Hearing you weren’t accepted into Techstars can be an incredible disappointment, and the question we get most often is “why didn’t we get in?”

The most common answer often is the worst one to hear. The honest truth is that there were probably just other things more interesting to us.

Techstars is big on passion. We want our founders to be passionate about their startups. We want our Managing Directors to be passionate about the companies in their cohort. We want the mentors to be passionate about the companies they support. We want our corporate partners to be passionate about the startups they engage with. With passion being the uniting emotion, I believe magic can happen for a startup within the Techstars ecosystem. So the truth is that when we don’t have unbridled passion for both the team AND the market or product, we most likely pass.  

Passing on an applicant doesn’t mean that there is something specifically wrong with the startup. And it doesn’t mean that we don’t believe the startup will be successful. It simply means that there were other things we found more interesting, that there were other things we were more passionate about.  

There are a handful of other minor reasons that we pass, and they include:

  • We loved the team, but didn’t love the market.  While team is our #1 requirement, companies that get into Techstars have both a fabulous team and great market.
  • We thought the team was missing something or someone.  
  • The team lacked a demonstrable ability to execute their idea.  We need something to prove you can pull this off, whether in your past or with your current project.
  • Your application was sparse, lazy, or incomplete.  Or you simply didn’t respond to our emails.
  • We aren’t the right investors to help you.

The bottom line is this – your startup is probably great. We just were more interested in other things. But FRET NOT… most companies that get into Techstars apply multiple times before getting accepted. Companies that apply multiple times often get more attention in our system because we know you’re dedicated to getting in.

Keep applying, and we look forward to reading your next application.  

** Note: Your application videos may show zero views. The system we use (F6S) doesn’t record video plays as it uses the YouTube API instead of an embedded player. We read every application and watch every video.