This Week in Techstars: $100,000 note for every Techstars company

This week on This Week in Techstars, we cover the latest news from our new (half finished) studio in our new office in Boulder. In episode 8 of This Week in Techstars, I interview both Brad Feld and Roger Ehrenberg about their participation in the recently announced $24M in new funding which will be used to offer every Techstars company $100K as a convertible debt note upon acceptance into the program on top of the $18K they already receive. Brad and Roger both dish about why they participated and how it will give Techstars companies another advantage.

Applications to Techstars are open right now.

View all the past episodes at our ThisWeekIn page or subscribe below.











Techstars in New York City!

We’re excited to announce that Techstars is expanding to New York City, with our first program starting there in early 2011. As of today, applications for NYC are open and will close on November 21, 2010. The program will start in mid January, 2011 – see the schedule for full details.

We are so thrilled about coming to New York. The rapid growth and intensity of the New York tech scene has been well documented. We look forward to joining the movement and integrating a New York flavor of the Techstars program into this thriving entrepreneurial community.

I will be temporarily relocating to New York City during the program and will personally manage it there alongside David Tisch, a well known entrepreneur, angel investor and a native New Yorker. We will jointly run the program in 2011 to make sure it gets off to a great start.

We’re quite humbled by the welcome we have received so far. Techstars is built on a mentorship-driven approach and in New York, the biggest city in the world, there are lots of amazing mentors. Also, the way that both VC’s and angels in New York have come together is simply awesome.

Techstars mentors in NYC include Phin Barnes (First Round Capital), Alex Blum (KickApps), Matt Blumberg (Return Path), Brad Burnham (USV), Jeff Clavier, Dennis Crowley (FourSquare), Chris Dixon (Founder Collective), Roger Ehrenberg, Darren Herman (The Media Kitchen), Jennifer Hyman (Rent The Runway), Alex Iskold (Adaptive Blue), David Karp (Tumblr), Zach Klein (Boxee, Vimeo), Evan Korth (NYU/HackNY), Mike Lazerow (Buddy Media), Ben Lerer (ThrillList), Sam Lessin (Drop.io), Joey Levin (MindSpark, IAC), Howard Lindzon (StockTwits), Eric Litman (Medialets), John Maloney (Tumblr), Dave McClure, Hilary Mason (Bit.ly/HackNY), Jeremie Miller (Telehash), Howard Morgan (First Round Capital), Charlie O’Donnell (First Round Capital), Eric Paley (Founder Collective), Raphael Poplock (ESPN), Alex Rainert (FourSquare), Avner Ronen (Boxee), Naveen Selvadurai (FourSquare), Justin Shaffer (HotPotato), Tim Shey (NextNewNetworks), Andy Smith (Daily Burn), Rex Sorgatz (Kinda Sorta Media), Jon Steinberg (BuzzFeed), Vinicius Vacanti (YipIt), Albert Wenger (USV), Fred Wilson (USV) and many more.

We’re pleased to have incredibly wide support from the New York venture and angel community as well. We’re still finalizing the investing group, which already includes AOL Ventures, DFJ Gotham Ventures, FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, Foundry Group, IA Ventures, Jove Ventures, Lerer Ventures, RRE Ventures, Social Leverage, Village Ventures, Zelkova Ventures, Peter Hershberg, Josh Stylman, David Tisch, Nate Westheimer, Kal Vepuri and more.

This is what we mean by community! We are absolutely elated to have all of these amazing people involved and supporting Techstars in NYC. It seems as though we’re getting a warm welcome not only from these investors, but from the NYC community in general.

Here are some of the early blogs that covered our NYC announcement today:

Silicon Alley Insider
Renowned Startup Factory Techstars Opens New York City Branch

TechCrunch
Startup Incubator Techstars Invades New York City

Forbes
Techstars Announces Its Fourth Boot Camp in NYC

ReadWriteWeb
Techstars Comes to the Big Apple

Xconomy
Techstars Expands to NYC

We hope you will join in our excitement in making New York the next home for Techstars. Applications for the New York program are open, so please help us spread the word! Tweet this post!








Occipital's RedLaser acquired by eBay

I guess once the seal on the 2008 class was broken by DailyBurn, things started to happen. Recently, Techstars 2008 company Occipital announced that they had sold RedLaser, their popular bar code scanning application, to eBay. RedLaser quickly amassed millions of users.

Below is a great video interview by StartupTrek with Occipital co-founder Vikas Reddy, where he talks about applying and being accepted to Techstars, pivoting, and building RedLaser. This interview was done before they sold RedLaser, but you can read more about the sale to eBay on Occipital’s blog.

Occipital remains a freestanding company and will not be moving over to eBay. They’ve beefed up their team and are hard at work on their next secret project. Even though this isn’t technically an exit, it was still a big win for them and a little gift might still be in their future.

Congratulations to Jeff, Vikas, and the team. Knowing them, I fully expect to watch in amazement as these guys to use this as fuel to do bigger, better, and even more amazing stuff.


Video courtesy of StartupTrek – original story here.








Occipital’s RedLaser acquired by eBay

I guess once the seal on the 2008 class was broken by DailyBurn, things started to happen. Recently, Techstars 2008 company Occipital announced that they had sold RedLaser, their popular bar code scanning application, to eBay. RedLaser quickly amassed millions of users.

Below is a great video interview by StartupTrek with Occipital co-founder Vikas Reddy, where he talks about applying and being accepted to Techstars, pivoting, and building RedLaser. This interview was done before they sold RedLaser, but you can read more about the sale to eBay on Occipital’s blog.

