Stopwatch

Techstars Seattle 2015 is closing in on Demo Day… and applications for 2016 are now open!

The eleven companies in this year’s Techstars Seattle class are headed into the home stretch here at Startup Hall. Demo Day is just five weeks away — on October 27 — and we’re all feeling the heat.

Early reviews from investors and mentors suggest that this year’s class is Seattle’s strongest ever, which only adds to the pressure not to screw it up. We’ve had incredible support from our mentor community this year to help the teams drive real business results; the many institutional and angel investors investors who back Techstars Seattle are now poking holes in early drafts of the companies’ investor pitches in preparation for the Demo Day event.

As Samuel Johnson said; “when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Our minds are concentrated, and we hope to make good on this year’s early promise and strong community support come Demo Day.

Meanwhile, the Techstars Seattle team is making some important changes to the way our program runs. Probably the most significant of these is that we’re shifting our program dates from Summer/Fall to Winter/Spring; starting in 2016, and ongoing after that, Techstars Seattle will open applications in the Fall, make final selections by early January and be in session from February through May.

There are several reasons for this change, most of which boil down to seasonal quirks in our regional and entrepreneurial calendars. Summer in the Northwest is the most spectacular time of year, which means many mentors and investors are away with their families just as our program is hitting its stride. And with Demo Day landing deep in the Fall, our teams have historically found themselves on the fundraising trail at the start of the holiday season, making it tough to line up meetings and drive rounds to a speedy close.

Winter in Seattle is known for its short days and gray skies, perfect for the kind of focused work effort that Techstars requires. Mentors and investors are similarly engaged in the winter months, making it easier to bring the full power of the community to bear on the teams in program. And with a Demo Day in late May, companies will exit the program with plenty of time to hit the fundraising circuit before the summer holidays kick in and scatter investors to their family travels.

So as we head into the final days of one program, we’re already looking ahead to our next one: applications for Techstars Seattle 2016 are now open!

(The Creative Commons image at top is Stopwatch by Julian Lim)