Techstars is an American seed accelerator founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. As of 2019, the company had accepted over 1,600 companies into its programs with a combined market capitalization of $18.2bn USD.[1] Less than 1% of applicants are accepted.[2]

Techstars, LLC
FoundedColorado, United States (2006, as Techstars, LLC.)
Key people
David Cohen (CEO)

Brad Feld (Co-founder)

Jared Polis (Co-founder)


Techstars was founded in Boulder, Colorado, by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis in 2006. Initially, Techstars invested between $6,000 and $18,000 in early stage companies, providing entrepreneurs with mentorship during a three month accelerator program.[3]

The company held its first program in Boulder in 2007 with ten companies.[4] Of the ten, two were acquired that same year. As of 2012, three had achieved positive exits and two were generating millions in annual revenue.[5] In subsequent years, Techstars expanded to Boston, Seattle, New York City, a "cloud" program in San Antonio, and Austin.[6][7][8][9]

In January 2011, Techstars launched the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), which links 22 similar programs internationally.[10][11] The network was launched in conjunction with President Barack Obama's Startup America Partnership.[12] GAN is now an independently operated organization. Techstars has also supported the formation of Patriot Boot Camp.[13]

In 2017, Techstars partnered with the venture capital firm Partech Ventures to expand its program to Paris,[14] and in September of the same year was contracted to work with the United States Airforce's new technology accelerator AFwerX.[15]. At the beginning of 2019 Techstars started another European program around smart cities in Amsterdam with their corporate partner Arcadis[16].


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.[17] In exchange for 6% common stock, each company accepted into Techstars currently receives $20,000 plus a $100,000 convertible note, access to the Techstars network for life, over $1M worth of perks (such as $25.000 - $100.000 in AWS credits), and a three-month accelerator program,[18] which is conducted in three phases: mentorship, growth, and investment.[19] On the last day, all 10 companies pitch publicly in front of investors, Techstars alumni, the local entrepreneur scene and corporate partners on the demo-day.

Notable alumni companies


  1. Choudhury, Saheli Roy (12 December 2017). "Japanese e-commerce firm to launch program for tech startups in Singapore". CNBC. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. Chafkin, Max. Future Techstars, Step Forward. Inc.. April 2, 2012.
  3. "What investments does Techstars make in its Accelerator portfolio companies?". Techstars.
  4. Myers, Courtney Boyd. Techstars: the next great incubator unleashes 11 startups in NYC. The Next Web. April 16, 2011.
  5. Bigelow, Bruce V. Lessons from Techstars’ David Cohen on Building a Startup Culture: 7 Takeaways from the Xconomy San Diego Dinner. Xconomy. February 3, 2012.
  6. Results Results: Techstars.
  7. Olanoff, Drew. The eleven companies relocated to San Antonio to join the first Techstars Cloud. The Next Web. April 11, 2012.
  8. Thomas, Mike. Techstars Program to Jumpstart San Antonio’s Investment Community. The San Antonio Business Journal. April 4, 2012.
  9. Dickinson, Boonsri. Microsoft Just Picked 11 Startups to Build Amazing Apps for Kinect. Business Insider. April 2, 2012.
  10. "Getting up to speed". The Economist. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  11. Global Accelerator Network
  12. Spencer, Malia. AlphaLab now part of Techstars Network. Pittsburgh Business Times. January 31, 2011.
  13. Crichton, Danny (19 June 2018). "Patriot Boot Camp wants to turn soldiers into entrepreneurs". TechCrunch. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  14. Dillet, Romain. "Techstars launches a new program in Paris at the Partech Shaker". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  15. "Air Force opens applications for dual-purpose technology accelerator p". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  16. "The Technology Leaders of the City of 2030: Meet the Inaugural Class of Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars". 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  17. Popper, Ben. How the quiet Adam Rothenberg became number two at hot startup incubator Techstars NY. Venture Beat. March 12, 2012.
  18. Fields, Jonathan. Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. Portfolio Hardcover, 2011.
  19. Patterson, Irina; Arnold, Candice (March 7, 2011). "Business Incubator Series: An Interview With David Cohen, Founder And CEO, Startup Accelerator TechStars – Boulder, Colorado (Part 1)". Sramana Mitra.
  20. Crook, Jordan (July 16, 2013). "TechStars-Backed Bookkeeping Service 10Sheet Relaunches As Bench With New $2M Seed Round". TechCrunch.
  21. Lardinois, Frederic (March 23, 2014). "Digital Ocean's Journey From TechStars Reject To Cloud-Hosting Darling". TechCrunch.
  22. Wauters, Robin (September 8, 2011). "TechStars Graduate FullContact Lands $1.5 Million, Helps Keep Contact Records Updated". TechCrunch.
  23. Cheredar, Tom. Graphicly shutters iOS & Android comic book apps to focus on self-publishing service. Venture Beat. April 5, 2012.
  24. Vuong, Andy. Colorado startups becoming tech stars. The Denver Post. April 10, 2010.
  25. Kincaid, Jason. Automattic Has Acquired IntenseDebate's Enhanced Comment System. TechCrunch. September 23, 2008.
  26. "TechStars alum Mocavo grabs $4M to help you find your ancestors - VentureBeat - Deals - by Sean Ludwig". VentureBeat.
  27. "Mocavo Acquired By Findmypast: A New Chapter Begins". Mocavo Blog - News, Announcements & More from the World's Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine.
  28. Kyle Alspach (6 February 2012). "An unusual TechStar: Murfie seeks to build huge CD store". Boston Business Journal.
  29. Ruth, Joao-Pierre. Xconomis of the Week. Xconomy. April 12, 2012.
  30. "Sphero". Crunchbase.
  31. . Orbotix Sphero is Rolling to an Apple Store Near You. Techcrunch. June 29, 2012.
  32. Dizik, Alina. 6 Time-Management Tips from Accelerator Programs. Fast Company. March 14, 2012.
  33. "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012". 21 June 2012.
  34. Liam Boogar (February 25, 2013). "With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D". Rude Baguette.
  35. "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Balderton Capital. December 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014.
  36. Reisinger, Don. AOL Acquires Lifestreaming Service Socialthing. Mashable. August 14, 2008.
  37. Moschen, Isabell (June 6, 2013). "The Two-Wheeled Amenity". New York Times.
  38. Schiller, Ben. "A Self-Contained Bike Share To Make College (Or Your Office Park) More Fun". Co.Exist.
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