Global Applications for the Techstars Worldwide Network are Now Open!

There’s an often-repeated stat that 90 percent of startups fail. Not sure the source is, but no doubt that it scares entrepreneurs. At Techstars, we see the reverse in our accelerator portfolio – 90 percent of our startups are active or have successfully exited. Which statistic reflects your business? If you’re ready to succeed, take the next step and apply now to the Techstars worldwide network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders.

At Techstars, we are on a mission to help entrepreneurs succeed. Our mentorship-driven accelerator programs invest in founders to help them do more faster. Over the past 10 years we have helped over 1,274 companies grow and raise over $4.4 billion in funding, with a market cap of $11.4 billion. Now, we are excited to start the search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network!

We are reaching new regions and verticals around the world with our newest mentorship-driven accelerator programs. Applications are opening for five new programs:

Take the next step in your journey and apply to join the Techstars worldwide network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders.

This is more than a three month program, the Techstars worldwide network is for life. Listen to stories about our founders from Techstars alumni companies like SendGrid, ClassPass, and DigitalOcean.

Application deadline is April 8, 2018 for most programs. We will be announcing details for information sessions and online events where you can connect with Techstars founders and team, as well as mentors who have the experience and proven track record to help you succeed. Be on the lookout for more details soon!

When you apply, you can choose from any of the following locations and verticals:

For tips and resources on the application process, check out our Application Toolkit.








Applications are Open for the Second Class of SAP.iO Foundry, Powered by Techstars

We’re excited to announce that applications are open for the second SAP.iO Foundry, Powered by Techstars Accelerator!

Over the next 13 weeks, we’ll be scouting for 10 of the world’s most exciting AI and Machine Learning startups that are making waves in the SaaS world. Applications close on May 13th and the program will run from September 10th to December 4th in one of the world’s greatest cities: Berlin.

Our companies have benefited from investment, tailored mentorship, access to SAP APIs, access to SAP technologies, and opportunities for exposure to SAP’s 350,000 customers.

We are looking forward to meeting as many entrepreneurs, investors, and community leaders as possible from all over the world. We’ll be hosting a combination of office hours, events, and meetups in each of these cities. Check out our upcoming stops below and sign up:

If there are any cities you think we should visit, please let us know and make sure to check back regularly or sign up for our newsletter as we regularly add more cities and dates!

We’ll also be hosting webinars with the SAP.iO team, our mentors, and alumni companies to give you an overview of the program, tips on applying (Tip 1: Apply early) and to answer any of your burning questions.

Thank you and please help us spread the word by sharing this with your network (you can click to tweet here!)

Start your application ASAP or register for one of our events or office hours now!








Alexa: Set a Reminder for Application Deadline

Applications are now open for the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars. We’re excited to team up again with the Alexa Fund to run our second class and we are matching the growth in the space and opportunity by expanding this year’s program.

On top of up to 10 companies that we’ll be working with in Q3 2018 here in Seattle, we’ll also be selecting up to three international companies that will spend their time in both our London and Seattle offices. This will help us leverage the Alexa Fund’s recently announced $100MM in venture capital to support global investment opportunities.

Amazing First Year

We had a very successful inaugural class of the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars and the future of our alumni is bright. For example, Pulse Labs recently announced its first funding round, while others like Sensible Object, Play Impossible, Novel Effect, and Botnik have been covered in the likes of CNET, GeekWire, Mashable and WIRED for their innovation with voice. We’re excited about what’s ahead for all of them in the months to come.

What’s New in Voice Technology?

Voice technology has evolved considerably since we announced the program back in 2016. At the time, Alexa was available on three Amazon devices. Today, there is a whole family of Amazon Echo and Alexa devices,  and more than 50 Alexa-enabled products built by other device makers. Alexa is now truly everywhere… even within my own home, my family has grown from a household of two Echos to 10 (four of them with screens).

As Alexa has grown and evolved, so too have the enabling technologies that make the service possible. This, in turn, has created a whole new set of opportunities for startups.

In addition to domains such as connected home, entertainment and speech science, we see a number of new themes emerging that represent opportunity.

Enterprise

With the launch of Alexa for Business, there is also new opportunity for startups to help bring Alexa into the workplace. Twine was a part of our 2017 program and was an early launch partner for the Alexa for Business program. We now know what Alexa looks like in the home, but what about in a conference room, office lobby, or at your desk?

On the Go

Customers are increasingly taking Alexa with them on the go – whether that’s in their car, out on a run, with them on vacation – and companies are innovating to bring voice to wearables, mobile phones, connected fitness experiences and so much more. We can’t wait to see the next creative ideas startups will have for extending Alexa beyond the home.

