We just opened the application floodgates for our next TechStars Seattle class and I wanted to be sure that anyone who reads this blog got the word.
TechStars is a three-month founder boot camp. Selected teams move to the host city for the duration of the program and receive intensive hands-on coaching from a kick-ass group of mentors. Selected companies also receive up to $118,000 in seed funding — $18K plus an optional $100K in convertible debt. The program ends with a Demo Day where each company has a chance to pitch in front of hundreds of angel investors and VCs.
All companies work together in the Founders Co-op offices in South Lake Union for the duration of the program. Our office is surrounded by Amazon.com’s global headquarters, and is also home to The Microsoft Accelerator (powered by TechStars) and CodeFellows programs, so there’s a constant flow of startup talent, venture investors, tech execs and media through the building.
TechStars is the #1 accelerator in the world for teams located outside Silicon Valley (with full props to Paul Graham and Y Combinator for pioneering the model and dominating the Bay Area ecosystem). TechStars has graduated nearly 200 companies which have collectively raised nearly $300 million of venture capital after graduating.
TechStars looks for exceptional founding teams who are objectively, mind-blowingly awesome on at least two vectors:
- Making — relentlessly efficient and effective creators of beautiful, functional software (and sometimes hardware), who have a track record of making stuff that works — whether in school, at work or on their own time — because it’s their primary mode of self-expression.
- Learning — insatiably curious information omnivores with strongly-held fact-based convictions that are constantly subject to critical analysis and revision based on new data, who actively seek new and faster ways — including interacting with other human beings — to learn and adapt in order to improve.