July 5, 2023 — Techstars, the world’s most active pre-seed investor, and J.P. Morgan, a leading global financial services firm, announced today that applications are being accepted for the sixth Founder Catalyst program. The program will support up to 30 individuals across the United States as the second “anywhere” (regionally agnostic) cohort.
There will be a concerted effort to support women and non-binary entrepreneurs and increase the reach to founders with disabilities. All individuals who are interested in the program, regardless of background, are welcome to apply.
The 2023 program will take place from October through December in a virtual, part-time format. Participating founders will receive valuable startup education, mentorship, community building skills and access to Techstars’ worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors and corporate partners. Participants will hone their entrepreneurial skills, better understand their target customers and dig deeper into the innovative solutions they offer. The program will culminate in a final showcase where founders will present their businesses and highlight the development and growth they experienced.
“This program gave me more clarity on the direction I needed to take my startup in,” says previous participant Elizabeth Tikoyan, Founder of Healp, a social network that connects patients to other patients with similar health conditions. “After shifting my focus from targeting a broad demographic to an untapped market, our campaign and marketing ideas excelled and we reached half a million people within a matter of weeks for the campaign we created. Thanks to Techstars, I was able to hone my pitch and meet inspiring founders and mentors who really helped guide my strategy and expand my network.”
In 2021, Techstars and J.P. Morgan joined forces to bring world class programming, resources and networking through Founder Catalyst to women founders with the goal of expanding access for those who have traditionally been overlooked. Of the graduates within the first two years, 13 founders have been accepted to a Techstars accelerator, in which upon completion startups receive investments from Techstars. The sixth Founder Catalyst builds on the momentum of the previous five cohorts, which have supported 110 graduates as of June 2023.
“JPMorgan Chase recognizes that entrepreneurship is an important employment option for people with disabilities,” says Bryan Gill, Global Head of the Office of Disability Inclusion. “Working with Techstars, we look forward to driving access to capital, coaching and resources while identifying strategic growth opportunities for underrepresented segments.”
Mariah Barber says she enjoyed connecting with “extraordinary like-minded heroes and businesswomen” through a previous Founder Catalyst program. “To this day I have folks in my tribe who I can call on and cheer for in this sometimes lonely journey of building a start-up,” says Barber, Founder of Invisible Strengths, a platform for disabled individuals to find jobs in public health that are accessible to them. “I feel I found a family in the program that still supports myself, my brand and my vision — and I do the same.”
U.S.-based, early-stage companies founded by women or non-binary individuals, with an additional call to founders with disabilities, are encouraged to apply today. Applications will be accepted through August 23, 2023, with priority given to early applications.
For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Techstars is the most active pre-seed investor in the world having invested through its accelerators in more than 3,500 companies that have a combined market cap of over $100 billion. Founded in 2006, Techstars believes that entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to invest in an unprecedented number of startups per year enabling more capital to flow to more entrepreneurs around the world. We do this by operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, as well as by connecting startups, investors, corporations and cities to help build thriving startup communities. www.techstars.com
About J.P. Morgan
This Founder Catalyst program is supported by J.P. Morgan's Innovation Economy business unit, its Women on the Move initiative and its Office of Disability Inclusion. Through the Innovation Economy division, J.P. Morgan serves high-growth, early-stage companies and founders with solutions they need to scale quickly — including credit and financing to treasury and payments, international banking, access to the Investment Bank and asset management. The firm’s Women on the Move initiative is aimed at fueling women’s ambitions and advancing financial equity by providing greater access to capital, networking, expertise and advice to clients, serving women-owned or women-run businesses at all stages of development, from start-ups through large corporations. The Office of Disability Inclusion is a global initiative dedicated to advancing and empowering people with disabilities of all forms.
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