Startup culture is growing at a swift pace and this has been embraced by the corporate world globally. In developing and developed countries, the government is fortifying the budding entrepreneurs who are willing to launch their own startups by providing incubation support which is essential for them to develop.
For early-stage startups, both accelerators and incubators help to grow their business but often, startup founders are bewildered whom to go to, accelerators or incubators. What most people think is that both are the same but that isn’t the case.
Startup incubators are the ones who help startups to proceed in the right direction, provide them with an office space and connect them with companies within their networks. This, indeed, will help to refine the ideas of these startups. On the other hand, startup accelerators are responsible for scaling a business or accelerating the growth of startups by letting the members work with a group of members comprising of industry experts, startup executives and other investors to build their business and augment their business model. One such seed-stage startup accelerator named Techstars, based in Singapore was founded in the year 2016 by Cohen and David Brown (co-CEO), Brad Feld and Jared Polis.
Techstars Nurturing Startup Business
Techstars has taken the startup scene in Southeast Asia to another level. Currently, it runs two accelerators in Singapore annually — one with Rakuten and the other with Eastern Pacific Shipping. The team at Techstars have built several programs for startups to gain traction through hands-on mentorship, business development opportunities and fundraising preparation. Every year, Techstars chooses over 300 companies and invests $120K, providing them with hands-on mentorship and access to Techstars community. It is this network which connects them with several other companies and help them to grow fast. The Techstars network consists of industry experts, entrepreneurs, community leaders, mentors and corporations. The key concept revolves around learning as much as possible from big brands and refining your business strategies.
Wide Range Of Acceleration Programs
Techstars offers the startup founders the privilege of choosing from a set of three programs to expand their business under the supervision of the experienced professionals which are as follows:
- Techstars Startup Weekend : This program, which lasts for a weekend,is basically like a festive hackathon where innovators, designers, developers and coders pitch their ideas, form teams and get those validated by high calibre mentors and judges. It will provide you with the perfect environment to realise your startup idea and build amazing startups. Moreover, you will be equipped with the right tools and resources.
- Techstars Startup Week: Techstars Startup Week is a free five-day, entrepreneur-led, community-run event held in cities around the world to showcase the local startup ecosystem through meetups, gatherings, lectures, discussions and other activities.
- Techstars Startup Digest: The premiere email newsletter, curated by local startup leaders that keep entrepreneurs in touch with happenings in their startup community.
Investors Associated With The Firm
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Techstars has more than 280 employees spread across 20 countries. As of now, it has already established corporate partnerships with nearly 100 corporations. Techstars consists of both an investment management business with US$500 million in assets under management, as well as an operating business that is approaching US$100 million in annual revenue. Its investment activity now includes 49 accelerator programmes in 35 cities across 16 countries, deploying US$80 million into nearly 500 startups on an annual basis.
The firm claims its portfolio of 1,900 companies currently attracts an annual US$2 billion in downstream investment from the venture capital industry. It also invests in global emerging startup communities by operating approximately 1,000 annual Techstars Startup Weekend events in 600 cities across 120 countries to help surface and support future high growth companies.
Towards the end of July this year, it secured US$42 million in an investment round led by SVB Financial Group , the holding company of Silicon Valley Bank. US-based VC firm Foundry Group also participated.
The funding shall be used to expand the company’s network in Southeast Asia and help more entrepreneurs progress through seed-stage accelerator programs.