I’m thrilled to announce the official launch of Techstars Seattle 2015.
Last November, after five years and some amazing local success stories, my friend and business partner Andy Sack announced his decision to step down as Managing Director of Techstars Seattle and I signed on as his successor.
Andy put Techstars Seattle on the map, raising two funds, building a fantastic community of local mentors and helping 50 new companies — including local leaders like Remitly, Shippable, Bizible and Apptentive — on their path toward global domination.
As the new Managing Director of Techstars Seattle, I wanted to keep all the goodness that Andy had laid down, while also adding a few new twists of my own. But I only had a few months to do it — from November of last year until our application cycle kicks off again this month (on Monday, March 16 to be exact).
It’s been a busy few months, but that foundational work is now done and Techstars Seattle 2015 is officially open for business. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new, what’s staying the same, and what happens next.
First, what’s new (besides my own new role as MD):
- A fresh $2.7M fund that will keep Techstars Seattle going strong without interruption for the next four years.
- A new Program Manager — Jaren Schwartz — a UW grad with a Master’s from BU and a decade of program delivery experience in both non-profit and for-profit organizations.
- A fresh group of individual “mentor-investors” — accomplished local founders who are investing their own money as well as their time to make the next generation of Techstars Seattle even more awesome. The list includes:
- Alex Algard (Whitepages)
- Adam Doppelt (Urbanspoon, Dwellable)
- Matt Ehrlichman (Porch)
- Rand Fishkin (Moz)
- Mike Fridgen (Decide)
- Peter Hamilton (Tune)
- Ian Sefferman (MobileDevHQ)
- Kabir Shahani (Appature)
- And many more…
Here’s what’s staying the same:
- An all-star group of local institutional investors who renewed their financial commitment to Techstars as the flagship startup accelerator for the Pacific Northwest. This list includes:
- An equally amazing group of volunteer mentors — including a great mix of senior leaders from the region’s most innovative companies, as well as founders and early hires from a long list of the Pacific Northwest’s most exciting startups (including many Techstars alumni companies)
- An unmatched program venue — Startup Hall — that offers Techstars companies direct access to the region’s leading research university (UW), seed-stage venture fund (Founders’ Co-op), and entrepreneurial education non-profit (UP Global).
Here’s what happens next:
- Applications for our next program open on Monday, March 16 — if you or someone you know is building the next great tech company here in the Pacific Northwest and wants the unfair advantage of being admitted to the world’s #1 startup accelerator, I strongly encourage you (or them) to apply. The application deadline is April 26 and we will be filling the class on a rolling basis, so apply early to maximize your odds of getting in.
- The 2015 program will run in Startup Hall from late July to late October, so mentors can expect to hear from us in late June about getting involved in this year’s class.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone in the Pacific Northwest who has played a part in making Techstars such an integral part of our region’s innovation ecosystem. With your support, we are helping extraordinary founders build incredible companies right here in our own backyard, and every company we help build is another brick in the wall of our own unfair advantage as a global center entrepreneurial excellence.
Never been a better time to be an aspiring entrepreneur in Seattle. Thanks for your leadership, Chris. Excited to be involved.
So glad to have you in the family, Mike — this is going to be fun!
Very true, Mike. Thank you, Chris!
Awesome to have you on board, Chris. Go Seattle!