing director of Starburst. “The broader aerospace industry has finally embraced the notion of ‘open innovation’ by partnering with entrepreneurs to co-develop products, with a compelling business plan to match. Starburst is excited to advise the program to ensure early-stage businesses have the appropriate tools to compete in this emerging marketplace.”

Applications for Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator open today. The program, Techstars third accelerator program in California, will kick off in July 2019. Startup companies in commercial space or that are developing related technologies are encouraged to apply. Startup companies looking to connect with program staff prior to applying or to get feedback on their companies are welcome to request Office Hours with Techstars staff.

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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 1,700 companies with a market cap of $18 Billion. www.techstars.com

About Starburst

Starburst is an innovation catalyst in the Aerospace industry. It is the first global Aerospace Accelerator, matching corporates with startups while providing strategic growth consulting for startups and corporations alike. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Montreal, Munich, San Francisco and Singapore, the team has built an ecosystem of key players across the Aerospace industry including over 4000+ related startups. Every year Starburst hosts numerous international and national events bringing together Aerospace innovators and puts innovation in the spotlight at international air shows.

www.starburst.aero


David Cohen on The Twenty Minute VC

David Cohen is the founder and co-CEO of Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. To date, David has backed hundreds of startups including the likes of Uber, SendGrid, Twilio, ClassPass, PillPack and more. In total, these investments have gone on to create more than $80B in value. Prior to Techstars, David was a co-founder of Pinpoint Technologies which was acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation in 1999. Later, David was the founder and CEO of earFeeder, a music service that was sold to SonicSwap. If that was not enough, David is also the co-author (with Brad Feld) of Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup.

David spoke with Harry Stebbings on The Twenty Minute VC to discuss why seed investing is a different asset class to venture, what makes the best and the worst board members, and why every company has to have a pessimist in the room. 

CLICK TO PLAY

CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNES

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and David on Twitter here!

 


LaunchPad Lift Spotlight: Shower Stream Aims to Reduce Water Waste, One Shower at a Time

Highlights of student-led ventures participating in the LaunchPad Lift Cohort, part of the Blackstone LaunchPad® powered by Techstars® entrepreneurship program

Early in the morning, you wander into the bathroom and turn on the shower to full hot. While you’re sipping coffee and waiting for the water to warm, gallons of wasted water are flowing down the drain.

In a recent study by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, 70 percent of bathers leave their showers unattended after it’s warm, resulting in $100 “water warm-up waste” per shower per year. For hotel franchises, this waste equals $30M in expenses per year. Across the U.S., this problem could waste two trillion gallons of water, one trillion kWh of energy and $50B annually.

In response to this “shower water warm-up waste,” a student-led venture from UT Austin’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars entrepreneurship program developed Shower Stream, a smart shower head adapter that uses motion sensors to release warm water when the person enters the shower. The company aims to reduce water and energy waste without disturbing the customer’s experience and provide analytics on the savings.

Shower Stream’s motion-activated shower head adapter simply screws on behind the existing shower head without disrupting the bathing experience. Through their dashboard, hotel owners can review analytics about their water and energy savings in real-time. Shower Stream states customers receive a one year breakeven and 400 percent, five-year ROI by using their device.

Shower Stream was selected for the inaugural LaunchPad Lift Cohort, a 10-week personalized mentorship-driven program for student-led ventures from the United States and Ireland, as well as a $10,000 grant to help move their business forward.

“Being a part of the LaunchPad Lift Cohort is a very exciting achievement for Shower Stream. Working with world-class mentors from Techstars and gaining access to their impeccable network of successful entrepreneurs and investors will be a huge boon for us,” said Ian Howard and Greg Floyd, Co-founders of Shower Stream. “During the program, we will levy the huge amount of resources provided by Blackstone and Techstars to improve our customer value proposition and secure new partnerships that will allow us to expand quickly in the future.”

Learn more about LaunchPad HERE

Follow our LaunchPad Lift Cohort series where we will be highlighting each student-led venture, stay tuned!


Techstars and Eastern Pacific Shipping Launch First Global MaritimeTech Accelerator in Singapore

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a world leading ship management company, today announced they are jointly launching the world’s first global MaritimeTech accelerator, the EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars. Based in Singapore, this new mentorship-driven accelerator program will be Techstars second accelerator in the sovereign city-state.

“Eastern Pacific Shipping is one of the top global players in the merchant maritime space with a clear innovation-driven agenda that’s poised to disrupt the industry,” says Will Robinson, VP of Asia-Pacific Sales. “This partnership is a great match for Techstars, and we’re thrilled to partner with EPS in the world’s maritime and shipping capital and present the market with a catalyst for innovation in this industry. We’re excited to further expand the Techstars brand and network in the APAC region and look forward to working with EPS to support entrepreneurs in their journey to transform this enormous industry”.

The EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars will accept applications from startups around the world and ultimately select 10 companies—including the most promising local and regional startups—to participate in the program’s inaugural class. The companies will gather in Singapore for an intensive three month program of research and development, mentorship, and collaboration at EPS headquarters at Millenia Tower in Singapore. We encourage applications from entrepreneurs focused disrupting the maritime industry with technologies related to regulations, fuel efficiency, vessel operations, digitalization, and other subthemes.

