Here comes another round of Techstars Seattle startups.
The 3-month accelerator announced its 2017 cohort on Thursday. The group, which marks the eighth overall for Techstars Seattle, includes nine companies working in various industries ranging from e-commerce to biotech. The entrepreneurs began work this week and will participate in a Demo Day on April 19.
Here they are, with descriptions from each startup:
- Coastline Market: Connecting retail buyers directly to commercial fishermen in local geographies.
- CuePath Innovation: Medication monitoring service and platform based on a popular multidrug blister pack.
- Hazel: Making work better for everyone.
- LevelTen Energy: A renewable energy transaction platform connecting C&I power buyers to PPAs from utility-scale wind, solar, and storage projects.
- Silene Biotech: Cell preservation today for tomorrow’s personalized therapies and diagnostics.
- Swym Corporation: Helping e-commerce brands craft seamless cross-channel experiences.
- Stackery: Dev and ops on the same page.
- Valid 8: The first independent financial analytics platform.
- VendorHawk: SaaS optimization for the modern enterprise.
Techstars Seattle Managing Director Chris Devore penned a blog post today titled “What is Seattle best at” that detailed how Techstars Seattle picked the 2017 class. It examined a variety of core areas and emerging areas — enterprise software-as-a-service; cloud infrastructure and developer productivity; e-commerce and marketplaces; biopharma and wellness; energy transmission and trading; space and aerospace; and the “AI stack” — when selecting the startups.
Devore described these categories as “the vectors of innovation where Seattle can compete and win in the global market for ideas, people and money.” He said Techstars Seattle looked at “powerful pairings of founder capabilities and ecosystem resources” that give companies unfair competitive advantages.
“As an innovation ecosystem, Seattle competes globally for talent and capital,” he wrote. “With the world’s biggest and best-known innovation market just two hours away by air, we need to be crystal clear about the places we can not only win the occasional competition against a Bay Area challenger, but lean into opportunities where we consistently, systematically outperform that market and earn the attention of the world’s most talented makers and investors. When we get that right, amazing things happen for entrepreneurs and the investors who back them.”
Since 2010, the 71 companies that went through Techstars Seattle have collectively raised more than $350 million, Devore noted.
The most recent Techstars Seattle class was perhaps the most impressive yet, with several companies landing funding rounds after Demo Day. Four of the rounds were led by venture capital firms from Seattle, the Bay Area, and New York like Madrona Venture Group, DFJ, IA Ventures, and others. One startup, Beam, was already acquired by Microsoft.
Some of that success is due to tweaks Devore made after taking over as managing director in early 2015 and raising a fresh $2.7 million fund in early 2015. Devore, also general partner at the Founder’s Co-op venture firm, restructured the organization and brought in more mentors from the Seattle startup community.
However, TechStars Seattle is still awaiting a big breakout success. Seattle-area startups and graduates such as Remitly, Apptentive, Bizible and Shippable have raised money and grown, but the program has yet to produce a blockbuster exit that really could catapult the organization to new heights. The Beam acquisition by Microsoft was certainly notable from the most recent class, which has other startups poised for growth.
Entrepreneurs who are accepted into a Techstars program — the organization runs accelerators across the globe — get up to $20,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent common stock and the chance to participate in a three-month immersive startup experience. That includes extensive mentoring by a group of experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Techstars Seattle is based at the University of Washington’s Startup Hall, where another accelerator run by Techstars in partnership with Amazon’s Alexa team will host its first cohort in July.