TechStars Expands to Seattle, Andy Sack In Charge


TechStars, a startup boot camp for software entrepreneurs, plans to launch a Seattle program next fall, with Andy Sack as executive director. TechStars began operation in Boulder, Colo. three years ago, and last year opened its first satellite program in Boston.

PRESS RELEASE

TechStars announced today that it will launch a Seattle program in the fall of 2010, with Seattle-based entrepreneur and investor Andy Sack as Executive Director.  TechStars is a mentorship-driven, three-month-long “startup boot camp” for software entrepreneurs that typically receives hundreds of applications for 10 spots.  The selected companies receive up to $18,000 in seed funding, three months of intensive mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and investors, and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program.

Sack is already well-known on the local startup scene as co-founder and Managing Partner of Seattle-based seed fund Founders’ Co-op, guest lecturer in entrepreneurship at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, and host of the weekly tech meetup Seattle Open Coffee

“We believe that TechStars can energize the startup community in Seattle in a unique way,” said Sack, who  had previously served as a TechStars mentor in Boulder and Boston.  “Having experienced it up close in Boulder and Boston, I am excited about working closely with first-time entrepreneurs and involving the entire community in building 10 new companies literally from the ground up, many of which have the potential to change the technology landscape in important ways.”  
The leading venture investors in Seattle have committed their support and also will act as mentors to TechStars in Seattle, including Bezos Expeditions, Buerk Dale Victor, DFJ, Founder’s Co-op, Ignition Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Maveron, OVP, Second Avenue Partners, Trilogy Partners, WRF Capital, Voyager Capital, and Vulcan Capital.  Boulder-based venture capital firm Foundry Group, the Director of The Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington, and many prominent angel investors also have committed to supporting the program financially and as mentors.   

“It’s incredible to see the support TechStars has engendered from the venture and angel community in Seattle,” said Greg Gottesman, Managing Director of Madrona and a mentor for TechStars.  “So many key investors and entrepreneurs have raised their hands and said we want to make this effort successful, and we’re willing to put our time and resources behind it.  If community support is an indicator of where this program is headed, we literally could not have had a better start.” 

Mentors for TechStars Seattle include Alex Algard (White Pages), Adam Brotman (Starbucks), Adam Doppelt (UrbanSpoon), Marcelo Calbucci (Seattle 2.0), Chris DeVore (Founder’s Co-op), Geoff Entress (Voyager), Michelle Goldberg (Ignition), Gottesman, Steve Hall (Vulcan), Steve Hirsch (Natural Village), Josh Hug (Shelfari), Ben Huh (Cheezeburger Holdings), Nathan Kaiser (nPost), Glenn Kelman (Redfin), Shane Kim (Microsoft), Dan Levitan (Maveron), Melinda Lewison (Zefram/Bezos Expeditions), Andy Liu (BuddyTV), Ethan Lowry (UrbanSpoon), Bill McAleer (Voyager), Jamie Miller (Blinkx), Josh Petersen (43 Things), TA McCann (Gist), Patrick O’Donnell (UrbanSpoon), Linden Rhoads (Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington), Dave Schapell (TeachStreet), Jonathan Sposato (Picnik), Katie Thompson (Trilogy), and many more.  The full list of TechStars mentors for the Seattle program as well as the national mentor list are available on the TechStars website.  

Applications for the Seattle program will open in May. You can learn more about TechStars at http://techstars.org.

About TechStars

TechStars was founded in 2007 by Boulder-based serial entrepreneur-turned-investor David Cohen and venture capitalist Brad Feld. TechStars has operated in Boulder for three years and in Boston for one year.  Since inception, TechStars has supported 39 companies and approximately 75% have subsequently received follow-on financing from outside investors. Several companies that have emerged from TechStars have already successfully exited to notable acquirers such as AOL and Automattic (WordPress). The most recent batch of companies resulted in seven VC-led follow-on funding rounds and three additional angel-led rounds. TechStars companies attract the attention of seed-stage investors nationally.

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