Fall is in full-swing here at Techstars with the addition of 64 new companies! Techstars recently had seven Demo Days across the globe, including Berlin, Mobility in Detroit, Barclays New York, London, Techstars Retail in partnership with Target in Minneapolis, New York City and Chicago. Phew!
Here’s a quick round up of the highlights:
Berlin Class of 2016
Techstars Berlin’s second Demo Day, held at the iconic Kino International, showcased 10 companies from six different countries with products ranging from machine learning and AI, to SaaS and mobility.
Techstars Managing Director, Rob Johnson, opened the event and Executive Director, Greg Rogers, provided welcoming remarks. It was an exciting day to celebrate the 2016 class with investors, mentors and other founders from the Berlin startup community!
Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit Class of 2016
Techstars Mobility hosted its second annual demo day in downtown Detroit on September 8. It was a showcase of the growing collaboration between startups and the automotive industry.
Over 2500 attendees from 12 different countries watched as 12 startups pitched their businesses impacting the future of automotive and transportation. These startups were building businesses around autonomous, connected vehicle, shared services, mapping, and big data and analytic technologies. Three of the 12 companies announced partnerships with the program’s title sponsor, Ford Motor Company.
The entire demo day was live streamed and that video can be watched on YouTube here.
Managing Director, Ted Serbinski, announced that Techstars Mobility has brought two additional high-growth startups to Detroit: Mapbox and Polysync, the latter of which is a Techstars Ventures investment. These companies will be opening their Detroit offices out of the Techstars Mobility space, joining Oblong who opened their Detroit office last year.
Bob Caza, Director of Communications at the North American International Auto Show, expanded on Techstars Mobility mission to expose more startups to Detroit by announcing that we’re opening applications to bring 50+ mobility, automotive, and transportation startups to the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
To capture this growth of the startup community, coupled with the entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit, we debuted a trailer for Long Haul Films who is developing the documentary Restarting the Motor City. This is a feature-length documentary about the creators, innovators and entrepreneurs who are reimagining Detroit. They are breaking free from the shackles of 20th-century thinking to create a new model for cities across the globe.
Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in New York Class of 2016
Techstars Barclays NYC’s second Demo Day Event was held at the Edison Ballroom in the heart of the Theater District. Ten cutting-edge FinTech companies showcased products solving problems in real estate, capital markets, security, banking and the freelance economy.
Joe McGrath, the CEO of Barclays Americas, opened the evening with a warm welcome and recognition of the impact of Barclays’ programs around the world, which have seen collective valuations rise 190% from their pre-accelerator valuations.
Greg Rogers, Executive Director at Techstars, introduced the companies to the 600+ attendees including investors, mentors, Techstars alumni and community members. Jenny Fielding, the Managing Director, closed the event with a special thank you to mentors and Jon Zanoff, Entrepreneur in Residence, for their tireless devotion to this class and role in these companies’ success.
London Class of 2016
Led by Max Kelly, the Managing Director of Techstars London, the 2016 program kicked off with new offices, a new fund and a great new class. Within the class, one-third have PhDs and there are 19 separate nationalities! The variety of industries is astonishing – from grease to graph databases, from aid to artificial intelligence.
Each company presented their pitches to a packed venue during Demo Day, which took place on September 20 at the Royal Institution in London.
It is always exciting to be in the front seat of this kind of innovation.
Techstars Retail, in partnership with Target Class of 2016
Techstars Retail’s first Demo Day, held at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, showcased eleven companies with products ranging from voice search, machine forecasting, visual registries and retail experience bots. More importantly, all these teams were able to demonstrate their accomplishments they achieved over the summer.
Techstars Managing Director, Ryan Broshar, welcomed almost 1,000 attendees then opened the evening with an inspiring message and fun facts about this year’s class. Target’s Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Casey Carl, shared welcoming remarks and reflected on his experience as a mentor. It was an exciting day to celebrate the 2016 class and the broader Twin Cities startup community!
New York City Class of 2016
For the 2016 class, Techstars NYC experimented with a new take on Demo Day. Rather than live pitches Managing Director, Alex Iskold, introduced Exclusive Investor Preview and Investor Only Demo Day.
