The Winning Formula for Startup Acceleration

Nov 17, 2023

By Christine Hong, Investment Associate of Techstars New York

Reflecting on the past Techstars programs I’ve run with my Managing Director KJ Singh and Investment Analyst Sofia Machado Lopes, we’ve noticed a few recurring themes shared by the company teams that have continued to prosper even during a market downturn: they have strong founder-market-fit, are obsessed with fixing a problem in their industry, and usually have a technical co-founder.

While Techstars NYC isn’t constrained by a particular theme, thesis, or geography, in 2024 we are paying special attention to strong technical teams disrupting industries in fintech, health, supply chain and proptech with a particular bias towards companies building for the enterprise.

Our team has collectively run 20+ programs, allowing us to constantly iterate on the ideal environment for startups to get to the next level faster. Doing this over a decade has allowed us to establish deep personal relationships with top mentors, speakers and investors in the local NYC startup ecosystem and beyond.

Here’s our winning formula for acceleration:

  • Personalization - We steer clear of a generic plug and play formula. Founders only attend workshops that are beneficial to them and our mentor, investor, and speaker selection is done only once the class is finalized to bring in the most relevant folks. We achieve this level of personalization with an unparalleled ratio of 10 team members to 12 startups during program.

  • In Person - Our founders from all over the world join us in NYC for the full 13 weeks of program, where they work closely with our team, mentors and speakers out of our office space. You never know who will make a guest appearance in the office - might be your future lead investor.

  • Let Founders Build Quickly - We avoid over programming to allow founders to focus on growth. We hire incredible business associates to help founders with any task including sales, financial modeling, investor lists, market research, and product design.

  • The Network - There is a strong family within both our program’s alumni (KJ has worked with over 200 companies during his decade at Techstars) and the entire Techstars network of over 3000 companies, which is one click away with Techstars Universe, our in-house networking platform.

  • Invest financially and operationally - Although we financially invest up to $120k and provide $2M+ cash equivalent in credits and perks, our true value is our operational investment. We support our alumni for any need beyond the program including Series A+ raises. This is why we take common stock (not preferred shares) since we want to be a cofounder at the seat of the table with our startups.

We look forward to learning about your company. Apply to our program here before applications close November 29.

About the Author
Christine Hong

Christine is an Investment Associate for Techstars New York and multi-time founder that has been featured on Forbes. She has also worked in product roles at Tinder (head of trust & safety, then the innovation team) and software engineering roles (at companies as large as LinkedIn to startups where she was the first developer). Follow her on Twitter @christineluhong.