Monday, February 16, 2009

Colorado-based TechStars Will Launch a Boston Program This Summer

Less than a month after Paul Graham announced that Y Combinator won't be running its summer start-up cultivation program in Cambridge, we learn that TechStars will fill that vacuum.

TechStars was founded by MIT alum Brad Feld, who also started his first company, a software consultancy, here.

TechStars is a bit younger than Y Combinator, having spooled up in 2007. But a dozen of the twenty companies that have been through TechStars thus far have received angel or venture funding, and two have been acquired. TechStars invests up to $18,000 in each company, offers lots of guidance and mentorship, and organizes a pitch session for prospective investors at the end of the summer.

It was one of those investors, Bill Warner, who helped bring TechStars to Boston. Warner put some money into Eventvue, and visited Colorado to chat with Feld last December. At the time, Warner didn't realize that YC would be eliminating its Cambridge summer program. He writes via e-mail, "...with YC already in place in Boston, and with the 2009 season already coming up, it didn't make sense to push for this year. [But] once YC decided to focus on Silicon Valley, [we] really ramped up our discussions."

They don't have a venue yet for the summer program, but applications are due by March 21st. Managing the program will be Shawn Broderick, CEO of TrustPlus, who worked with Feld earlier in his career.

Among the mentors for the new Boston program are Microsoft's Don Dodge, Lead Dog Ventures founder John Landry, iRobot CEO Colin Angle, Harmonix co-founder Eran Egozy, Nabeel Hyatt of Conduit Labs, and software exec Chris Heidelberger. The investors who'll be getting TechStars Boston off the ground include Feld and Warner, as well as Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital.

According to TechCrunch's report on the news, TechStars says that their "expansion into Boston has been in the works for about six months now, so Y Combinator’s decision didn’t play a role."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

TechStars is a great way for VCs to pick and choose their stable of potential hits. I'm wondering when the tech execs are going to awaken to the reality that they're nothing more than "meat" in the meat market?

February 17, 2009 9:30 AM  
Blogger John McKinley said...

FYI, LaunchBox Digital’s deadlines for LaunchBox09 are approaching.

Early admissions deadline is February 28, 2009.

Final deadline for applications is March 16, 2009.

Best of luck, regardless of the program you apply to!

February 17, 2009 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Matt Lauzon said...

It is also worth noting VC sponsored programs such as Highland Capital's Summer Entrepreneurship program. ( As an alumnus, I think the program (and similar programs) are valuable in keeping young entrepreneurs in Boston.

February 17, 2009 3:51 PM  

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