As with our previous classes, this was a diverse group of founders solving a wide range of problems. In addition to six teams from NYC, we had teams from Rochester, Atlanta, San Francisco, two teams from Philadelphia, a team from the UK, a team from France and two teams from Canada. Of these 15 companies, five have women CEOs.
The new Demo Day format was a hit among founders and mentors, and aligns with the spirit of innovation at Techstars.
Chicago Class of 2016
Techstars Chicago’s seventh Demo Day, held at House of Blues in Chicago, showcased the latest ten startups selected from a pool of thousands of applicants. Companies ranged from a wearable hardware device enabling parents to keep track of their kids to enterprise and B2B software solutions, and showed both the diversity and high potential of the midwest startup ecosystem.
Techstars’ Managing Directors, Troy Henikoff and Brian Luerssen, along with Excelerate Labs co-founder, Sam Yagan, welcomed a packed house filled with notable investors and entrepreneurs. Chris Gladwin opened the afternoon with a keynote on the need for grit in operating his business to the recent 1.3 billion dollar sale of Cleversafe to IBM. It was an exciting day to celebrate the 2016 class and the broader Chicago startup community!
Get a head start on your own entrepreneurial journey. Apply to an accelerator program. Applications close on October 15th.
Who: Startups interested in applying for the Techstars Healthcare Accelerator
What: Office Hours
When: September 27
Who: Startups interested in applying to the Barclays Accelerator
What: Info session
When: September 8
Where: Barclays Accelerator – 69-89 Mile End Road, E1 4TT, E1 4TT, United Kingdom
Details: Click here to register for the event.
Our event will bring applicants, prospective applicants, Techstars alumni and FinTech fanatics under one roof. Techstars will be there to answer your questions and tell you more about the programme, while Barclays executives will be on hand to discuss their key challenges. We will also host alumni speakers so you can hear about the experience of going through the Barclays Techstars Accelerator – from the people that have just done it.
If you are a startup working in machine learning, lending, digital banking solutions, trading, cyber security, data analytics, payments, cryptocurrency, insurance, wealth management and beyond – join us, and find out more.
Get more info, and apply to the Barclays Techstars Accelerator here.
For me as a founder, I always looked at Y-Combinator and Techstars as almost the best of the best when it came to accelerator programs. But honestly, I had gone through an accelerator in the past and I was always anxious of being part of another one and falling into a bad habit, as I‘ve seen so many other companies go through. But for us, the timing couldn’t have been better – we were going through a pivot in the company and I knew that this would be more valuable to us now more than ever.
I believe every accelerator program has its own purpose and mission when it comes to how they run and the kind of startups they want to have under their roof. I don’t believe that being a part of an accelerator program, no matter how good it is, will solve or create the most successful companies, but I do believe that if the founders have the right attitude entering the accelerator, it will be a success even if their initial idea has pivoted or even died… Nine times out of ten, there will always be one company within a class that will fail or pivot, this happened in ours.
After various interviews, we were invited to be a participant in the Techstars program that was partnered with Virgin Media and Liberty Global.
If I’m being honest, I thought I knew what we were up against entering this program, but it was very different than my expectations – actually, it blew away all expectations.
I hope that others can learn something from our experience, and maybe it will provide some guidance for anyone considering applying for Techstars.
First of all, we were an established business going in. By established, I don’t mean we had all of our shit figured out, but we had a team and a product that customers were using, as well as prior investment. This did not matter one bit – other companies in the program were at the idea stage, while others were still just ideas written on a piece of paper. Techstars works with companies based on the people, not the ideas…. this is one of the many reasons why I love Techstars and respect their model.
We were one of the only teams who brought over 90 percent of our team to take part in the 13 week program. For us this worked- I believe that the best thinking and execution happens when everyone is in the same room.
Meeting Sir Richard Branson
At the beginning of the program, I was flown out to San Francisco along with the other nine CEOs to meet Sir Richard Branson, visit top companies, visit the Liberty Global headquarters and visit the home of Techstars in Boulder, Colorado. After this trip, we officially started the program in Shoreditch, London.
Things began to change quickly during the program. Our routine as we knew it completely changed, we worked longer and harder and started to look at things differently within the business.
