Each year, they choose over 500 early-stage companies to join one of their 3-month, mentorship-driven accelerators, investing $120K and providing hands-on mentorship and access to the Techstars network for life.
Techstars accelerators have one goal: to help entrepreneurs succeed. During each three-month program, they surround companies with the best mentors and unrivaled corporate partners, investors, and alumni network. They provide funding and fundraising opportunities, workshops, and curated resources, not to mention countless moments where you can learn from your peers. It’s a proven model that’s helped build thousands of successful companies, all over the world.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. As one of the largest pre-seed investors in the world, they’ve funded over 3,200 companies that have gone on to have a market cap of $79B+. Techstars portfolio companies include more than 100 companies with valuations of over $100M, and 19 of them have already reached unicorn status including SendGrid, ClassPass, and Chainalysis. Each company receives up to $120,000 in funding, and access to the worldwide network of investors, hands-on mentorship, and over $4M of perks.
Month One: Grow Your Network
During month one, the 10 companies in each program typically meet around 100 mentors from the Techstars network, each of whom are super connected and experienced in their respective fields. After these initial meetings, fondly known as “Mentor Madness,” some programs match founders with three to five who will act as their lead mentors, and a pseudo Board of Advisors, throughout the program. When there’s a particularly good fit, mentors will often continue to work with the companies after the program ends.
Mentors help with many areas of the business that may need support, including — but not limited to:
Hiring and firing
Month Two: Execute
Month two is the time to take all those learnings from month one and put them into practice. Working with the managing director and program manager, founders go deeper with their lead mentors, gain traction, and hit milestones — whether that’s a prototype, building out the next phase of a product, getting a first customer, etc.
During this month, founders focus on identifying their most important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and achieving them. If there’s a corporate partner for the program, this month may even be the time to prepare for a proof of concept.
Month Three: Fundraising Strategy & Demo Day
In month three, the founders go deep in telling their stories. This is crucial to fundraising and Demo Day preparation.
Founders work with their mentors, managing directors, and program managers to refine their pitch, develop and design their pitch deck for Demo Day, and prepare investor collateral.
Storytelling isn’t just about fundraising: it’s also about communicating your vision to customers and future team members.
- They choose over 500 early-stage companies to join one of their 3-month, mentorship-driven accelerators, investing $120K and providing hands-on mentorship and access to the Techstars network for life.
- Each company receives up to $120,000 in funding, and access to the worldwide network of investors, hands-on mentorship, and over $4M of perks.
- It doesn’t matter what kind of stage you’re at — as long as you’re ready to accelerate your company.
- They’ve accelerated teams that came into their programs with zero revenue and they’ve also accelerated teams that came in with millions of dollars in revenue.
- The common thread between all those companies is the stellar founders, who could prove that they were the best people for the job and that there was a real market that they could capture.
They base their decision-making on the following criteria (ranked in order of importance) when they’re going through the selection process to pick the 10 companies they’ll work with within each program:
02. Team (because it’s that important)
03. Team (yes, we’re re-emphasizing this because it’s incredibly important)
- It takes most teams anywhere from two to five hours to complete their application for the first time.
- After you fill out your first application, you are able to update sections with new information for your subsequent applications.
- Before you submit your application, you are welcome to run your answers by your mentors/advisors / or other founders to make sure that you have correctly portrayed your company.
Application Deadline: August 9, 2023Application ClosedOfficial link