Techstars Anywhere Accelerator Welcomes 2019 Class

One of the themes we’ve seen from 12 years of running Techstars mentorship-driven accelerators around the world is that there are a lot of founders who for whatever reason can’t—or shouldn’t—relocate for three months to participate in an accelerator. Sometimes they have families, sometimes they have employees, sometimes they have customers. We asked ourselves: Can we provide them with a world class Techstars accelerator experience without making them move?

Techstars Anywhere Accelerator is our (mostly) remote accelerator program, delivered using technology and a bit of travel so that founders can continue to build their businesses from anywhere without needing to relocate to join a Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program. The goal of the Techstars Anywhere Accelerator is to create an accessible Techstars accelerator experience for great founders—anywhere.

Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of the third class of Techstars Anywhere Accelerator, Techstars Class 158. This year, our program is focused on consumer and B2B technology companies working in the United States.

We are extraordinarily proud to have a fantastic 2019 class with founders from diverse backgrounds and locations. While a few founders come from startup hubs like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, we also have founders building businesses in Columbus, OH, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Newark, NJ, and Seattle, and six of our startups are remote-first companies with teams distributed across multiple cities. There’s also a great deal of diversity across the group with six of the companies having at least one co-founder from a historically underrepresented group in tech. Over a third of our founders are women, and over a third are African American. Two founders are Marine Corps veterans (Oorah!). And there are plenty of parents in the class, including a first time dad to a five month old baby girl and one co-founder currently pregnant with twins, due just after Demo Day. By providing broader accessibility to the Techstars network, Techstars Anywhere helps great entrepreneurs start and build great companies just about anywhere.

I’d like to give special thanks to our mentors and partners who make Techstars Anywhere Accelerator possible, and a shout out to our accelerator team, Program Manager Kendra Dixon, and Operations Associate Leandro Jaime.

By making Techstars more accessible, we’re proud to be able to create a world class accelerator experience for world class founders who may not otherwise have had the opportunity.

Here are the companies in Techstars Class 158:

Bloominous

Los Angeles

Bloominous is the first nationwide, full-service wedding floral brand that combines technology with curated designs from celebrity florists to deliver personalized styles for every wedding in every town.

https://bloominous.com/

Civic Eagle

Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC

Civic Eagle’s SaaS platform leverages artificial intelligence to help enterprises and non-profits identify, track, and analyze legislation and regulations.  

 

https://www.civiceagle.com/

echoAR
New York

echoAR is the world’s only AR-first CMS + CDN. echoAR is a cloud platform for augmented reality that helps developers and companies quickly build and deploy AR apps and content.

https://www.echoar.xyz/

EnrichHER

Atlanta and Washington, DC

EnrichHER is a crowdfunded lending platform for women led businesses that makes it easy for investors to provide affordable and non-dilutive capital to women led ventures.

 

https://ienrichher.com/

events locker
Los Angeles and Seattle

events locker is a cloud-based exhibitor management platform that streamlines operations for live event organizers, which ties into a first-of-its-kind lead generating sponsorship marketplace.

https://eventslocker.com/

Gamefuly

Newark, NJ

Gamefuly enables esports video game skill development through a peer-to-peer online marketplace connecting gamers who want to learn with esports experts who want to earn. Gamefuly is like Coursera, but for esports!  

https://gamefuly.com/

Parabol

Los Angeles and Brooklyn

Parabol provides high-performance collaboration and retrospective meeting SaaS for remote and distributed teams that creates accountability, transparency, and autonomy while surfacing valuable employee engagement insights.

https://www.parabol.co/

QuickCarl

San Diego and Washington DC

QuickCarl connects homeowners to the home services pros with the expertise they need to troubleshoot and solve problems in the home—in real time from any mobile device.

http://www.quickcarl.com/

Speedwell & Yarrow
Columbus, OH

Speedwell & Yarrow helps busy professionals make the most of life outside the office while offering employers an innovative way to support the next generation of leaders.

https://www.speedwellandyarrow.com/

Summed
Denver and San Francisco

Summed gives you the convenience of shopping like a credit card, but with the benefit of repaying your balance like a low-rate installment loan. We offer APRs on average 50% lower than traditional credit cards.

https://www.summed.co/








Upcoming Online Info Sessions for Techstars Anywhere

This summer Techstars Anywhere has spent some time on the road meeting founders in Portland, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and San Diego, and Washington DC. But we know that part of what makes Techstars Anywhere great is that you don’t have to be in any particular city to participate. So we’re hosting two upcoming online info sessions to provide an overview of the Techstars Anywhere Accelerator and answer any questions you may have about how Techstars’ only virtual accelerator works.

