Applications Now Open for the Techstars San Diego powered by San Diego State University 2023 Accelerator Program

Apr 20, 2023

By Misti Cain | Investment Manager, Techstars Anywhere & Techstars San Diego

If you haven’t heard: Techstars is coming to San Diego. 

What do you get when you cross one of the region’s premier public universities with one of the top startup pre-seed investors and accelerator networks in the world? The inaugural Techstars San Diego powered by San Diego State University accelerator program kicking off in the Fall of 2023.

[Spoiler alert: Applications are now open for the program, click here to apply].

When thinking of San Diego most people conjure up images of beautiful beaches, endless sunny days, and mouthwatering tacos. In the near future, Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU is excited to add “leading innovation ecosystem” to the list of the top things San Diego is known for. 

That’s a mouthful. So, what exactly does that mean?

Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU is creating a world-class accelerator program. We aim to make the San Diego region synonymous with an impressively diverse community. What type of founders will make up this impressively diverse community, you ask? Great question. The most original, creative, and advanced thinkers who are contributing to and spearheading ongoing innovation. 

And we’re not just talking about innovation as it pertains to new technology - although that’s definitely a huge part of it. Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU is looking for builders who are coming up with new ways of approaching industry-specific challenges. We want people who are advancing how startups experiment, test, and do more faster. 

In return, we’ll be providing the much-needed connection and support, as well as access to best-in-class mentors, investors, Techstars and Aztec alumni, and a whole slew of other resources to those leading the innovation charge.

Since 2023 is an inaugural program for Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU, we don’t have stats on what we’ve done before. However, Techstars’ track record as the largest pre-seed investor and SDSU’s recognition for having one of the top Entrepreneurship programs in the nation speaks volumes. That being said we’re committed to:

  • Investing in diverse CEOs

  • Helping founders tap into one of the fastest growing and collaborative startup ecosystems in the world (hint: it’s San Diego)

  • Connecting startups with SDSU alumni, researchers, and SDSU Innovation District industry partners

  • Fostering opportunities for SDSU students to participate in the accelerator and startups as interns, supporting SDSU’s workforce preparation efforts 

  • Supporting founders with access to over 100 mentors - many of whom have founded, exited, or helped build successful startups

  • Providing funding, workshops, networking events, and introductions to key investors and startup leaders

  • Offering over 300 perks valued at over $4 million

Who We’re Looking For

Our accelerator will accept up to 12 companies each year. While Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU is agnostic in terms of our investment thesis, we are interested in: 

✅ Diverse, early-stage, tech founders and teams working in nearly any industry or vertical 

✅ We're focused on B2B or B2C tech (so no life- or bioscience companies for this class, simply because the go-to-market cycle is generally too long for a fast-paced 13-week accelerator program) 

✅ If you’re using technology in a unique way and building a product or service in a market with big opportunity, we invite you to apply

In addition, you DON’T have to be affiliated with San Diego State University in any way (not a university alum, a student, a faculty member, a legacy kid…) or live in San Diego currently in order to apply. However, you DO need to be here in San Diego during the in-person program in order to participate. 

If you’re wondering exactly where we’ll be helping founders do more faster: Techstars San Diego Powered by SDSU will initially operate from SDSU’s San Diego campus, but will move to the SDSU Mission

Valley Innovation District’s entrepreneurship center once it’s completed in 2025.

Key Dates

Stay In the Know

  • Follow Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU on LinkedIn and Twitter for event and application updates as well as opportunities to meet the team

  • Refer great startups to the Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU program team

If you’re a tech founder or founding team with a desire to build something big; you’re coachable, curious and humble; you’re a problem solver with an unwillingness to quit; you ship tech and make progress like it’s you’re full time job; your idea or product is unique; and if you want to dramatically increase your odds of success, then we invite you to apply to Techstars San Diego powered by SDSU.

Remember, applications are due by June 14, 2023 - to apply now, click here.

We look forward to building with you!

About the Author
Misti Cain

Misti Cain is the Investment Manager for Techstars Anywhere and Techstars San Diego powered by San Diego State University. Follow her on Twitter or on LinkedIn