TechStars Seattle

Yesterday, TechStars announced that it is a launching a new program in Seattle.  This will be the third program that TechStars runs – with the other two being in Boulder over the summer and Boston in the spring (we are currently accepting applications for the Boston program.)  The Seattle program will be run this fall.

There’s been some great initial press on this including TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, PEHub, and Seattle’s TechFlash.  Greg Huang – who writes for Xconomy (which has also done a great job of covering TechStars Boston) covered the launch well and had a nice follow up post linking the Boston and Seattle programs origins.  It’s really satisfying to read the articles as pretty much everyone gets that a key part of TechStars are the mentors – and the Seattle mentors are just awesome. 

After year two of the Boulder program, David Cohen (the founder of TechStars) and I spent a bunch of time in various venues – at bars and restaurants in Boulder, in the Bunker, in our conference room at Foundry Group, on a vacation in Italy together, and even in the presence of our wives (much to their annoyance) – talking about David’s long term vision for TechStars and how best to operationalize it. 

TechStars Boston – which I wrote about when we launched it in February 2009 – was the first expansion.  TechStars Seattle is the second.  One decision that we made when we thought through a third city was timing and we decided to stagger the timing of the programs.  So Boston is spring, Boulder is summer, and Seattle is fall.  For those that are skilled at reading between the lines, that leaves winter open – for now.

It’s also super exciting to welcome Andy Sack to the TechStars leadership team.  Andy will run the TechStars Seattle program while Shawn Broderick runs the TechStars Boston program.  I’ve known and worked with Andy for around 15 years (and Shawn for about 20) – back when we were all first time entrepreneurs – so it’s really satisfying to be working together on TechStars.

And a huge thank you to the Seattle entrepreneurial community.  I’ve spent a lot of time there the past few years and I’ve got several investments there, including Gist and Smith & Tinker (via Foundry Group), Impinj (via Mobius Venture Capital), and AdReady (via Intensity Ventures).  Seattle is perfect for a program like TechStars and the response from everyone we’ve talked to about it has been dynamite.