You can RSVP for the sessions here: Friday September 21, 10am PT or Thursday October 4, noon PT

Techstars Anywhere is our (mostly) virtual accelerator. We say (mostly) because we do get together in person three times during the program. The rest is done online using video conferencing and other tools to deliver a full world class accelerator experience. The program is built on the same platform as every Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program, features an amazing group of mentors, provides full access to the Techstars network, and has the same investment as all Techstars accelerators. Because of the nature of the program, Techstars Anywhere is best suited to teams working in time zones across the continental United States.

Techstars Anywhere is a great option for founders who are building great companies in markets where access to resources from outside their region could be a game changer, but they either can’t (or shouldn’t) move to a new city for 13 weeks. Maybe you’ve got a team of employees that you can’t leave. Maybe you’ve got customers that rely on you to be there for them. Maybe you’ve got a family. We believe that great founders can come from anywhere, and we’re here to support those founders as only Techstars can.

Please join us for these online info sessions. We also have a limited number of office hours appointments available. You can apply for office hours here.

Keep building, and Do More Faster!








Techstars Meet and Greet Los Angeles

At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 11 years we have helped over 1,500 companies grow and raise over $5.5 billion in funding, with a market cap of $13.9 billion. Now we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

We currently have applications open for Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator programs around the world. Join our program staff for an evening of networking, Q&A, and a chance to show us what you’re currently working on. They will be there to connect with you, inspire you, answer your questions and tell you more about our programs.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:

  • 5:00pm – Doors open, food and drinks served
  • 5.30pm – Techstars Presentation
  • 6.00pm – Question Time
  • 6.15pm – Open Networking

    Event ends 7.00pm

ALREADY KNOW THAT TECHSTARS IS A GOOD FIT FOR YOU?
Apply for Office Hours, a 30-minute session on the day of, the day before or after the Meet and Greet Event, where you meet one-on-one with








Techstars Meet and Greet Portland

At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 10 years we have helped over 1,200 companies grow and raise over $4 billion in funding, with a market cap of $10 billion. Now we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

We currently have applications open for Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator programs around the world. Join our program staff for an evening of networking, Q&A, and a chance to show us what you’re currently working on. They will be there to connect with you, inspire you, answer your questions and tell you more about our programs.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:

7:00pm – Doors open, food and drinks served
7.30pm – Techstars Presentation
8.00pm – Question Time
8.15pm – Open Networking

Event ends 9.00pm








Graduating the First Full Class of Techstars Anywhere

The first full class of Techstars Anywhere graduated during our Virtual Demo Day event this month. We are proud of the incredible progress that our founders have made. At Techstars, we believe that great companies can and will be built anywhere in the world. For Techstars Anywhere, we don’t ask the companies to come to us, we go to them. By using technology, the Techstars global network and a bit of travel, we invest in and deliver the Techstars Mentorship-driven Accelerator program to founders, anywhere.

Techstars Anywhere opened applications last summer and we got a historical number of applicants. We looked at thousands of companies and meet hundreds of founders to select this class of 10. Today, we would like to share some of the lessons and results of running this virtual program.

Mentor Network Anywhere

The opportunity is huge — by being virtual there are no geographic constraints which allows us to bring the global Techstars network to founders no matter where they are.

During the last three months, our founders worked closely with an incredible group of 100 mentors based all across North America. Having this global reach allowed us to provide a highly tailored mentorship approach to companies in a diverse set of technologies and across different markets.

BioInteractive Technologies for example, who’s based in Vancouver, worked closely with mentors who have deep industry insight like Tan Lee (founder of Emotiv, based in SF), strong technical expertise like Ian Bernstein (founder of Misty Robotics and Sphero, based in Boulder) and Alex Schiff (founder of Fetchnotes, now with Occipital in SF). Others, such as Lynq in NYC, and Filtered.ai in Boston, got access to markets outside their local tech communities through the relationships built with mentors based in Denver (Ben Hadley), Chicago (Alex Newman), Los Angeles (Alexa Mcculloch) and even in Kansas City (Lesa Mitchell).

Virtually Founders #domorefaster

By using technology to take the program to the companies and avoid relocation, our founders were able to keep their rhythms, working schedules and the focus they needed to bring the best to their companies. We’ve also learned that Techstars Anywhere allows a great amount of flexibility that helps our companies succeed. Jasmine Crowe, CEO of Goodr, was able to join a program session from backstage at NBCUniversal right before going live on the Harry TV Show. And Ken Carnesi, CEO of DNS Filter, traveled to trade shows and business meetings and frequently took mentor calls in airport lounges and VC office lobbies.

