By Zoe Schlag, Managing Director of the Techstars Impact Accelerator
In 2006, Techstars launched with the simple belief that entrepreneurs build a better future. Twelve years and over 1700 portfolio companies later, we’ve watched this belief be confirmed year after year in all corners of the world.
Still, 2018 represented a notable milestone for Techstars, we launched Techstars Impact, our first impact fund, exclusively dedicated to backing entrepreneurs tackling our most pressing global challenges.
With Techstars Impact, we believe that our deepest problem sets represent our greatest opportunities. We put founders at the center of our strategy to build a better future, and believe that entrepreneurs have the potential to deliver scalable solutions to some of our generation’s most pressing problems. As a venture investor in impact, the core of our approach aligning financial returns with impact outcomes is to focus on areas where an opportunity directly aligns with a large market opportunity. While leveraging our insights from over a decade of investing in seed stage companies around the world, we built an impact investment strategy that also naturally aligns with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 2018 the Techstars Impact funds have made 44 investments with a footprint across six continents. Collectively, these companies have created over 500 jobs and directly impacted 3.7 million people around the globe.
This Impact Report highlights our approach and investment activity since January 2018, as well as some of the direct and systemic impact delivered by Techstars portfolio companies receiving investment from our Techstars Impact 2018 SPV and Techstars Impact 2018 Accelerator funds.
Read the full Techstars Impact Report here.
Zoe is the Managing Director of the Techstars Impact Accelerator in Austin. She is the Founder & Executive Director of UnLtd USA, providing seed funding and venture support to entrepreneurs tackling pressing social and environmental challenges. She is an Aspen Ideas Scholar, formerly a Mentor-in-Residence at Techstars and has worked with social ventures across the United States, India and Africa.