Family-Focused Technology and Connected Play

Echo devices are designed for the whole family to use together. With the Verified Parental Consent functionality launched at the end of 2017, startups can now develop new voice experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Companies from our 2017 program like Play Impossible, Novel Effect, and Sensible Object are building new voice experiences for this segment.

Enabling Technologies and Developer Tools

As brands and businesses flock to Alexa in 2018, there’s an enormous opportunity for startups that can help make the transition to voice easier. Like Pulse Labs and Aspinity from our last program, we are interested in startups who bring the picks and shovels that enable products and services which incorporate voice in compelling new ways, following in the footsteps of Levi Strauss during the California Gold Rush.

We look forward to meeting the amazing startups that will join us for year two. Please join us over the next couple months in your city as the Alexa Accelerator team travels the world.

Upcoming Events: 

February 27: Seattle, WA 

March 6: San Francisco 

March 7: Los Angeles 

March 15: London 

March 19: Paris

March 25: Tel Aviv

March 27: Online AMA

April 2: New York 

April 3: Boston 








Five Global Techstars Programs Open Applications

Now Accepting Applications to Five Techstars Accelerator Programs Around the World

Techstars has opened applications for five more mentorship-driven accelerator programs in Berlin, New York City, Oslo, Paris and Toronto. Don’t miss your opportunity to grow your business– join the Techstars worldwide network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders. Take the next step and apply now.

The following programs are now accepting applications:  

Three Months, 1,500+ Mentors and a Network That Lasts a Lifetime

The Schedule:

  • Applications Open: February 19, 2018
  • Application Deadline: May 13, 2018
  • Programs Start: September 10, 2018
  • Demo Days: December 5, 2018

Applications are still open for 17 other Techstars global accelerator programs. See the full list here.

Have More Questions? Meet the People who Make it Happen.

Techstars managing directors want to meet you. They’re on the road hosting information sessions and office hours. Here’s a list of all the stops on the Techstars Roadshow where you can sign up for in-person meetings and interactive, online Q&A programming to learn more about specific programs.








Applying to Techstars: Tips from Our Managing Directors

Techstars’ managing directors devote their time to finding the best startups. Between office hours, roadshows and AMAs, they are available to answer your questions and tell you more about Techstars.

Can’t join them in person? Check out our FAQ and read on for insights from our managing directors on what they are looking for in applications from startups.

What to know before applying:

Our current application consists of three parts: basic information, team information, and program specific questions. You can use the same profile and team information to apply to different programs. Some of our programs are on one joint application because they share similar timelines, others may be separate because of the unique timeline or specific focus.

Do your research, learn more about each program and the team behind it, and check out who we’ve accepted in the past.

Don’t let your misperceptions stop you! Our managing directors set the record straight:

You are never too far along! Techstars can, and has, helped at all stages. It’s not just pre-product, pre-revenue companies.

“There isn’t a ‘minimum’ requirement. Each application is different. We look at a lot of things to make a decision. If you’re early or far along, if you’ve got customers or are pre-product, there are a lot of different kinds of companies that get into Techstars.”

About the team video:

“When we ask for your team video, we really want to know about your team. Who you are, how you met, how long you’ve worked together, why you’re awesome.”

We’re looking to hear your story. And don’t forget, show some personality and make it personal! This really is the most important element of the application. Keep it simple: be yourself, don’t read your pitch from a screen, and don’t work about a high quality production.

What about the demo video?

Like the team video, everyone agrees: this doesn’t need to be super polished. Instead: demo what you actually have, show us the product, give us a simple walkthrough!

As a guide: “a super crappy product demo with an ugly UI is 100x better than a marketing video.”

What else? Here is specific feedback, direct from our MDs.

About your team
We love the story of how you met, how long you’ve worked together, and how you work together. Show us your interpersonal relationships, why you want to solve this problem, and why you are uniquely qualified to do so!

On your location selection
Your first choice location will prioritize reading your application.

“The location you select will determine the network you’ll build. Make sure you pick a location that will give you the best opportunity to build the right network with the right mentors. There’s a decent chance you may wind up locating your company there for the long haul.” And, “If you’re planning to fundraise, choose a site that you think you’d have success fundraising in.

Company & Vision
“Make it brief, long rambling answers are never effective.” But think big, too: MD’s also want to see “A clear immediate goal and very big, encompassing long term goals of disrupting an industry.”

Team & Commitment
Make sure you really highlight what makes your team unique! As one MD says: “There are people who were born to do what they do. I really want to know that this is the thing you were put on earth to do and that with hard work and good luck, you can do it better than anyone else on the planet.”

