TechStars (website), a mentorship-driven startup accelerator is founded by Brad Feld, David Cohen, David Brown, and Jared Polis. The company is established in Boulder in and holds its first 13-week program in 2007 with an initial 10 companies. TechStars mentors include Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, tumblr CEO David Karp, HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. TechStars will take a 5 percent stake in each of the companies.
TechStars is the brainchild of Cohen and Brown, who pitched the idea to Feld and Polis.
Feld: I had never met David (Cohen). We had a random meeting and in 15 minutes, I was totally in love with the idea.
TechStars uses the revenue from 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.