Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Techstars Cloud 2016 Applications Now Open

Today we are very excited to announce that applications are open for the 2016 Techstars Cloud program. The upcoming program will be run in San Antonio, Texas from November 2nd, 2015 through our Demo Day on February 11th, 2016. The program runs over the holidays, so there will be a brief two week break to give everyone a chance to spend time with family and friends.

This program will be the fourth Techstars Cloud program, and my second as Managing Director. Alumni companies from the first three programs have gone on to raise close to $100MM in combined funding from investors such as the Foundry Group, NEA and Sequoia. If you are developing a cloud-based technology or developer platform, a product that is complementary to the cloud, or any highly technical product — you are probably a great fit for the program. If you are building a startup that fits this description I would encourage you to apply today.

Companies accepted into the Techstars Cloud program receive $118,000 in investment capital along with mentorship, perks worth tens of thousands of dollars, and access to Techstars’ powerful network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors, who are all there to help you achieve your goals. Mentorship is at the core of all Techstars programs, and we have a great group of cloud mentors ready to spend tons of time with you during three months of intense focus on your business.

We accept applications from companies at all stages – some are further along and already have funding and/or revenue, while others are just getting started and don’t have customers or even a final product. Wherever you are in your journey, if your startup focuses on cloud technology, and you are ready to explore the idea of accelerating your company, apply to our next program.

If you have questions about the Cloud program or Techstars, you can always email me: blake.yeager at techstars dot com, or find me on Twitter (@blake_yeager).

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Mentor Spotlight: Tom Chikoore

It is time to show off another one of our amazing mentors in the Techstars network! Meet Tom Chikoore, Director of Techstars Risingstars.

Check out this short clip on Tom’s journey to Techstars and the success of the Risingstars program. 

Learn more at http://ift.tt/1nDTBsG.

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The Thomson Reuters/CodeX 2015 Legal Tech Open Innovation Challenge – Docket Analytics

The Thomson Reuters/CodeX 2015 Legal Tech Open Innovation Challenge – Docket AnalyticsThe practice of law involves various forms of prediction and analysis, and historically legal professionals have relied on personal professional experience to attempt to accurately predict various outcomes. This professional experience may be augmented using the combination of detailed historical data and data analytics to increase the accuracy of predictions. Data analytics enhance attorneys’ ability to recognize business opportunities and to provide effective representation by arming them with better predictions about the future.

In this open innovation Challenge, Thomson Reuters and CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (http://ift.tt/Lfadom) – have partnered to invite legal professionals, programmers, entrepreneurs, data scientists and any other interested parties to utilize years of federal court dockets along with outside data sources and Thomson Reuter’s PermID to develop an application that provides high value analytics to legal practitioners.

This Challenge has a special award structure with three awards of $20,000,$15,000, and $10,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, for granting the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice the solutions. In addition, up to four more Honorable Mention awards will be given. Each awardee will have the opportunity to attend the 2015 Thomson Reuters/CodeX Legal Tech Showcase event to be held at Stanford in November 2015 and be provided with a $2,000 stipend to attend the event.

Click here to view the challenge >>

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Barclays Accelerator Demo Day London 2015: Embracing FinTech Disruption

FinTech in London is incredibly hot right now. As our second cohort takes the stage today, it is clear the innovation in financial services is coming from all angles, the existing problems are extremely painful, and the opportunities are huge.

At the same time, the vast number of partnerships announced with Barclays and other banks indicates forward-thinking players are embracing the disruption. Financial services incumbents are responding to the new entrants with more than just an idle curiosity, and many startups are learning how to partner with key stakeholders in order to create a larger footprint.

Looking at our ten fintech companies you might notice three Blockchain startups, eight B2B companies, five founding teams from overseas… but there is only so much that can be quantified and I can hardly put into words never-mind numbers the amazing people that make up these companies and the smiles, sweat, and occasionally tears that represent the last three months. It has been an intense journey and no doubt will continue to be as the tectonic plates of the finance industry continue to feel their impact.