Occipital remains a freestanding company and will not be moving over to eBay. They’ve beefed up their team and are hard at work on their next secret project. Even though this isn’t technically an exit, it was still a big win for them and a little gift might still be in their future.

Congratulations to Jeff, Vikas, and the team. Knowing them, I fully expect to watch in amazement as these guys to use this as fuel to do bigger, better, and even more amazing stuff.


Video courtesy of StartupTrek – original story here.








DailyBurn acquired by IAC, class of 2008 breaks the seal

Today, DailyBurn announced that they had been acquired by IAC and will be part of their MindSpark Interactive Network.

We wanted to send a shout out to Andy, Stephen and the rest of the crew at DailyBurn – this is very well deserved! DailyBurn built a fantastic product and has attracted about 500,000 members. It’s simple and intuitive, and it’s also just a beautiful product.

The 2007 class has had four meaningful exits (Socialthing to AOL, Intense Debate to Automattic, Brightkite to Limbo, and Filtrbox to Jive Software). But… DailyBurn is a Techstars company from 2008! This exit marks the first one from the class of 2008 and while IAC is not disclosing details of the transaction, I can tell you that it too falls into the “meaningful” category. This means that 5 of the first 20 companies have had strong exits in just a three year period. I recently wrote about the second order effects of Techstars, but it’s nice to see the first order effects working well also!

Techstars mentors who helped the company while there were in the program such as Matt Mullenweg, Tim Ferriss, and Dave Carlson (of eonBusiness) all invested in DailyBurn, so congratulations to them as well. I know that the guys at DailyBurn appreciate all that you have done for them.

As always, you can check out the full results of past Techstars companies here.








Our Full Historical Results

You might have heard us say that Techstars is “open-source” in the past. Last year we shared our Series AA Financing docs and now we’re now publishing our actual historical company results in full detail. This includes information on funding, acquisitions, failures, number of employees, etc.

Applying to and participating in a Seed Accelerator program is a big decision for nascent companies. We wanted to arm them with as much information as we could about what the program is like, as well as what the actual historical results have been.

I’m incredibly grateful to all the past companies who help us collect and allowed us to publish this data in one place for the first time. We hope that you find it useful.

If anyone has suggestions on how to improve the format (this one was inspired by Awesome Zombie), we’re all ears!

UPDATE: ReadWriteWeb has some analysis and thoughts on this data.








6 of 10 Boulder companies rounds led by VCs in 2009

The 2009 class in Boulder was really outstanding. It was our third year, and I think this class was the strongest overall group we’ve had yet.

All the deals aren’t done yet, but 6 of the 10 companies from this summer in Boulder will eventually announce that they’ve closed deals led by VC firms. These are all seed rounds ranging for $300K – $1.5M. We’re confident that one or two more companies will be angel backed as well.

In past years, we’ve seen most of the companies funded by angel investors. This dynamic really shifted this year both due to the quality of the companies and the awareness of Techstars among venture capitalists. I expect the same kind of trajectory for the Boston program, will should be announcing some other interesting news this week as well.

If you haven’t checked out the 2009 companies, do it now. There are some really interesting ones from both Boulder and Boston – expect some great things from them in the future.








Limbo acquires Brightkite

Image representing Brightkite as depicted in C...

I just saw the news that Limbo has finalized their merger with Brightkite and announced $9M in new funding.

I’m pumped for Martin and Brady – they built a fantastic product that’s had very strong adoption over the last 18 months or so since they left Techstars after the summer of 2007. Congrats are also due to Alan who was also an original founder of the company. They’ve come a long way since first thinking of the possibilities of asking the simple question “Where are you?”

I had the chance to chat with Martin on the phone tonight and he told me that they feel like they have found the perfect partner. He told me that this deal adds major support for Brightkite that they didn’t have before, such as strong business development capabilities and deep carrier relationships. Limbo previously raised about $15M in funding from Azure Capital Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and New Enterprise Associates.

Best of all, Martin said, was the fact that Brightkite would not suffer the sad fate of not being enhanced further after an acquisition. According to him, Limbo is fully committed to Brightkite, as evidenced by the pending re-branding of the new joint company which will continue to use the name Brightkite. Martin told me that Brightkite users can expect even more great stuff in the future.

I feel very fortunate that the first year of Techstars produced such great companies. Three of those ten have now been acquired and all but a couple of the others are still going strong today. It’s been so cool to see that all of the founders who went through the program together are still such great friends. I think they will be for life.

Congrats again to Martin, Brady, and Alan. Well deserved.








Venture Capital Journal cites SocialThing as #2 M&A Return for Internet Companies in 2008

Venture Capital Journal published an article called “Year in Review: Internet” [sub] in their January 2009 issue. In it, SocialThing (a Techstars company from 2007) was listed as #2 in the “Top M&A Returns for VC-backed Internet Companies” in 2008. SocialThing was acquired a AOL in September of 2008 when the company was about a year old.

Next year, we hope to see a Techstars company top this list! No more coming in second! 😉

Applications open January 19th for Summer, 2009. If you’re interested in investing in future great companies like SocialThing, please let us know!








Venture Capital Journal cites SocialThing as #2 M&A Return for Internet Companies in 2008

Venture Capital Journal published an article called “Year in Review: Internet” [sub] in their January 2009 issue. In it, SocialThing (a Techstars company from 2007) was listed as #2 in the “Top M&A Returns for VC-backed Internet Companies” in 2008. SocialThing was acquired a AOL in September of 2008 when the company was about a year old.

Next year, we hope to see a Techstars company top this list! No more coming in second! 😉

Applications open January 19th for Summer, 2009. If you’re interested in investing in future great companies like SocialThing, please let us know!