Techstars and The Ohio State University Launch Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs Advancing Software Innovation

Sep 20, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio, September 20, 2023 – Techstars, the largest pre-seed investor in the world, and The Ohio State University are partnering to bring a new accelerator program to drive growth in Columbus and the greater region by investing in the most promising software startups and innovators.

Techstars Columbus Powered by The Ohio State University will unlock new opportunities for early-stage entrepreneurs from across the globe to engage in Columbus’ vibrant startup community and lead future high-growth, innovative software solutions.

This new program represents one of the core features of the new Center for Software Innovation, made possible by the historic, $110 million gift from the Timashev Family Foundation to Ohio State earlier this year. Engaging students for the first time this fall, the center provides opportunities in entrepreneurship and offers the undergraduate educational honors program— Integrated Business and Engineering Software Innovation (IBE-SI)—focusing on software innovation, product management, sales and marketing.

“Like so many other immigrants throughout American history, my own journey as an entrepreneur was shaped by the communities that welcomed me. For me, that place was Columbus and Ohio State, who challenged and empowered me to build great software companies,” said Ratmir Timashev ’96 Ohio State graduate, serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Veeam. “Today’s announcement will ensure that this community is continuing to champion our brightest software entrepreneurs, while showcasing to the world all that Columbus has to offer.”

The program brings together Ohio State’s research expertise and entrepreneurial spirit with Techstars’ accelerator model that has supported the growth and success of thousands of companies.

Every six months, Techstars Columbus Powered by The Ohio State University will select 10-12 startups and founders from hundreds of applicants from across the world. Selected entrepreneurs will come to Columbus, access funding, receive training and mentorship by top experts in software, and gain access to the combined networks of Ohio State and Techstars. The program will help founders define their product, core customer and market, and go-to-market strategy, in addition to getting additional support in raising seed or A-round venture capital funding.

“Ohio State is pleased to partner with Techstars to offer emerging entrepreneurs access to infrastructure, support and training to build out their disruptive ideas and accelerate economic growth in Central Ohio,” said Peter Mohler, Acting President and Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and Knowledge at Ohio State. “Inspired by Ratmir’s vision, the Techstars partnership is another important part of our strategy to impact the innovation ecosystem at Ohio State and across the state of Ohio.”

Applications for the program are now being accepted through November 29, 2023. Startups interested in the accelerator are encouraged to learn more here

“Techstars’ recent State of Innovation Survey shows that more and more founders are opting to build companies in regional hubs like the Midwest,” said Tim Grace, Managing Director at Techstars. “Columbus is an ideal home for software founders worldwide - in large part thanks to Ohio State’s long standing culture of innovation - and this program will continue this momentum by attracting more top entrepreneurs working to solve pressing global issues to the city.”

To inspire emerging entrepreneurs and showcase Ohio State’s role in software innovation, the university is hosting Startup Midwest: The Premier Event for Rising Technology Entrepreneurs on October 24 and 25, 2023.  Learn more at

About The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is a top-ranked flagship public research university with a nationally recognized academic medical center. The university offers more than 200 majors — plus 500 specializations— for undergraduates to explore, along with 230 master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs. Across all campuses, Ohio State enrolls nearly 68,000 students in 15 colleges and supports more than 300 academic and interdisciplinary research centers and institutes. With a dynamic and engaged group of more than 580,000 living alumni and extensive partnerships locally and globally, Ohio State has an unparalleled capacity to bring people together and provide expertise and resources to create solutions to the problems the world is facing now.  

About Techstars

Techstars is the most active pre-seed investor in the world having invested through its accelerators in more than 3,700 companies. 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. 


Media Contact for The Ohio State University:

Ben Johnson 

  Media Contact for Techstars:

Amalia Lytle