← Techstars Blog

The Techstars Foundation is pleased to announce our first round of five grantees who are committed to improving the landscape of diversity in tech.

We received over 165 grant requests. The breadth of programs, initiatives and thought leadership related to diversity in technology entrepreneurship is awe-inspiring. The work that all of these organizations are doing on this important issue is creating real change while building stronger communities around the world. We applaud them all.

The mission of the Techstars Foundation is to provide grants and resources to organizations making a scalable impact in diversity in tech entrepreneurship. Our first group of five grantees encompasses a wide spectrum of underserved entrepreneurs, including women, minorities, veterans, people with criminal histories and those in resource restricted areas.

The first five organizations receiving financial grants and further assistance from the Techstars Foundation are:

Astia: Astia is transforming the way businesses are funded in the here and now, providing capital, connections, and expertise that fuel the growth of highly innovative, women-led ventures around the globe. Astia manages the Astia Angels angel network, delivers Astia Access programs for entrepreneurs, and looks forward to investing from the Astia Fund later this year.

Patriot Boot Camp: Patriot Boot Camp’s core program is an intensive 3-day educational event designed to engage, inspire, and mentor military members, Veterans, and their spouses to start, innovate, and scale the next generation of technology-focused businesses.

Defy Ventures: Defy “transforms the hustle” of people with criminal histories by providing entrepreneurship training, intense character and personal development, job placement, executive mentorship, startup incubation, and “Shark Tank”-style pitch competitions that award $100,000 in seed funding per class.

Change Catalyst: Change Catalyst is an organization committed to inclusive innovation through two main initiatives, Tech Inclusion and Startup Showcases. Tech Inclusion explores innovative solutions to tech diversity and inclusion through events, career fairs, consulting and training. Startup Showcasees help underrepresented entrepreneurs and investors to start, scale and fund world changing businesses.

Gaza Sky Geeks: Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG) is a co-working hub, entrepreneurship outreach organization, and startup incubator and accelerator in Gaza, run by the global organization Mercy Corps. GSG has been one of the main organizers of Startup Weekend Gaza for five consecutive years and they are working on women’s inclusivity programming.

Along with the financial support, Techstars will leverage our broad worldwide network of mentors, alumni and investors to provide additional support to these organizations. We will be featuring each of these five organizations over the next few months through our social media channels and at various network events such as demo days.  

If you would like to learn more about these organizations or get involved, please contact: foundation@techstars.com.

We look forward to making a difference in diversity in technology entrepreneurship together, through the above partnerships and with your support.

Thank you again to our generous donors who have made these grants possible. We continue to encourage 100 percent participation from our network to help support this cause. Every dollar counts.  

If Techstars accelerators, staff, mentors or startup programs such as Startup Weekend and Startup Digest have helped you in some small way, please consider a donation of any amount to help improve diversity in tech entrepreneurship.

Grant requests are now open for the fall. Request a grant today!


Ali Berman
Ali is the Executive Assistant at Techstars and the Interim Director for the Techstars Foundation.

  • As a @patriotbootcamp alumni and now @techstars #Austin cohort I couldn’t be more proud of the #techstars leadership for supporting Military #Veterans and Spouses

    • Ali Berman

      Hi Ray- We are honored to support you, fellow vets, military spouses and families. Thank you for your service! Look forward to increasing the reach over time.