Travel for Strong Relationships

While most of the program was done online, it’s important to create real face to face opportunities. So for Techstars Anywhere, we travel a bit. We chose locations where Techstars has a strong network such as Los Angeles, Boulder and San Francisco. While on those trips, the founders develop strong relationships with their peers and met mentors, investors, partners and local Techstars alumni.

This year we kicked off the program in Los Angeles, where after a two day retreat in the mountains, our 30 founders started as strangers and became family. Mid-program, we all met in Boulder where the founders learned fundraising skills from David Cohen, had a unique session on Venture Deals with Seth Levine from Foundry Group, and met with local investors and some of our incredible mentors such as David Mandell, Bart Lorang and Nicole Glaros.

We spent our final week together in San Francisco where the founders met with Bay Area investors and mentors such as Zach Nies, Claus Moberg, Joshua Montgomery, Carly Gloge and Cody Simms who helped polish their pitches.

We are proud of the results

We are proud to share some of the incredible things that our founders were able to accomplish in just three months at Techstars Anywhere.

BlockCrushr Labs (from Halifax, Nova Scotia) is a a venture development studio with a focus on products and services that enable mass consumerization of blockchain enabled technology. During Techstars Anywhere, they’ve developed Groundhog, a next-generation crypto wallet and payment platform.

Filtered.ai (Boston, MA) uses AI to help teams identify, evaluate and hire the best engineers based on both technical and cultural fit. They grew 10x and signed several Fortune 100 customers.

BioInteractive Technologies (Vancouver BC and San Francisco) are the makers of TENZR, a wristband that helps people prevent and recover from hand-injuries and control the world around them using hand gestures. During Techstars Anywhere they successfully completed a pilot study proving the accuracy of their wristband in the stroke rehabilitation market and commissioned new pilots in other markets.

Lynq (New York) is a smart compass that saves lives and ensures you never lose your people, all without the need for phones, connectivity or infrastructure. During Techstars Anywhere they shipped their first product to customers, doubled B2B customers and was the subject of a formal government report citing Lynq’s impact on the location of wounded soldiers.

Goodr (Atlanta, GA) is solving the surplus food supply chain problem by making sure that companies capture the maximum value of their food donations. During Techstars Anywhere they increased their MRR by 40 percent and closed important customers such as Gate Gourmet, Ponce City Market and Concessions International.

DNSFilter (Washington DC) provides a DNS-based content filtering service, which uses machine learning to identify threats in real time. During Techstars Anywhere they doubled their MRR, closed a round of financing and acquired domain intelligence provider, Web Shrinker.

Flikshop (Washington, DC) helps families stay in touch with incarcerated loved ones by making it easy to send a security cleared postcard to anyone in any facility in the country. During Techstars Anywhere they launched Flikshop Angels that allows nonprofits and foundations to fight recidivism by connecting incarcerated people with their loved ones.

Queen of Raw (New York) is a two-sided marketplace that brings raw material back to life by giving factories that overproduce it & brands that over purchase it a place to resell it to recapture its value. During Techstars Anywhere they 10x’d sales, doubled their inventory, expanded partnerships overseas, and grew their user base by ⅓ with customers including H&M and Louis Vuitton.

StoryTap (Vancouver, BC) makes it easy for marketers to collect and socially distribute video stories at scale from real people, like product reviews, video testimonials and content stories – from any device, anywhere in the world. During Techstars Anywhere they launched a self-serve saas product, grew MRR 600% in the past month with leading brands in industries like banking, houseware, communications, and non-profits.

Trust & Will (San Diego, CA) is modernizing estate planning for millennials by providing an easy, fast, and secure way to set up a trust and will online. During Techstars Anywhere they closed an angel round of financing, launched paid product in their first two states and are expanding nationwide by end of the month.

Ryan and I are grateful to our incredible mentors who helped the companies with their expertise, advice and network. Thank you to our partners who brought such support and resources and thank you to our associate Jessica who helped make Techstars Anywhere 2018 a success.

Cheers to Techstars Anywhere 2018!








Introducing Techstars Class 117, the Techstars Anywhere Class of 2018

Just over a year ago, we thought we’d try something new. What if instead of making founders relocate for three months to participate in one of our world class mentorship driven Techstars accelerators, we used technology to bring Techstars to them? They could participate from, well, #anywhere! And with that thought in mind, Techstars Anywhere, our (mostly) virtual accelerator was born.

This year, we opened applications for Techstars Anywhere to the public for the first time and had an amazing response from founders around the globe. In fact, 52% of our applications were from outside of the United States. As we worked to find the 10 founding teams that would be part of this class, we ended up focused on time zones within the United States and Canada to ensure that the companies could participate to the fullest. It was an incredibly competitive applicant pool that resulted in a less than 1 percent acceptance rate.