Traction
From our MDs, “the more detail on this, the better,” but detail doesn’t have to mean metrics and raw numbers. We want to see the momentum you’ve gained, and what you’ve learned from your customers.

Funding
One guiding principle: Be honest!

Runway
Help us see where your money is going. And know that “You’ll need to have enough runway that with the money from Techstars, you can last until your next likely round of financing.”

Cap Table
Plain and simple: “We want to understand your cap table so we can help you.”

Help us see the full picture: Give any notes about team members that are no longer with the company but own > 5%.

And remember, like funding: Be honest!

Competition
Never say you don’t have any competition! As one MD says: “It’s either another company, and if it’s not, it’s email or a spreadsheet, or voicemail, or something else that people hack now to solve the problem they have that you’re solving.” And when you list it out, make sure to be specific.

Above all: “Having competitors is good. It gives you someone to go up against. You should know who they are and most importantly, how you are different and better than they are.”

We hope these tips from our MDs helped! If you have any further questions, reach out to our team at info@techstars.com.

Applications are open for 17 of our worldwide mentorship-driven accelerator programs, and the Techstars roadshow has kicked off and is coming to your community! Check out the locations to meet with our managing directors, staff and alumni!








Apply Now To Be A Part of Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars

Applications for the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, are now open through April 8th! Our first program will run July through October of this year and will take place in Comcast NBCUniversal’s global headquarters in Philadelphia.

The Companies We Are Interested In

In general, and in order of priority, Techstars places a high emphasis on team, market, progress and idea when it comes to selecting startups, but each program selects the companies that best fit its thesis.

For this accelerator, we are interested in applications from companies that are creating and/or utilizing technologies including (but not limited to) IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual or augmented reality, wireless communication systems, robotics, accessibility tech, blockchain, and voice — in the effort to solve problems in these key areas:

Media

  • Entertainment everywhere: Intuitively connecting consumers with engaging content in any form, on any device, anywhere.
  • Next-gen marketing: Transforming marketing and advertising to meet shifting consumer behavior in the digital world.
  • Breakthrough Experiences: Introducing new digital media experiences with well-fortified business models that produce win-wins for both content producers and audiences.
  • Direct-to-Consumer: Introducing brands with the potential to create their own culture and following among consumers.

Connectivity

  • Connected home/life: Empowering users to connect with the people, places and things that matter most.
  • Smart Cities: Making physical products and spaces more intelligent through advanced sensors, devices and networks.
  • Digital Wellness: Enabling better, more accessible well being through enhanced content and connectivity.

Above all, we are interested in meeting the teams who are in the best position to accelerate their companies’ growth and success by leveraging what our program offers — and who are also driven by the fundamental bias to make the world better.

Our Partner Comcast NBCUniversal’s Commitment to Our Program and Companies

In addition to Techstars’ global network, selected companies will receive access to and mentorship from decision makers at Comcast and NBCUniversal. We are excited to combine Techstars’ proven accelerator program with the wisdom of Comcast NBCUniversal’s industry leaders and domain experts. Our aim for the program is to produce triple-wins: Wins for the selected companies, who will not only benefit from our tried-and-true accelerator programming, but also from the unique access to potential opportunities offered by our partner, Comcast NBCUniversal; wins for Techstars, in continuing to build on our strong portfolio and be the network that helps entrepreneurs succeed; and wins for our partner, which is interested in supporting and cultivating entrepreneurs’ intent on developing the next generation of game-changing media, entertainment, and connectivity products that may also positively impact their customers and audiences.

Applications are due April 8th — start your application today.

Got questions? Attend one of the following AMAs to learn more about the program and talk to us live:

Let’s meet! Please fill out this form to request a meeting and mention which one of the cities or events below you’d like to meet at. Follow me on Twitter for the latest updates on locations and dates:

  • Austin, Texas: Jan 24-25
  • Mexico City, Mexico: Jan 31-Feb 1
  • Miami, FL: Feb 7-8 (Black Tech Week)
  • San Francisco & Redwood City, CA: Feb 13,14 (Startup Grind Global Conference)
  • Los Angeles, CA: Feb 20-21
  • Barcelona, Spain: Feb 26-Mar 1
  • Philadelphia, PA: March 6-7 (& ongoing)
  • Austin, Texas: March 9-11 (SXSW)
  • Boulder, CO: March 15
  • Boston, MA: March 19-20
  • New York, NY: March 29-30 (& ongoing)
  • Portland, OR: April 2-3
  • Vancouver, Canada: April 4-6

And if you’re not planning on visiting these areas and/or the dates don’t match with your availability, don’t fret! You can still request a meeting; just let me where you are based on this form and we’ll do our best to chat with you.

