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As a follow up to our White House diversity commitment and on the heels of the creation of the Techstars Foundation, a nonprofit with the goal of advancing opportunities for underrepresented tech entrepreneurs, we are now reporting on our progress and publishing our own diversity data related to the founders of our accelerator companies.

First, let’s recap what we’ve done so far to advance inclusive entrepreneurship:

  • Published our diversity data (see below).
  • Made a public diversity commitment as part of White House Demo Day.
  • Launched the Techstars Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing opportunities in tech entrepreneurship for underrepresented founders.
  • In 2012, we created a mentorship program called Risingstars pairing Techstars accelerator alumni with underrepresented founders. 
  • We have been presenting Patriot Boot Camp for US military veterans since 2012.
  • Trained internal staff on unconscious bias.
  • Created the GSB Startup Weekend Women track.
  • Addressed the topic of diversity at FounderCon, our annual conference for founders.

We have committed to and are currently working on the following:

  • We have made our diversity initiative a company-wide Strategic Goal for 2016.
  • We’ve created an internal committee focused on creating actionable diversity goals for staff across our 30+ global locations.
  • We are working on programs to double the number of women in our accelerator program applicant pool and across our mentor network over the next four years.
  • We are tracking participation in our programs by underrepresented minorities and are working on doubling that from the baseline over the same time period.
  • We continue to work with NCWIT to develop a toolkit for Techstars companies as well as opening up NCWIT associate membership to all Techstars companies.
  • We are also working with NCWIT on their Pacesetters Program.

Below is our diversity data related to founders of companies we’ve funded in the accelerators to date. Based on these figures, we certainly have a long way to go here at Techstars — but we also know that you cannot improve what you don’t measure. We will publish this information annually, along with notes on our progress. While we don’t have this data historically, we will be focusing on broader classifications in the future.


DataHero Techstars Founders by Ethnicity (Alltime) DataHero Techstars Founders by Gender (Alltime)

Special thanks to DataHero for the visualizations.

David Cohen
(@davidcohen) Founder & Managing Partner of Techstars, previously founder of several technology companies. David is an active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at DavidGCohen.com

  • Cordila Jochim

    Hi David – awesome effort – would love to see the updated statistics based on 2015 and 2016 initiatives. Based on the new data, what’s the diversity roadmap for 2017?

  • Andy Harrington

    Do you have an outreach program to help encourage potential minority/women co-founders? The resistance I hear is not to the business or idea, it’s to the lifestyle and changes.
    If you could create private messaging direct to these potential co-founders from other minority/women, then maybe they will believe the risk is worth it.