Techstars and J.P. Morgan Launch Second Founder Catalyst Program to Support Early-Stage Women Founders in the DC Area

Jan 18, 2022

Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and leading global financial services firm J.P. Morgan, today announced the launch and opening of applications for the second Techstars Founder Catalyst Program in partnership with J.P. Morgan. Based in the greater Washington DC area, this experience will provide up to 20 women entrepreneurs - including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women - valuable startup education, mentorship, community, and access to the Techstars worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and corporate partners. This second Founder Catalyst Program comes on the heels of a successful first program in Atlanta during the fall of 2021 where 20 women-led ventures made incredible progress taking their companies to the next level. 

The program will cultivate a local community of innovative and ambitious women of the Washington DC area. The Techstars Founder Catalyst Program in partnership with J.P. Morgan will take place March through May, 2022, where in-depth entrepreneurial sessions and resources will be provided to participants in a virtual format. 

“We had 20 women-led companies, many with first-time tech founders, all going after huge market opportunities directly tied to their founders’ unique insights and lived experience.  Each team turned the knowledge they gained during the program into progress,” says Cheryl Kellond, two-time founder and entrepreneur-in-residence for the Founder Catalyst Program. “We witnessed many firsts for these women: first product demos, first customers, first revenue, and first fundraises from outside capital - it’s clear they are all just getting started. It’s exciting that the Techstars and J.P. Morgan partnership is enabling us to bring this experience to women founders in DC.”

The inaugural Techstars Founder Catalyst Program in partnership with J.P Morgan focused on Atlanta based founders and led to over four hundred fifty mentor connections, three product launches, over six hundred fifty thousand dollars raised and dozens of active investor conversations. In addition, three participants from the cohort were recently accepted into Techstars accelerators. Through the Techstars Founder Catalyst Programs participants receive education on proven methodologies and access to world class resources, increasing chances of success. Techstars’ expertise stems from their experience operating nearly 50 accelerators around the world and maintaining a portfolio of more than 2,900 companies. Collectively, the Techstars portfolio has raised more than $19.7 billion from investors and is currently worth more than $189 billion today.

“I’ve been so inspired by the first cohort of women and their in-flight efforts in Atlanta, and excited by what I know we can achieve together with Techstars and women founders in the DC-area, as well,” says Brad Baumoel, J.P. Morgan Managing Director, Global Head of LGBT+ Affairs. “J.P. Morgan Chase is committed to supporting women entrepreneurs through all stages of their business and I’m especially thrilled that we’re putting an additional focus on women from the LGBT+ community. The Founder Catalyst Program is just our starting point.” 

DC-based women and LBT+ women  founders of early-stage, high-growth companies are encouraged to apply today through February 22 or contact

About Techstars

The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,900 companies with a combined market cap of more than $189B.

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America (“U.S.”), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $3.8 trillion in assets and $290.0 billion in stockholders’ equity as of September 30, 2021. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S., and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

This Founder Catalyst program is supported by J.P. Morgan’s Innovation Economy business unit and its Women on the Move initiative. Through the Innovation Economy division, J.P. Morgan serves high-growth, early-stage companies, and founders with solutions they need to scale quickly, from credit and financing to treasury and payments, international banking, access to the Investment Bank, asset management, and more. The Women on the Move initiative fuels female ambition and advances financial equality by providing greater access to capital, networking, expertise, and advice to female clients, serving women-owned or women-run businesses at all stages of development, from start-ups through large corporations.