We are incredibly proud to present the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars – London Class of 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.25.06 PM Atlas – Mobile banking for the developing world.
      Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.25.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.32.45 PM BaseStone – BaseStone reduces costs and major errors  from occurring on construction projects – effectively lowering risks to both the project and the capital employed.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.25.29 PM Everledger – Everledger provides an immutable ledger for diamond identification and transaction verification for various stakeholders, from insurance companies to claimants and law enforcement agencies.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.25.46 PM Godesic – Godesic’s Cutover platform reduces the risk and cost associated with critical enterprise IT change events.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.25.54 PM LiquidLandscape – LiquidLandscape is a just-in-time visual analytics environment that provides ‘360-degree instant replay’ for your data to support better, faster, and reproducible decision-making.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.26.00 PM Origin – Origin is a digital marketplace directly connecting fixed income investors with large corporate borrowers in the bond market.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.26.10 PM Post-Quantum – Post-Quantum protects the world’s information by enforcing data confidentiality, authenticity and access control for now and the future.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.26.16 PM Ravelin – Ravelin provides real time fraud detection for e-commerce.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.26.27 PM Safello – Bitcoin spending platform, which has already enrolled over 20,000 users across Europe.
Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 9.26.34 PM
Stockfuse – Stockfuse is a revolutionary candidate evaluation and talent development platform, employing gamification technology to bring skill-based recruitment to the financial services industry.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Techstars Austin Demo Day 2015

Today in Austin, the Techstars 2015 companies will be taking the stage at the Austin Music Hall!

Mentors, investors, community members, and alumni will pack the house to hear the 3rd class pitch. As always, there will be a variety of accents representing an amazing cultural mix from the US, to Australia, and Turkey. Expect some common themes like analytics and gaming applied to wildly different industries from fashion to HR to charity.

Here are the Techstars 2015 companies in Austin, TX:

FantasyHub is the only daily fantasy sports website that gives fans the opportunity to play daily games, win cash, and support their favorite charity. We have worked with over 30 professional athletes hosting online fantasy contests for their charities.
Hunting Locator is the marketplace connecting hunters to the people with available hunting opportunities.
MetricStory helps marketers drive conversions and lift revenue by automating the entire process of setting up high value custom analytics which removes the guesswork and errors in capturing and organizing their data.
One Model is a talent analytics accelerator for human resources departments. We take the work out of managing and positioning data from all of a company’s data sources and show them how to effectively measure the workforce.
Pushmote allows companies to be close their customers via iBeacons by providing needed cloud software infrastructure and tools.
Red Fox Clan provides game publishers with quantified community feedback to make better product and marketing decisions.
Self Lender helps people establish and build credit history for the first time. Anyone can get a small, secured loan to demonstrate ability to pay back debt. This impacts what they can do, where they can live, and sometimes even work.
StopLight helps developers document, validate, and collaborate on the APIs that they are building.
StyleSage helps fashion brands and retailers boost growth with data-driven market insights.
Wonders is a visual narratives app for the most amazing hand-picked stories about travel and outdoor culture.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Announcing the 10 Companies for the Boulder 2015 Class

We are excited to announce the 2015 Techstars class in Boulder! Our program begins June 15th, and will wrap up with a demo night on September 9th.

As in previous years, the quality of applicants and companies we’ve met on our journey to select these 10 companies has been truly inspiring. The caliber of entrepreneurs and product innovations continue to impress. We’d like to recognize and thank you all.

The companies in this year’s class represent the ever-growing and diversifying entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our companies come from all over the country and bring unique skills, background and expertise to Boulder this summer. While individually different, they are all fueled by an unquenchable desire to improve the world by solving big problems.

This year’s class includes companies that are focused on helping brides get the dress they dream of (while staying within their budget) to enabling any child to make music to wearables that notify a loved one if you feel unsafe to helping home buyers/sellers save money and many more. These 10 companies stood out for their drive and passion to do something great and it’s a true honor and privilege to work with them.