But you don’t need to schedule a meeting to apply! You can, of course, still apply to the program right away.

I’m excited to learn about your company!








Planting the Seed for Techstars Farm to Fork

‘Farm to Fork’ – almost everyone has an immediate reaction or assumption when they hear this phrase. We are excited to partner with Cargill and Ecolab and I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what we are thinking about for the first Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator.

Broadly speaking, the digital side of the food value chain is of most interest to us. This could be companies building smart devices, working with big data, artificial intelligence or creating a new software solution. Challenges to food are not limited by geography nor rural or urban settings.

The space is incredibly broad and there is no way we could put together an exhaustive list of opportunities that may catch our eye, but here are a few specific areas of interest to get us started:

Farm Productivity

Two easy questions to ask when defining this bucket: Does it make a farmer’s life better, more sustainable or more productive? How can we help farmers do more with less? From weather and climate to animal health and productivity to computer vision, this bucket alone is big. Here are a few more areas of interest:

  • Automation
  • Smart Water Usage
  • Ag Finance
  • Payment Systems
  • VR/AR
  • Yield Management/Prediction
  • Risk Management
  • Animal Health / Animal Productivity
  • Weather/Climate Systems
  • Drones
  • Storage
  • Robotics
  • Credit
  • Computer Vision

Food & Safety

A very popular topic in 2017, food & safety will continue to be a hot topic into the foreseeable future. When we think about food safety, we think about it across the entire value chain. This includes the safety of employees working in the space, the safety of the end consumer – anyone that eats, pest control and animal health and safety. Big data, machine vision, blockchain, and new software systems are all tools entrepreneurs are using to tackle these problems and we are excited to see what’s out there. For us food safety goes beyond just “safe food.”

Food Retail & Restaurants

How and where consumers find and eat their food is changing. Is technology going to have the same effect on brick and mortar grocers or restaurants that it has had on traditional retailers? We have already seen several trends begin to take off that are driven by technology including food with a story, farm to consumer, food ecommerce, and food delivery all of which are interesting. Beyond these how entrepreneurs tackle prepackaged foods, restaurant management and health and nutrition could all be interesting. I am excited to see how entrepreneurs are innovating in this space.

Food Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Another really large bucket, it’s everything between the farm and the fork! I have always loved companies tackling real problems in areas that may be a bit less “sexy.” From machinery to the financial tools that make the supply chain run, there is a ton of potential here. Here are a few themes in this space that are interesting:

  • Traceability
  • Sustainable Supply Chain
  • Transparency
  • Blockchain
  • Cold Chain
  • Last Mile
  • AI/Robotics
  • Quality Contro
  • Energy Consumption
  • Computer Vision
  • Predictive Modeling
  • Futures and Automated Trading
  • Fraud Prevention
  • Smart Devices/IoT

Waste Management

Roughly one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. This is almost one trillion dollars worth of food each year which equates to about one billion tonnes of food. One Billion! About 2/3rd of this waste comes from industrialized countries and the other 1/3rd occurs in developing countries. The problem doesn’t stop with food; water waste is also a major issue. Tackling these problems will be a major path to feeding and providing sustainable, safe water for the world’s growing population.

 

Are you working on a solution for the areas mentioned above? Applications are open, apply today!

Feel free to send me an email to connect – brett.brohl@techstars.com. We will also be on the road over the next few months. Look out for us in NYC, Miami, San Francisco, Memphis, Kansas City, Omaha, Austin, Boston, and maybe a few others! Stay tuned to Techstars social media for updates.








Applications Now Open for Three Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs

Are you and your company ready for Techstars?

As you may know, Techstars Mentorship-driven accelerator programs invest in founders to help them do more faster. Over the past decade Techstars has helped more than 1,200 companies grow and raise over $4.4 billion in funding, with a portfolio market cap of $11 billion.

And now we are on a quest to find the next wave of companies to join the Techstars worldwide network. Our Managing Directors, program staff, and mentors cannot wait to provide personalized hands-on mentorship to scale your business.

Today applications open for three special programs located around the world. Apply now to take the next step in your journey and begin to access the best network for mentors, investors, corporate partners, and customers.

We choose only the very best companies to join a Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program, where we invest $120K, provide hands-on mentorship, and lifetime access to the Techstars worldwide network. Techstars is the only tech accelerator to offer and standby our Equity Back Guarantee.

Entrepreneurs who are accepted into a Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program quickly realize it is so much more than a three-month commitment. When you join the Techstars Worldwide Network, you become part of Techstars for life. Just listen to stories about our founders from Techstars alumni companies like SendGrid, ClassPass, and DigitalOcean.

