Long gone are the days of having to take three months out of your schedule and relocate to Silicon Valley to participate in a high-end tech accelerator. These fixed-term, cohort-based programs are getting smarter and letting entrepreneurs attend remotely. Techstars recently participated in their first virtual accelerator calling it, Techstars Anywhere.
“This year, we opened applications for Techstars Anywhere to the public for the first time and had an amazing response from founders around the globe,” said Managing Director Ryan Kuder on Techstars blog. “In fact, 52% of our applications were from outside of the United States. As we worked to find the 10 founding teams that would be part of this class, we ended up focused on time zones within the United States and Canada to ensure that the companies could participate to the fullest. It was an incredibly competitive applicant pool that resulted in a less than 1 percent acceptance rate.”
There is one small caveat. Although you don’t have to be onsite for three months, you do have to make several appearances and meet in person.
“We refer to Techstars Anywhere as our (mostly) virtual accelerator because while most of the time is spent remotely, we think it’s important to spend time together in person too,” said Kuder. “For this program, we spent the last week together in Los Angeles and we’ll be meeting up again in Boulder and then in San Francisco. The rest of the program we leverage the amazing Techstars network to provide remote access to the best mentors and investors in the world.”
Some of the participants included Founder Jasmine Crowe of Goodr, from Atlanta, who also won the Black Enterprise Pitch Competition during TechConneXt 2017. Her company is a sustainable waste management company that leverages technology to redirect surplus food from food service providers to the millions of people who are food insecure. Another participant included Marcus Bullock founder of Flikshop, a platform that turns photos from your phone into physical postcards to help families stay connected to their incarcerated loved ones.
During this past week, all 10 selected startups, graduated from Techstars Anywhere. To find out more information and how you can be a part of future cohorts, click here.