TechStars lands $8 million

TechStars has raised $8 million in fresh funding as it looks to support its technology incubator programs in Seattle, Boston, Boulder and New York. TechCrunch reports that more than 50 venture funds and more than 25 individual angels participated in the round.

TechStars graduated its first class in Seattle last fall, and it is currently accepting applications for the next batch of companies.

Entrepreneurs who emerged from the program — many of whom are still housed in the TechStars’ South Lake Union facility — rave about the program and its mentorship program from local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

Entrepreneurs enter the program for three months, receiving up to $18,000 in funding. As a result of that arrangement, entrepreneurs give up five percent of their companies.

It’s unclear how much of the money from the newest round will flow to Seattle, but we’ve got an email into TechStars Seattle director Andy Sack to find out.

Meanwhile, TechStars co-founder David Cohen tells TechCrunch that the round will help support existing portfolio companies. As seen in the chart, most of the companies in the TechStars program are still alive and kicking.

There are no plans at the moment to expand beyond the four cities where TechStars operates, but the incubator could add additional programs in the markets where it operates, Cohen tells TechCrunch.

Past grads of the program in Seattle include Highlighter, Giant Thinkwell and ThinkFuse, the latter which just scored $500,000 cash in venture capital financing.

Here’s another chart showing the number of companies moving through the program, and how many of those received outside financing after their graduation. It is worth noting that the tables were compiled last May before TechStars Seattle kicked of its inaugural class in the summer.

  • http://x.co/EGXP Domainers Gate


    $8M … enough to fund eight times my NewSpaceAgency.com startup … :-)

  • http://twitter.com/evanjacobs Evan Jacobs

    I admire how open TechStars has been with sharing the results of the companies in the program ( http://www.techstars.org/results ) I look forward to seeing an update of those results as there have been at least three classes of graduates since the last update including the inaugural class in Seattle.

    • johnhcook

      Yeah Evan, it would be nice to see other VC firms and angel groups disclose this kind of information. And you are right, the charts above are from May 2010, so they don’t yet include Seattle.

      • Anonymous

        And they don’t really talk about return….just vague pie slices. There is probably a reason why.

        • http://www.facebook.com/kevie Kevin Leneway

          Actually, there’s much more detailed info here: http://www.techstars.org/results/

          • Anonymous

            But nothing about return.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisamccoy Chris McCoy

    #AWESOME! Exactly what Seattle needs. Now hopefully some young entrepreneurs from local colleges will find their way into the program. Best time to start is when you can suspend reality.

    • johnhcook

      Good point Chris, and thanks for the comment. Probably some fodder for a local post or guest post on how to get young entrepreneurs fired up. After all, many of the big companies in tech (Facebook, Google and Microsoft) were started by geeks in their teens or twenties. Let me know if you’d want to tackle that topic.

      I am at: john@geekwire.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevie Kevin Leneway

    Congrats to TechStars on this latest round of funding. I was part of the first TechStars Seattle class and I saw first-hand the impact that this program can have on a group of entrepreneurs. Applying to TechStars was the best decision our company has made and it’s awesome to know that this funding will allow many more future Seattle entrepreneurs to have the same life-changing experience I had.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=94500172 Kyle Kesterson

    This is such great news for the Seattle and startup community as a whole. Life during and after TechStars has allowed for an unprecedented opportunity to help make the world as I know it what I truly want it to be. I’m having a hard time trying to wrap my head around the idea of becoming an entrepreneur without the relationships, education and support that TechStars has provided and I don’t think that I would be able to even call myself an entrepreneur and hold a straight face if it weren’t for the program.

    I’ve heard countless horror stories about the struggles and woes of creating a startup and I can’t help but laugh in disbelief that I’ve been so fortunate to enjoy, grow and collaborate each and every day of Giant Thinkwell’s existence. It really isn’t supposed to be this much fun… is it?

    That’s not to say we don’t have a long, hard course set out ahead of us, but so far we’re in a very fluid place. I’m really excited that the program has opened up its applications for next year’s companies and I can’t wait to see and work with those that make it in.

    More info on Seattle’s program here:
    http://bit.ly/h8q1sH

  • http://www.naffziger.net/blog davenaff

    This is great. Techstars has been an awesome addtion to the Seattle entrepreneurial community and I’m thrilled we’ll see more of it. I was amazed by the quality of the teams, companies and their presentations displayed at the first Demo Day.

  • http://www.naffziger.net/blog davenaff

    This is great. Techstars has been an awesome addtion to the Seattle entrepreneurial community and I’m thrilled we’ll see more of it. I was amazed by the quality of the teams, companies and their presentations displayed at the first Demo Day.