Introducing Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by Techstars

I’m excited to announce the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by Techstars this morning. Kaplan will host ten companies focused on education technology and product innovation for an intensive three-month program in New York City this summer. The program will be housed very close to Techstars NYC in the West Village-SoHo neighborhood from June to September 2013. Mentors include Udemy CEO Eren Bali, Kaplan’s CEO Andy Rosen, Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson, General Assembly CEO Jake Schwartz, Benchprep co-founders Ashish Rangnekar and Ujjwal Gupta, Nick Ducoff (Boundless Learning), Brad Feld (Foundry Group), Sree Sreenivasan (Columbia University), Phil Weiser (Former Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director at the White House, Dean of CU Law School), Matthew Greenfield (Managing Director of Rethink Education), myself, and many more industry leaders in the edtech space. Teams will receive $20K in seed funding, introductions to angel investors and VCs and access to Kaplan’s extensive network of resources; schools, students, tools, and research.

We’re very excited about partnering with Techstars to launch the KaplanEdTech Accelerator. Kaplan’s mission is to provide students with the best, most efficient means to achieving their educational goals. Ongoing cultivation of new innovations in the sector—in ways like this accelerator initiative—is embedded in our company’s history – Andy Rosen, Kaplan, Inc. chairman and CEO

My team and I are just as thrilled as Andy. Kaplan has been a long-time champion of startups and has been supportive of the Techstars community. We’re looking for teams that support ongoing learning, certifications, continuing education, and, in Kaplan’s words, any startup that “harnesses the latest learnings from the fields of science, instructional design, and technology to support the development of highly effective, evidence-based learning products.” Teams aren’t limited to traditional classroom education nor K-12. We’re looking for teams that are thinking outside of the box on a big scale.

Details about the program are available at The final application deadline is April 14, 2013. Selected companies will be contacted by the end of April, and the program will begin in June. Apply now!

Kaplan, Inc. is a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools, and businesses. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training and programs for kids in grades K through 12. Kaplan also operates an active venture capital fund, Kaplan Ventures, which invests in and supports early-stage education companies.  Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) and its largest division.

Meet Dylan Boyd, Managing Director for Nike+ Accelerator, powered by Techstars

I’m excited to announce Dylan Boyd as the Managing Director for the Nike+ Accelerator, powered by Techstars program,  beginning in Portland March 18th. Dylan is a force to be reckoned with in the Portland startup ecosystem.  His background includes building global e-commerce initiatives and online business solutions for large corporations and major brands with integrated interactive content and strategy programs. He has received several creative and business awards, including three INC 500/5000 awards. Dylan has been involved in campaign development with top brands like Wacom, Sega, WebMD, Inc/Fast Company, HBO, The Standard, Harland, Kettle Foods, Cinemax, Seattle Seahawks, Adaptu, Microsoft, Zinio, Mountain Hardware, and many others. Dylan was also VP of Growth for Urban Airship. As a mentor to the Portland Incubator Experiment and a board member of many renowned startups, Dylan is well-positioned to impart his entrepreneurial knowledge to our incoming class of startups.

The Nike+ Accelerator will host ten companies for a three-month, immersive, mentor-driven startup accelerator. The focus is to allow companies to leverage the Nike+ platform, and NikeFuel, to build offerings that inspire and assist people to live more active, healthy lifestyles. If your quantified self company or product helps people to be more active, we want to read your application. The deadline to apply is February 3rd. Apply today and see the schedule for more details. Have more questions? Consider attending our event in Portland tomorrow night or our Google Hangout info session on January 31st.

Join Us for the Nike+ Accelerator, powered by Techstars Recruiting Tour

Next week holds some exciting events: the Nike + Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is on tour in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. In the area? Please join us for these free events.

If you have a startup focused on health, fitness, coaching, data visualization or the quantified self, you can attend to learn more and talk to the Nike+ and Techstars teams. We’ll have A/V equipment available if you’d like to pitch or do a demo.

Learn more about the Nike+ Accelerator program and how to apply here. Applications are due by Sunday, February 3, 2013.

Nike+ Accelerator, powered by Techstars Recruiting Tour dates:

San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, January 22
7 – 9pm PST
@ RocketSpace
Register here

New York, NY
Thursday, January 24
7 – 9pm EST
@ Techstars NYC HQ
Register here

Cambridge, MA
Friday, January 25
7 – 9pm EST
@ Techstars Boston, Cambridge
Register here

Oh, we should also mention that you’ll get the opportunity to talk with the Managing Director of the Nike+ program, as well as Dave Drach, Techstars VP of Business Development. And there will be pizza, beer, refreshments, and Nike swag!

Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, Powered by Techstars

From the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure website:

We are extremely excited to welcome our 2nd Accelerator class to the Microsoft Accelerator, powered by Techstars. We screened over 600 startups to find these ten startups. As with the Kinect Accelerator that recently ended this past June, we were overwhelmed by both the quality and the quantity of applications we received.

This is a global class. The selected startups have travelled from Australia, Germany, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles to join local startups from Bellevue and Seattle, Washington. This Accelerator class will focus on building businesses that are enabled by Windows Azure: Microsoft’s cloud platform. Their working space is in Microsoft’s state-of-the-art facility in South Lake Union, Seattle’s tech hub.

The founders, developers and teams of these ten startups will dedicate their entire resources on their company for 13 weeks. Seasoned entrepreneurs, venture capitalist and leaders within Microsoft will be mentoring them every step of the way. There will be lots of perks, including free software and cloud services, technical support, marketing training and, probably most critically, plenty of free coffee.

But all caffeine aside, this is not just a trend. Microsoft is a huge software company that realizes that innovation and economic recovery will come from startups. It makes total sense to help as many of them as we can. The best way to do that, for now, is through a highly targeted and highly focused approach.

Meet the ten participants.

The Kinect Accelerator – What will you do with Kinect next?

Today, Microsoft announced the launch of the Kinect Accelerator. This is an accelerator in Seattle focused on helping startups building the next generation of innovative experiences for the Kinect. The Kinect Accelerator is “powered by” Techstars, which means that Techstars is helping Microsoft to create and operate the program using what we’ve learned from accelerating over a hundred internet startups ourselves. We couldn’t be more excited about where Kinect is heading and the chance to work with some amazing startups that are taking advantage of it. Many people think that Kinect is a gaming technology only. Watch this video, and it might just change your mind.

For more information, check out and follow them on their social accounts:

Kinect Accel on Facebook