Within the first week alone, you are exposed as founders and as a company. Any insecurity or fear that you have hidden, and in times almost convince yourself that they no longer exist, are all exposed whether you like it or not.
Lesson Number 1: How can someone help you when they don’t know everything about you and your company? So start by being honest!
In Program: A Whole New Outlook
Our weeks consisted of both daily and weekly stand ups, family dinners on Wednesdays, KPI (Key performance indicator) and founder stories on Thursdays. This became our new routine and today, nearly a month after Techstars, some of these still remain and have now been adapted into our culture.
KonnectAgain and myself as a founder are very different after Techstars. It made us think even more aggressively about our business, our route to market, the value we measure to be a success and ensuring that we always know what we stand for.
Techstars ended like many other accelerator programs do, with a demo day. For KonnectAgain, this was not something that we feared or imagined that everything would rely on. Instead, we viewed this day as a celebration and an opportunity to tell others about our exciting company and why they should be excited too.
It’s important to touch on both the physical and mental struggles throughout the program. It is tough, even though myself and my other co-founder Helen worked out daily and ate as healthy as we could, we still would be in the office until 10pm, looked grey at times and constantly felt guilty if we took time off on the weekend. We did this happily because we knew this should be one of the only times that we work like this. We just went for it.
This was one of the most important lessons I took away. Yes, being a founder is hard, it takes over your life, but only if you allow it. I learned that working around the clock, having no time off and constantly thinking about work actually damages the company – as CEO, I’m not as fit, decisive and in control as I’d like and it sets a bad example. I knew I could keep up this pace for 13 weeks but could not adapt this as a new lifestyle. Now I know that you can work hard, play hard and enjoy life.
I believe any founder or team member who will openly talk about their lack of sleep is doing both themselves and their company an injustice. Rest is the most essential thing for us and it’s our responsibility to ensure we give our bodies and brains rest.
Techstars doesn’t stop after you finish the program, in fact, it kind of only just starts. I have already visited others in the Techstars network around the world and they have helped us in more ways imaginable. We are excited for this relationship to continuously grow.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.
The battle of the startup cities is on! Berlin vs. London – both belong to Europe’s most economically vibrant cities, but which one is Europe’s real #1 hub for digital startups? 99designs compared a couple of significant numbers to help you decide where it’s best to locate your new unicorn startup. While the focus is on what the cities may offer you in terms of founding, it also takes a look on the life outside the office. So, who takes the crown home?
Startup City Battle – London vs. Berlin
It is pretty obvious. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. While both cities have their advantages and both are right at the heart of the digital startup revolution, we believe it is Berlin on top of the podium!
Techstars London welcomes its fifth portfolio and we are proud to announce the 11 companies that will be joining us for the Summer 2016 Class in London. It is a diverse group of entrepreneurs from 19 nationalities, including Portugal, Ireland, Croatia, United Kingdom and others. From the sector perspective, companies range from healthtech, data and fitness to VR and blockchain.
We kicked things off today and are looking forward to three kick-ass months filled with mentoring, pitching and growth! 🙂
Without further ado, the full list of companies participating in Techstars London Summer 2016 are listed below:
AID:Tech helps governments, charities and NGO’s eliminate fraud in international aid and social welfare payments.
AppraiseMe supports healthcare professionals with their annual appraisal.
AssetVault allows customers to catalogue, protect and unlock the value of their physical and digital assets.
Avalon AI builds Deep Learning-based Computer Aided Diagnosis tools to facilitate the detection of degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
DataSine creates personality profiles based on how people spend their money.
MadBarz is a next gen fitness app, offering a solution to get fit at home without any equipment, using personalized workouts and providing you with an inspiring community.
Memgraph is a memory optimized, scalable and enterprise graph database.
Mindi provides specialized, beyond-state-of-the-art solutions to high-value industrial optimization problems using crowd-powered development of optimization algorithms.
PIC Square has created a platform that automates the Digital Character Creation process with scalable quality that outputs their watermarked avatars for use with infinite applications and technology.
SwiftComply connects food businesses, compliance vendors and regulatory authorities to streamline environmental compliance and regulation on a simple online platform.