We will be announcing details for information sessions and online events where you can connect with Techstars alumni founders leading innovative companies, as well as experienced mentors who have the proven track record to help you succeed. Be on the lookout for updates.

Apply today!








Techstars Music 2018: The Global Search Is On

Techstars Music invests in startups solving problems for the growing global music business 

Techstars Music 2018 accelerator starts in Los Angeles on February 5, 2018, and right now we’re in the midst of a worldwide tour to meet founders who are solving real problems for the global music business. Applications close on October 15th and we’ll be making our final selections around December 15th.

In 2017, we invested in 11 startups (more info here) that have gone on to raise more than $15M collectively. Six of those 11 companies came to LA from outside the United States, a ratio we expect to continue in our 2018 class.

Why? Well, the world loves music, and music is driving digital culture everywhere. A big part of the Techstars Music strategy is our deep cooperation with the global music business. We believe cooperation produces greater return on investment.

Our member companies (and there is more exciting news to come here soon!) are Warner Music Group, Harmonix Music Systems, Q Prime Management, Bill Silva Entertainment, Silva Artist Management, Era of the Engineer, and Sony Music. These global leaders provide more than capital, they run the program with us, helping at every step of the process, from selection to mentoring to business development and even follow-on investment. Their diversity of skills and talent help the startups in our program gain real, planetary advantage.

So, what kind of startups are we looking for? Techstars Music is for startups working on scalable solutions for:

  • New music experiences for home, venue, festival, mobile & connected devices
  • Music creation, collaboration & sharing
  • Direct-to-consumer marketing, ticketing & eCommerce
  • Content infrastructure & delivery
  • Royalties, reporting, rights management & licensing
  • Data mining & machine learning
  • Music education for digital natives
  • Technology-based artist discovery, management & services
  • Event and crowd safety

Where are we going? Better question is where *aren’t* we going. We’ve already been to Mexico, Japan, Australia, Canada, Boston, Denver, looking for the world’s best technical and business talent… with 10 countries and dozens of cities still to go.

Is Techstars Music the right accelerator program for you? Take a look at events below and request a meeting to show us what you are working on. Apply online here, with more information available here. Applications close October 15th, so get after it!

See you out there!
-Bob Moczydlowsky, @bobmoz
Managing Director, Techstars Music

Find us on tour!

October 5th — Atlanta, Georgia, USA

(also appearing at A3C Venture Capital + Start Up Discussion)
Sign up for Atlanta Office Hours

October 12th – Prague, Czech Republic
RSVP for Prague Meetup event

October 13th – Budapest, Hungary
RSVP for Budapest Meetup event

October 14th – Vienna, Austria
RSVP for Vienna Meetup event

October 16th – New York, New York, USA
Sign up for NYC Office Hours

October 26th – Tokyo, Japan
Sign up for Tokyo Office Hours

November 1st and November 2nd – Los Angeles, CA, USA
Sign up for LA Office Hours

November 7th – London, England
Sign up for London Office Hours

November 9th – Lisbon, Portugal
Sign up for Lisbon Office Hours
Web Summit

November 10th – Paris, France
Sign up for Paris Office Hours

November 13th – Berlin, Germany
Sign up for Berlin Office Hours

November 29th – Helsinki, Finland
Sign up for Helsinki Office Hours
SLUSH

November 30th – Stockholm, Sweden
Sign up for Stockholm Office Hours

 

PS — Can’t leave a musical post without a song… this one seems to fit perfectly:








Applications Open for Multiple Techstars Accelerator Programs

Here 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. Now we’re on a search for the next wave of companies to join our worldwide network! Our managing directors and program staff cannot wait to discover you and your company’s potential.

Today applications are open for multiple Techstars mentorship driven accelerator programs, distributed all around the world. Apply now to take the next step in your journey and join the Techstars Worldwide Network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders.

We are also excited to open applications for three new programs: Techstars Anywhere Accelerator (our new mostly-virtual program), Techstars Dubai Accelerator in Partnership with GINCO, and the Techstars Toronto Accelerator.

This is more than a three month program, the Techstars Worldwide Network is for life. Listen to stories about our founders from Techstars alumni companies like SendGrid, ClassPass, and DigitalOcean.

Application deadline is October 15, 2017 for this session that kicks off in early 2018.

We will be announcing details for information sessions and online events where you can connect with Techstars founders leading innovative startups, as well as mentors who have the experience and proven track record to help you succeed. Be on the lookout for more details soon.

When you apply, you can choose from any of the following locations and verticals:

Start here to apply to Techstars. For tips and resources on the application process, check out our Application Toolkit.