We’re very excited to introduce the Techstars Boulder 2015 class:      Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.37.48 AM

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.37.04 AM adHawk: A mobile app that provides a bird’s eye view of all your digital marketing data in one place.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.37.21 AM Blazing DB: An SQL database at supercomputer speeds that’s incredibly easy to use.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.37.31 AM Borrowing Magnolia: Bringing the sharing economy to the wedding industry by enabling brides to rent and resell their used wedding dresses.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.37.38 AM Edify: Empower every kid in the world to make their own music.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.37.56 AM Flytedesk: A platform for buying and selling uncollected media, starting with college newspapers.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.38.01 AM HobbyDB:  The definitive database for collectors and hobbyists to manage and monetize their collections.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.38.07 AM MadKudu: Data science that helps sales and support teams fight customer churn.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.38.14 AM Revolar: The world’s smartest personal safety wearable device keeps you safe anytime, anywhere.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.38.21 AM Stryd: The world’s first running power meter that helps runners improve their performance.
Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.38.26 AM TRELORA: A commission-free real estate company, replacing percentage-based commissions with one flat fee.

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Techstars Acquires UP Global Including Startup Weekend and Other Programs

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Today we are excited to announce that Techstars has acquired UP Global, including the organization’s Startup Weekend, Startup Week, Startup Next and Startup Digest programs.

Techstars and UP Global have a long-standing relationship dating back to 2007 when the idea for Startup Weekend was born out of the Techstars basement in Boulder, CO.  Startup Weekend was created as a community event for the first Techstars class to get to know each other — we’ve always had a close relationship and share a similar vision of empowering entrepreneurs worldwide.

Together, we’ve built programs and resources for every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from community catalysts who are focused on early stage grassroots community development to entrepreneurs looking for more formal opportunities that provide education, a powerful mentor network, acceleration, funding and beyond.

All UP Global programs will now become part of Techstars but will remain open and independent in their execution at a community level. The programs will continue to run as they do now, and we expect additional expansion of these programs, as well as our existing accelerator programs, in the future. We’re excited that Google for Entrepreneurs will continue to partner with us by powering the Startup Weekend and Startup Next programs. Furthermore, effective immediately, fees previously associated with Startup Next, UP Global’s pre-accelerator program, have been eliminated – enabling more entrepreneurs to take advantage of that resource to help them scale.

By joining forces with UP Global, Techstars can continue to accelerate the pace of innovation by strengthening the path for entrepreneurs, providing better support for entrepreneurial communities, and helping to grow the worldwide entrepreneurial ecosystem. We will also continue to collaborate with other accelerators in the UP Global network, as we believe this will benefit all startups, not just those that are part of Techstars.

We are excited about the newly merged organization and the injection of top talent. Marc Nager, CEO of UP Global, will continue in his role as leader of the UP Community as Chief Community Officer. Marc will continue to lead most UP employees, with other core functions (marketing, IT, finance) combining teams.

The combined organization is global in reach, diverse in makeup, broad in expertise, and rich in startup experience. We are stronger together.

With today’s announcement, the entire team at UP Global will be joining Techstars and will continue supporting the community so that we can remain focused on managing and expanding our existing accelerator programs. Techstars will remain the high quality network and programs we know and love today.

We are committed to the lifelong impact that entrepreneurs have on the world, no matter where they choose to live. We believe this partnership is great news for entrepreneurs everywhere. Together, we will leverage each other’s areas of expertise and combine resources to provide more sustainable support for communities and the entrepreneurs within those communities.

To everyone in the UP Global Community — welcome to the Techstars family! Techstars is for life. We are proud to be joining forces with you and look forward to working together towards our combined vision of creating the world’s first truly global ecosystem for entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market.

For more details, here is a link to UP’s announcement.

To learn more about UP Global’s 1,800 worldwide events, check out their impact report.