We refer to Techstars Anywhere as our (mostly) virtual accelerator because while most of the time is spent remotely, we think it’s important to spend time together in person too. For this program we spent the last week together in Los Angeles and we’ll be meeting up again in Boulder and then in San Francisco. The rest of the program we leverage the amazing Techstars network to provide remote access to the best mentors and investors in the world.

Here’s a photo of Techstars Anywhere in Los Angeles last week with Techstars Alum and founder of SendGrid, Isaac Saldana:


As we get ready to dive in to meeting with mentors and helping these 10 founding teams succeed, it’s my pleasure to introduce the Techstars Anywhere Class of 2018, Techstars Class 117:

StoryTap, from Vancouver, BC, creates the easiest way for marketers to get quality authentic brand directed video testimonials from their customers.

Trust & Will, from San Diego, CA, is modernizing estate planning for millennials. Create a complete and legal will in 15 minutes or less.

Flikshop, from Washington, DC, turns photos from your phone into physical postcards to help families stay connected to their incarcerated loved ones.

DNSFilter, from Washington DC, provides IT professionals with a cloud based solution that allows them to manage their user’s online experience and protect them from security threats.

Filtered.ai out of Boston, MA, uses AI to help teams identify, evaluate and hire the best engineers based on both technical and cultural fit.

Queen of Raw, from New York, is a marketplace connecting designers with manufacturers’ unused raw materials, increasing profit, reducing waste, and revolutionizing supply chains.

BioInteractive Technologies, also from Vancouver BC, makes a wristband that allows users to control any connected device, hands free.

TokenClub, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, offers a monthly subscription to curated and vetted ICO tokens.

Goodr, from Atlanta, GA, is a sustainable waste management company that leverages technology to redirect surplus food from food service providers to the millions of people who are food insecure.

Lynq, from New York, provides long distance location anywhere in the world – stay connected for miles without phones, networks, maps or infrastructure.








Techstars Anywhere Office Hours ONGOING

Great founders can come from #Anywhere. Accelerate and do more faster without relocating.

Click here to register for office hours. 








Techstars Anywhere AMA

Techstars is excited to announce that we’re expanding the Techstars Anywhere program to a full 10 company class, and will be launching our second Techstars Anywhere class in January of 2018. Applications are open. Join us for this interactive Ask Me Anything session to learn more about the program and applying! 

Speakers: 

Ryan Kuder, Managing Director

Karina Costa, Program Director

Click here to register! 








Techstars Roadshow: Vancouver

Techstars is heading to Vancouver Startup Week on Tuesday, September 26th. Interested in joining us at one of our events? Please register, and we’ll email with more details on how you can join us at Vancouver Startup Week.

Are you ready to accelerate your company? At Techstars, we have applications open for 10 programs around the world: From Boulder to Dubai, Austin to Boston, NYC to Seattle and Anywhere in between (Including Techstars Anywhere, our mostly-virtual accelerator)! Please join the Techstars programs and staff for a day of sessions, networking, an AMA, and more. Techstars MDs and staff will be there to meet you, answer your questions and tell you more about the Techstars Mentorship Driven Accelerator program.

Would you like to meet with our team during office hours before this event? Request a meeting here.

More info on Techstars:
At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 10 years we have helped over 1,000 companies grow and raise over $3.5 billion in funding, with a market cap of $9.6 billion. Applications are open for 10 global Techstars accelerator programs, and we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

Click here to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/techstars-roadshow-vancouver-tickets-36838686503








Techstars Roadshow: Boston

Techstars is heading to Boston Startup Week. Interested in joining us at one of our events? Please register, and we’ll email with more details on how you can join us at Boston Startup Week.

Are you ready to accelerate your company? At Techstars, we have applications open for 10 programs around the world: From Boulder to Dubai, Austin to Boston, NYC to Seattle and Anywhere in between (Including Techstars Anywhere, our mostly-virtual accelerator)! Please join Techstars Program Managers, Julie Penner (Techstars Boulder Accelerator) and Karina Costa (Techstars Anywhere Accelerator), for networking, an AMA, and more. Techstars MDs and staff will be there to meet you, answer your questions and tell you more about the Techstars Mentorship Driven Accelerator program.

Would you like to meet with our team during office hours before this event? Request a meeting here.

More info on Techstars:
At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Over the past 10 years we have helped over 1,000 companies grow and raise over $3.5 billion in funding, with a market cap of $9.6 billion. Applications are open for 10 global Techstars accelerator programs, and we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

Click here to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/techstars-roadshow-boston-tickets-36838599242