Tenzo is the smart digital assistant for quick service restaurants.
Hello startup founders, CEOs, CTOs, employees and contractors in Europe and abroad!
Techstars London is currently organising its fifth program that will start on the 20th of June. Our aim is to spread the word among startups, share the #givefirst values, and tell you more about Techstars’ approach to entrepreneurship.
In order to do that, we have organised the following webinars and Q&A sessions and are delighted to invite you to join us:
- February 9th, 18:00 GMT – Webinar #1 – Sign up here
- February 23rd, 18:00 GMT – Webinar #2 – Sign up here
- March 8th, 18:00 GMT – Webinar #3 – Sign up here
- March 9th, 18:30 GMT – Event at WeWork – Sign up here
- March 15th, 18:00 GMT – Webinar #4 – Sign up here
I will be hosting these 45 minute webinars and will cover what Techstars is, how the program works, what the value is for companies and founders, and present some of the Techstars London success stories. And, of course, some tips on how (not) to apply.
The summer program starts on the 20th of June with a Demo Day in September. The applications are open and you can apply online here.
Apply now for your chance to be part of the “Techstars for Life” network with access to more than 3,000 mentors, founders and investors. The deadline to apply is March 20, 2016.
Watch this short video to see how Techstars is for startups of every stage. (And don’t forget to check out our FAQs which will answer many questions about the application process.)
The show never stops at Techstars! Last month was busy for Techstars Accelerator Programs with FIVE Demo Days across the globe in October. From Disney and Seattle on the west coast, to Chicago and Barclays NYC on the east coast, and across the pond to London, Techstars celebrated the addition of 52 new companies! Here’s a quick review of what went down:
Disney Class of 2015
It was the second year for the Disney Accelerator led by Managing Director, Cody Simms, and as expected, the class produced some jaw-dropping products. Open Bionics stole the show with their 3-D printed robotic arms for amputees, designed for children in hero versions including Iron Man, Star Wars and Frozen, for which Disney granted royalty-free licensing and will match 1-for-1 (buy one and a second one is given to a child in need). All founders’ pitches were well received as the audience learned about solutions for bioinformatics, video content, AMAs on Twitter, A.I. and more.
Congratulations to the Disney class of 2015!
Chicago Class of 2015
The show must go on! Confronted with the unforeseen scheduling conflict of the Cubs in the World Series playoffs, the Chicago program powered through for a successful demo day despite the distraction. The companies, led during program by MDs Troy Henikoff and Brian Luerssen, delivered their polished pitches to a room full of investors, supporters, and mentors in the beautiful House of Blues. This year marks the sixth Chicago class, who come from diverse backgrounds and span a number of industries from advertising and fin tech to tech-enabled pet care.
Barclays NYC Class of 2015
Barclays NYC Demo Day took place at the recently unveiled Rise FinTech laboratory. Founders took the stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd of close to 500 attendees. The mood was energetic as companies pitched their ideas around blockchain, cybersecurity, microlending and more. Led by MD Jenny Fielding, the class of 2015 saw a quick rush of investments. Within just a few days, Barclays announced it signed contracts with eight of the companies who participated in the bank’s first-ever New York City fintech accelerator.
Seattle Class of 2015
Techstars Seattle’s Demo Night, held at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) showcased eleven companies built around the region’s core centers of excellence, from cloud infrastructure and e-commerce to gaming and Enterprise SaaS. Techstars MD, Chris DeVore, was joined by Techstars Managing Partner, David Brown, and the former President & Co-Founder of Concur, Rajeev Singh, to open the night and introduce the companies to the world. It was an exciting night to celebrate the Seattle startup community!
London Class of 2015
Techstars London Demo Night, held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, debuted eleven companies from all over the world. The group is a diverse mix of entrepreneurs from five countries, including Estonia, the Czech Republic, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Managing Director, Max Kelly, kicked off the fourth London Demo Day along with Managing Partners, David Brown and Mark Solon. The companies delivered excellent pitches for their technology solutions for customer retention, collaboration, cancer survivors, personal security, 3D printing and much more.
Does your startup have what it takes? Apply to Techstars today!