Today, we’re excited to announce that UP Global is becoming part of Techstars.
Together we will help accelerate the pace of innovation by strengthening the path for entrepreneurs, providing better support for entrepreneurial communities, and helping to grow the worldwide entrepreneurial ecosystem.
From the earliest days of its founding, Startup Weekend has been strongly linked to Techstars. Andrew Hyde founded Startup Weekend in 2007 as the first employee of Techstars and ran the very first event with the teams from the first Techstars class. As the years progressed, Startup Weekend and its community grew into UP Global and scaled out of the Techstars Seattle basement to our own office just across the street. As of Summer 2014, we once again share offices in Startup Hall.
But beyond time and place, we share a common mission of bringing entrepreneurship to more people and more places. Our organizations have worked toward this mission in different ways, but for these past 7 years we’ve both been working to improve the global state of entrepreneurship with a ‘give first’ mentality and a focus on experiential learning.
We can now offer a full range of programs in complete support of the Entrepreneur’s Journey and connect two of the biggest networks in the startup world. The result is a global ecosystem of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners who will now work even closer together to support entrepreneurs and their communities.
The Techstars and UP teams have strong cultural alignment and we’re excited to find ways to put our now collective toolset to work for community leaders and entrepreneurs everywhere.
As we begin working together, we’re excited and grateful that Google For Entrepreneurs will continue to power Startup Weekend and Startup Next globally, and many of our current partners will be making the transition to supporting our programs as part of Techstars.
The newly combined organization is global in reach, diverse in makeup, broad in team expertise, and rich in startup experience.
This year alone:
- Startup Digest curators will send out over 20 million emails with over 182,000 startup events
- Startup Week will reach nearly 75,000 attendees across 75 events
- Startup Weekend will run approximately 1,000 events in more than 120 countries to help founders build their teams and get their ideas off the ground
- Startup Next will support teams applying for accelerators in nearly 50 cities
- Techstars and the Global Accelerator Network will provide capital and intensive mentorship to over 1,000 companies
- Techstars Ventures (now managing more than $300M in capital) will provide funding options at both seed and Series A stages.
Why did we do this?
The simple answer is we believe we can do more together:
- In addition to being culturally aligned and driven by the same mission, we’ve found that our business models are also very complementary. At UP, we’ve been working to find a model that allows us to participate in the value teams from our programs create and funnel it back into the mission. As part of Techstars, a for-profit company with investing expertise, we can do that. For Techstars, more quality teams coming out of communities worldwide, increases the value of the accelerator program and venture fund.
- Our expertise and and programs are complementary. We support grassroots community building efforts and Techstars picks up where our current suite of programs end, taking teams from those communities to new heights. Techstars has worked hard to build startup community where they operate and are excited to tap the expertise of UP team and Community Leaders that have supported the growth of more startup communities than any other Organization in the world.
- We felt that this was the best way to provide better support to Community Leaders running programs and remain sustainable in the long term.
As an Organization, we have been exploring long-term sustainability options for the past year. We looked hard at each potential path with a goal of being less reliant on sponsorship dollars and to adapt to a market that has grown and changed since we started out 7 years ago.
We’ve had a close relationship with Techstars since Day 1 and as we sought their advice, a natural alignment started to emerge, the result of which is today’s news. Their community centric approach, as well as their desire to keep the programs and team intact, easily made this the most exciting option. We feel that becoming part of Techstars gives us the tools we need to pursue our mission more completely and allows us to provide new opportunities to our growing community on a timeline we could never have hit alone.
You may have a few, this is definitely big and exciting news. If we didn’t answer your question here, please check out our extensive FAQs over on the Announcement Hub. If it’s not there, we are offering live chat, email, and a contact form to get in touch with us. There, you can also post your ideas, concerns, or questions not answered in the FAQs. Over the next week, we’ll also be hosting Q&A sessions with various leaders of both Organizations so you can ask questions in real-time.
Read Marc’s letter to the community.