By Pete Townsend, Managing Director, Techstars Web3 Accelerator
Builders gotta build.
Never has there been a better time to invest in and accelerate founders building in web3, and we’re thrilled to announce the opening of applications for the Techstars Web3 Accelerator!
We learned so much and built so many incredible relationships within the global web3 ecosystem during Techstars' first chain-agnostic program earlier this year, and we’re putting all of that to work for a selected group of 12 fantastic founding teams in the next version of our Web3 program in 2023.
This accelerator works with entrepreneurs building in web3 and enabling the next wave of growth in the decentralized internet and in tokenized economies. We invest in and accelerate founders enabling the onboarding and engagement of the first billion users of web3.
Where we see DeFi, NFTs, metaverse, gaming, creator economy and blockchain infrastructure propositions playing a big role, we know there's a lot more taking shape - including interoperability layers, investment utilities, DAO tooling, digital identity and more.
We’ve driven all of our learnings from our first program into an updated Web3 Thesis 2.0, but we’ll continue to focus on the core themes of community, incentivization, composability and compounding that we highlighted in our Web3 Thesis 1.0 last year.
As this is a hybrid program, we’ll be kicking off our 13 weeks together with 12 teams of founders building in web3 on April 3rd, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. We’ll then go remote for the rest of the program, but we’ll also meet up for a week at a time in two additional cities during the program. These two cities will be strategically selected so that our time together will coincide with web3 ecosystem events to make the most of our time in-person with investors, mentors, web3 leaders and as a cohesive unit of web3 founders!
As with any Techstars program, we are a mentorship-driven program. We’ll kick off our ‘Mentor Madness’ period live in Dublin when we’re all together for that first week, and founders will get to know the first batch of selected mentors from an amazing pool of serial entrepreneurs, web3 functional experts, angel investors and VCs, and other #givefirst professionals. When the program enters the remote phase after the first week, Mentor Madness will as well, and founders will engage with 100+ mentors overall before selecting the handful of mentors they’ll be working with over the course of the rest of the program. Check out some of the profiles of our amazing web3 mentors here.
We’ll be in investing up to $120K in each company we bring into the Web3 program, and a summary of the deal terms are available here. As part of the Techstars network, companies and founders have access to over 200 perks valued at over $3 million. In addition, we’ve built up a network of Web3 investors who we’ll be connecting with ‘investor-ready’ program participants, and we provide significant guidance on how to build your investor pipeline and get pitching by leveraging each founder’s network that they just exponentialized during Mentor Madness.
The program curriculum combines traditional topics like fundraising, customer discovery, go-to-market, product development, marketing, and entrepreneurial leadership with web3-specific topics such as tokenomics, community development, crypto legal and jurisdictional matters, and web3 architectures. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it's that so many of the web2-native disciplines of ‘Startup 101’ are completely applicable to web3-native startups, and we augment that with web3-specific educational content to level up all participants.
As Techstars now have five web3-themed accelerator programs around the world, we’ll also be taking advantage of opportunities to cross-pollinate ideas, best practices and potential partnerships across founders from our five web3 programs.
Finally, as with any Techstars accelerator, the capstone of the program is Demo Day, which will leverage the global and borderless nature of web3 with a remote-first Demote Day experience for founders, investors and the global web3 ecosystem. Following Demo Day, our Investor Reveal process matches founders with a broader group of investors from the Techstars global network, and provides kindling for each founder’s fundraising process.
Post-program, we enter into the phase that coincides with my extreme enjoyment of working with early stage founders for the long term, as we're on your side of the table going forward as an ‘advisor for life’. You may have less of a need for our early-stage help once you hit your Series B round and beyond, but we’ll always be there to help you think through both the everyday challenges and monumental decisions you will face as a startup founder. All founders get access to our ongoing perks and network opportunities through Techstars Universe, including access to our Techstars Universe Discord for connectivity with Techstars founders and the wider Techstars network worldwide.
If you’re interested in learning more, please get started on your application here, and then get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or at email@example.com to set up some time for Web3 Office Hours. Also, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about upcoming live events, video podcasts and AMAs. We can’t wait to hear all about what you’re building in web3, so get in touch!
At Techstars we have invested in more than 3,300 early-stage startups. As one of the largest pre-seed investors in the world, our portfolio is as diversified as our 7,300 founders are unique - from HealthTech and FinTech, to Web3 and CleanTech; from Miami and Silicon Valley to Lagos and London. We support many of the world's best entrepreneurs with access to capital, mentoring, finding customers, hiring talent, choosing the right infrastructure, and much more. www.techstars.com