I recently took a trip to Austin, Texas with Techstars for their annual FounderCon event where Techstars founders and companies both past and present come together along with Techstars Staff, Sponsors and other guest speakers.
This FounderCon coincided with the Techstars Austin Demo Day which was on Wednesday, September 3rd, followed by FounderCon on the 4th and the 5th. Check out Venture Beats article “Meet the 11 ambitious from Techstars Austin Demo Day” for more information on the Techstars Austin companies.
FounderCon was full of guest speakers and great programs. I knew the background and metrics of Techstars but being with over 400 people in the network really made it sink in. For those of you that may not know here is a quick and dirty background of Techstars.
The company was founded in Boulder in 2006 by David Cohen, David Brown, Brad Feld and Jared Polis, and held its first program in 2007 with an initial 10 companies. Of the 10, 2 were acquired that same year, 3 achieved positive exits by 2012, and 2 currently generate millions in annual revenue. TechStars leveraged those successful exits to expand to four additional cities: in 2009, in Boston; 2010, in Seattle; 2011, in New York City; 2012, a “cloud” program in San Antonio; 2013 in Austin. In addition to these Programs, Powered by Techstars emerged and partner with big brands to power corporate accelerator programs. Below are a list of the current corporate programs:
- The Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator
- The R/GA Connected Devices Accelerator
- The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator
- The Microsoft Accelerator
- The Disney Accelerator
- The Barclays Accelerator
FounderCon was full of announcement and tweet worthy (#FounderCon) content. One that stood out was the announcement of the Techstars Equity Back Guarantee for classes 2015 and beyond. “If at the end of the program, companies feel like they didn’t get the full value out of it. we will give them their equity back”. This is truly a testament to how successful Techstars is in accelerating the companies and shaping the best founders.
It was great to be a part of this amazing Techstars network event. I met many awesome individuals and heard from some impactful speakers and absolutely Learned More Faster and picked up some new tricks!
Check out the impressive list of speakers and sponsors helping to make FounderCon happen:
- Speakers include: Erik Qualman, Author of Socialnomics, What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube and Digital Leader, Tom Preston-Werner (Co-Founder of GitHub), Brad Feld (Managing Director at Foundry Group), Bob Metcalfe (Inventor of the Ethernet), Ellen Levy(Most Connected Woman in Silicon Valley), Steve Cadigan (LinkedIn’s former VP Talent), Rick Klau (Partner at Google Ventures), Gay Gaddis(Founder and CEO of T3), Lindel Eakman (Managing Partner, UTIMCO)
- Special thanks to our FounderCon Sponsors: American Airlines, Austin City Chamber, GoodData, Localytics, MasterCard, Mercury Fund,PivotDesk, SendGrid, Silicon Valley Bank, Softlayer, and Uber
Now back to the grind as week 9 begins and Demo Day approaches!