If you have questions about TS+UP, please visit http://ift.tt/1R4ih71 for FAQs and more information.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Introducing the Inaugural 2015 Berlin Class

We are thrilled to announce the 2015 Techstars class in Berlin.  Our session begins June 15th, and will wrap up with a demo day on September 10th.

This is the inaugural class in Berlin. Eighty-five per cent of our applications were from Europe and the class reflects this, with the companies hailing from Germany (3), Austria (1), UK (2), Ukraine (1), Israel (2) and Peru (1).

Of the ten companies, six have a B2B focus, typically with a software or infrastructure-as-a-service business model, and four companies operate marketplaces where consumer can book services.

And now, the Techstars Berlin Summer 2015 class:

Treev –  treev is the fastest way to access and share all work in the cloud (e.g. Dropbox, Box, Google Docs, Trello).

treev helps people cut through the noise at work. It’s 2015, but working and collaborating online on any device still sucks. In modern companies employees spend most of their day in web apps like Google Drive, Trello, Salesforce and many more, which individually are great tools. treev becomes “Spotlight” for the cloud.

Eversport – Eversport is a booking engine for sport venues.

Sport venues are typically booked and paid for offline. We are providing sport venue operators with a free booking tool, where we charge a small surcharge for each booking that is processed online. Online booking with offline payment are provided free of charge. The booking engine is aggregated on the central Eversport platform, that acts as a marketplace where visitors can find the best places to book sport venues in the cities we cover.

Preply Preply is a marketplace for local and online tutoring.

Preply creates the environment and tools for tutors to monetize their knowledge. We have tutors who sign-up as sellers creating advanced profiles and students who are looking for them. Students can search the marketplace to find the person who will teach you anything. As a traditional marketplace In our global vision we imagine Preply as a global marketplace for personalized education.

Contactable Contactable is a online database and CRM designed for PR.

Contactable have analysed over 3,000 publications and 2 million articles to understand what 50,000 journalists like to write about. This database helps companies identify journalists they should reach out to. Companies can then manage then manage their relationships with a CRM designed for PR.

Sidestage  – Sidestage is a marketplace for discovering and booking local musicians for business and private events.

Sidestage helps people find amazing musicians for their own events, such as weddings, corporate events or private parties. We’ve already done the work of scouting and vetting the top musicians. Customers connect with musicians, confirm booking details and pay – all through Sidestage’s trusted platform.

Datapath.io – Datapath is an infrastructure as a service company that helps customers optimize the path their data takes online.

DATAPATH.IO enables cloud and network mobility for any customer’s application. It increases availability and compliance while reducing overall spending on cloud services.

Platfarm Platfarm is a software as a service company servicing agricultural cooperatives.

By leveraging cutting edge software technology, Platfarm enables agriculturual cooperatives to collect, communicate, analyze and report information. This includes actionable data insights, which results in increased productivity and efficiency of agricultural production.

AppInside AppInside is a security company that analyzes mobile apps for malicious abuse, legal violations and security threats.

AppInside has developed a unique technology that analyzes automatically, without any integration, the internal components of a magnitude of mobile apps for malicious abuse, legal violations and security threats, offering an ongoing insight dashboard and a platform for security services. To date, we scanned more than 230,000 apps and the numbers are growing on daily basis.

Stagelink Stagelink crowdsources live events for Internet stars.

On stagelink.com, artists and managements track fan-driven, real-time demand to plan, pre-finance, and de-risk tours, while reaching highly engaged audiences. Launched in Germany in 2014, Stagelink now counts 30,000 fans and 500 artists who sold tickets for more than $200,000 through the platform.

Akdemia Akdemia is a software as a service company that is servicing private schools in developing countries.

Akdemia is an online service that lets schools manage all school processes and communicate them to pupils and parents. From checking children’s schedules, grades or standards to writing mass emails to the entire school community, Akdemia is a modern way for schools to engage with their customers.

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