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








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: San Francisco

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 Ryan Kuder, Techstars Managing Director from the Techstars Anywhere Accelerator for an evening of networking, an AMA, and more. Techstars 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-san-francisco-tickets-36836047610








Techstars Roadshow: Salt Lake City

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)! Techstars Managing Directors, Program Managers 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-salt-lake-city-tickets-36884180577








Is a Virtual Accelerator the Right Fit for Your Company?

Aiming to fund and work with companies wherever they happen to be located, Techstars Anywhere delivers a full Techstars program through a (mostly) virtual accelerator experience.

Instead of relocating to another city and working from a shared office for three months, Techstars Anywhere uses technology and the power of the Techstars worldwide network to bring the accelerator to you, wherever your company happens to be.

What’s Different?

The Techstars Anywhere Accelerator provides the same investment of capital, time, team and network as other Techstars accelerator programs. While the investment is the same, Techstars Anywhere delivers the full Techstars Accelerator value differently. The program is designed to allow a different kind of accelerator experience which can be a better fit for certain companies.

Mentor Network

One of the differences of Techstars Anywhere is how our distributed mentor network is built. By removing geographical barriers, Techstars Anywhere leverages all of the Techstars global network to build a network around you and bring the right mentors for your company, regardless of where they happen to be. With a highly tailored mentor pool, founders from any given industry, technology or market get an unfair advantage to build a successful business from #anywhere.

Mostly Virtual

Your Techstars experience is built largely on the relationships you build in the program. Therefore, while the majority of Techstars Anywhere happens online, the program is designed to allow founders to spend the right amount of time in person.

We start the first week of the program together in a Techstars accelerator location for an intense orientation week. The class meets again in person during weeks six and 12.

While we’re together, we optimize for network and relationship building amongst founders, mentors, investors and Techstars alumni. We carefully select locations with a dense Techstars network. For our first class, we visited Boulder, San Francisco and New York.

Working Remotely

Aside from the the time we spend in person, most of the program takes place online. You work from your office or home and access all meetings and program sessions through video conference. We are heavy users of Slack and other tools for distributed teams.

We are connected all day, every day to make sure you’re getting the support you need to move your business forward.

It’s an intense program to help you #domorefaster. Schedule and intensity will vary in different parts of the program but in a typical week of Techstars Anywhere, you can expect regular check-ins with the class, several mentor meetings, deep dives with the program team, peer founder calls, workshops and sessions with experienced founders and investors.

Flexibility & Focus

The nature of Techstars Anywhere allows us to deliver an extremely intensive experience that is balanced with the flexibility of working on your own schedule, rhythm and location (whether you’re home or traveling).

The program features fewer social events and we prioritize for camaraderie and network building during the times we spend together on the program trips. We’ve learned that this format allows a high degree of focus so you can get a lot more done!

Fundraising Support

One of the goals of Techstars is to help you fundraise successfully (when that’s what’s right for your company). At Techstars Anywhere, you’ll learn how to manage your fundraising process, refine your pitch, and meet the right investors for the industry and geography that’s relevant to your business. You’ll also learn how to leverage the Techstars network to access the right investors for your company.

Demo Day will be one of the elements of your fundraising process. Techstars Anywhere Demo Day is virtual and investors come from #anywhere! Each company’s fundraising plan will be different, so we work with each company to build the right investor pipeline based on their industry and geography. We work with each company to identify, approach and effectively build a relationship with the right investors no matter where they happen to be.

When Techstars Anywhere can be the Right Choice for Your Company

Designed differently, Techstars Anywhere delivers a full Techstars accelerator through a (mostly) virtual experience. From nature of the product, company stage or a geographically relevant customer base, there are different reasons why relocation may be suboptimal for certain companies. Personal working styles and life situations may also be reasons why Techstars Anywhere can be a better fit for you.

If that’s the case, apply here for Techstars Anywhere by Oct 15. If you want to know more, please join Ryan and me for our next AMA here.