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Techstars is a worldwide network aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2006 by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Through the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders and their teams are able to connect to other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners that will help their companies grow.

Techstars operates accelerators in Boulder, New York City, Boston, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, London, Adelaide, Tel Aviv, Cape Town, Toronto, and Berlin. [9] [10] Techstars has both industry agnostic "city" programs, and "vertical" programs typically operated in partnership with large corporations. It has been praised as a startup accelerator by a number of groups. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] Fewer than 1% of the companies that apply to Techstars are accepted. [16]

Techstars has accepted over 1000 companies into its programs. [17] Collectively, these companies have raised over $3.3B USD and have a market cap of over $8.1B. [18] Program mentors include Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, tumblr CEO David Karp, HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. [19] [20] [21]

A notable competing accelerator is Y Combinator, to which it is often compared. [22] [23] [24]


In 2006, Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Techstars held its first program in Boulder in 2007 with ten companies. [25] Of the ten, two were acquired that same year, three achieved positive exits by 2012, and two currently generate millions in annual revenue. [26]

In subsequent years, Techstars expanded to four additional cities: Boston in 2009; Seattle in 2010; New York City in 2011; a " cloud " program in San Antonio in 2012; and Austin in 2013. [27] [28] [29] [30] Techstars has since expanded into many other locations worldwide. [31]

In January 2011, the firm launched the, which links 22 similar programs internationally. [32] [33] The network was launched in conjunction with President Barack Obama ’s Startup America Partnership. [34] GAN is now an independently operated organization. Techstars has also supported the formation of. [35]

In September 2013, Techstars made its first acquisition with NameLayer, a repository of “high-quality,” tech-focused domain names. It now offers these domain names to its program participants. [36] In June 2015, Techstars announced the acquisition of UP Global, reintegrating programs like into the Techstars family. [37]

In 2017, Techstars partnered with venture capital firm Partech Ventures, to expand the program to Paris. [11]

In September 2017 Techstars was contracted to work with the United States Airforce's new technology accelerator AFwerX. [11]


Startups can apply for Techstars’ program and their viability is judged by the Managing Director of the program they applied to, as well as a screening committee composed of various members of the Techstars network. [40] In exchange for 6% common stock, each company accepted into Techstars receives $20,000; plus a $100,000 convertible note, access to the Techstars network for life, over $1M worth of perks, and a three-month accelerator program, [41] which is conducted in three phases. [42] Mentorship is one of the highest values of joining Techstars, according to the Handshakin Video Series [11]

Notable alumni

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