Thursday, March 12, 2009

Have a great idea and looking for seed funding? Check out TechStars

There are many ways to fund a new technology startup, but one particularly intriguing approach is TechStars, which is a mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund located in Boulder, Colorado. They fund up to about 20 technology startups each summer. For each startup, up to three founders get $6,000 each for the summer to crank out a substantial prototype to get their idea off the ground so they can get to the next level. The deal includes server hosting, work space if needed, legal services, and more. Most importantly, each team gets access to the 50 entrepreneurial mentors who are part of TechStars as well as the opportunity at the end of the summer to pitch at an investor event with upwards of 150 angel investors and venture capital investors in attendance.

That may not sound like a lot of money (or time), but the networking and focus on rapid success are worth much, much more. Remember: quality, not quantity.

TechStars is active in both Boulder and the Boston area.

The principals of TechStars are David G. Cohen (Executive Director), Brad Feld, Jared Polis, and David Brown.

They recently held their spring kickoff meetings in Boulder and Boston (invitational, limited seating, one-day mini-camps called "TechStars For A Day" (TS4AD) for TechStars applicants), but are still accepting applications until the March 21, 2009 deadline. My apologies for not posting about this earlier.

Feedback from Benjamin Brinckerhoff, founder of Devver, class of Summer 2008:

I prefer writing code to business plans, but I found the business advice from our mentors to be incredible: it was concrete, immediately applicable, and always focused on building something real for our users.

Check out the TechStars web site for more details.

-- Jack Krupansky


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