Led by a Techstars Managing Director and staff, and augmented by Eastern Pacific leadership and mentors, the experience will culminate in a demo day. At this event, each startup will pitch its newly polished business to an audience of venture capitalists, corporate innovation leaders, and industry experts, with the goal of facilitating investment in the companies while broadening and energizing the local entrepreneurial community.

“The merchant maritime industry is one of the oldest in the world, yet advancements in the business come slowly, lagging behind the latest technological trends that other mature industries readily adopt,” says Gil Ofer, Business Development Manager of EPS. “Eastern Pacific Shipping aims to address this long-standing issue by partnering with Techstars to launch the world’s first global MaritimeTech accelerator to cultivate and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs in an industry that is ripe for disruption.”

Applications for the EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars will open in April 2019 and the program will begin in November 2019. Startups interested in the program are encouraged to learn more on the EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars page, or express interest using the Office Hours form. If you’re a corporation interested in learning about Techstars Accelerator corporate partnerships, click here.

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders and their teams connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners who will help their companies grow. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs help founders do more faster and Techstars Startup Programs inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurs. Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships helps brands supercharge growth by accelerating innovation and cultural transformation. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,600 companies with a market cap of $18.2 Billion. www.techstars.com

About Eastern Pacific Shipping

Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte. Ltd., also known as EPS, is an industry leading global ship management company headquartered in Singapore. EPS manages a young, diverse and dynamic fleet of over 130 vessels with a combined tonnage of over 13,000,000 deadweight tons. These vessels span across the tanker, bulk, container, pure car and truck, gas and chemical segments, and are managed by 200 skilled shore staff and 4,600 dedicated sea staff. EPS offers a full suite of in-house ship management services such as technical, commercial, operations and crewing. With 30 newbuilds set to join its fleet in the next few years, Eastern Pacific Shipping is poised to remain a leader in the maritime industry. For the latest news from EPS, visit easternpacific.com.sg.


Techstars and 43North Partner to Grow Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY — January 31, 2019 — Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and 43North, New York State’s startup competition that invests $5 million annually to attract and cultivate startups in Buffalo, NY, are partnering on a multi-year program to further develop and scale the Western New York entrepreneurial ecosystem. Together, Techstars and 43North will build a self-sustaining coalition of entrepreneurs, corporate partners, local and national investors, government and academic leaders, and startup enthusiasts within the community.

In addition, Techstars announces the formal launch of the Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development program. The Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development program offers economic and government leaders at the state and city level research, program management staff, and services to support the rapid injection of key ingredients into city infrastructure and leadership—all with the goal of driving economic development and job growth. Techstars is launching with Buffalo as the inaugural city for the Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development Program.

“Techstars sought a community that had a blend of passion, population size, and the organizational commitment to take their ecosystem and supersize it,” said Chris Heivly, vice president of Innovation at Techstars. “Buffalo already has a burgeoning ecosystem with strong players such as 43North, Launch NY, and University at Buffalo. While Techstars is partnering with 43North on this initiative, the Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development program is a community-wide effort, and Techstars will focus on increasing the existing collaboration in the community.”

Techstars began its work on this initiative in the fall by researching the current state of the Buffalo entrepreneurial ecosystem through a series of interviews and surveys. Techstars officials then used this information and Techstars data on building ecosystems in other communities to create a roadmap for the future growth of Western New York’s startup community.

“I have long believed that in the modern era, you can start a scalable, high-growth company almost anywhere, and every metropolitan area with over 100,000 people should have a thriving startup community.” Brad Feld, co-founder of Techstars and partner at Foundry Group.

Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development program for Buffalo includes providing mentorship to 43North companies and other Buffalo startups; coaching and facilitating interactions with Western New York mentors, community leaders, investors, and potential investors; producing year-round events and programming; forging connections with Techstars global network; producing and posting digital content about the Buffalo ecosystem; and conducting ongoing measurement of the progress of Buffalo’s startup community.

Techstars is currently seeking a Buffalo-based Executive Director who will work with Techstars executives, a small Buffalo staff, and the 43North team to execute the plan.

“Whether you’re looking at the number of startups, the volume of venture capital, or the engagement of our community’s leaders, Buffalo’s startup ecosystem is the strongest that it has ever been. While we are encouraged by our recent growth and success, we have an opportunity to double down on our efforts to build our entrepreneurial community into one that generates jobs and prosperity for generations to come,” said Eric Reich, 43North board chair. “Techstars is one of the world’s most respected organizations for supporting startups and building startup communities, making them the ideal partner to help Buffalo and 43North take the next steps on our journey. We are excited to welcome them to Buffalo and to work collaboratively across the ecosystem to deliver the results that this great community deserves.”

“Buffalo’s startup ecosystem has made significant progress, and the partnership between Techstars and 43North is a strategic commitment to support its continued growth and regional economic impact,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky.

The Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development program in Buffalo is a partnership with 43North, with support from M&T Bank, National Grid, and others to be announced.

To learn more about the Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development program, join Techstars and 43North for an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) on Ecosystem Development on February 28, 2019, at 3 pm EST. The AMA will be recorded.

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 1,700 companies with a market cap of $18 Billion. www.techstars.com

About 43North

43North is New York State’s startup competition that invests $5 million annually to attract and cultivate high-growth startups in Buffalo. 43North portfolio companies also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY. 43North operates through the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, Empire State Development and several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit www.43north.org.

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Media contact:

Joanie Kindblade
Techstars
Joanie.kindblade@techstars.com
303.562.6230

Peter Burakowski
43North
Peter@43north.org