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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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TechStars Austin – The Newest TechStars Location

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I’m excited to join David Cohen and his team in announcing TechStars in Austin. From the TechStars blog:

“The Managing Director of TechStars Austin is Jason Seats. Jason is a  “techie” and entrepreneur. Rackspace acquired his company Slicehost in 2008 and then made him VP of Engineering. Jason is an active angel investor and has been with TechStars since 2011 with two very successful programs under his belt as Managing Director. He brings amazing technical chops, founder experience and a strong network of his own. Jason is moving down the road from San Antonio to Austin and we’re confident that he will be a big part of growing both TechStars and the startup community in his new home.

TechStars will operate out of Capital Factory in downtown Austin. This beautiful space is “the most inspiring office space in Austin” for startups, and we’re happy that it’s our new home too. The amazing folks behind Capital Factory (Josh Baer and Bill Boebel) have played a critical role in bringing TechStars to Austin and we’re thankful for all of their support.”

Applications are open today and the final deadline is June 30th. Apply now. I look forward to meeting this new class of founders!

TechStars Patriot Boot Camp: Calling All Veterans

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TechStars Patriot Boot Camp is an intense three-day program that will educate and mentor Veterans and Service Members to innovate, build technology companies, and create jobs. TechStars hopes that participation in the Patriot Boot Camp will be the catalyst for Veterans and Service Members to kickstart their company, find co-founders and advance as entrepreneurs. Veterans, spouses of Veterans, Service Members, or companies comprised of 50% or more Veterans are encouraged to apply to our second annual July 17-19 event in Washington D.C.

As an interesting note, participant Tak Lo from Patriot Boot Camp 2012 is now an Associate at TechStars in New York City and a participating company from Patriot Boot Camp 2012 - Nexercise - was recently accepted into the inaugural program of TechStars Chicago.

This event is made possible by awesome sponsors SoftLayerKauffman FastTracSlice of LimePivotDeskSilicon Valley BankSendGrid, Galvanize, and George Washington University. The biggest thanks are due to these veteran entrepreneurs for their service to our country. Do you know a Veteran or Service Member that could benefit from a miniature TechStars experience? Please encourage them to apply.

TechStars Seattle 2013 Applications Are Now Open

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TechStars Seattle applications for year four of the program are now open! The startup community in Seattle is expanding rapidly and TechStars Seattle is right in the middle of it all, located in South Lake Union surrounded by Amazon, Microsoft and tons of other amazing startups. We’ve been investing a lot in Seattle lately beyond TechStars, including BigDoor, SEOmoz, Cheezburger, and most recently Rover. We love Seattle as a startup community!

TechStars Seattle teams will be working out of  Founders Co-op which is also home to The Microsoft Accelerator (powered by TechStars) and CodeFellows programs. There’s a lot of startup talent as well as investors and other members of the tech community around to help out.

Think you might be a good fit for TechStars Seattle? Apply now!

Know someone who might be a good fit? Send any team referrals to TechStars Seattle Program Manager, Linsey Battan, at linsey.battan@techstars.com.

TechStars London Calling

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TechStars London

Jon Bradford and I have known one another since before the development of the Mentor Manifesto. Today we’re bringing Jon and his team at Springboard in London into the TechStars family as they re-brand to become TechStars London, our first international program. We have every confidence in them as a high-quality extension of the strong ecosystem we have already built here in the US.

Springboard has always been focused on helping entrepreneurs and TechStars’ support and expertise provides UK and European entrepreneurs the best opportunity to improve their likelihood of success. Our priority is to support great companies from the region in London (accepting applications from everywhere) and there’s no requirement or expectation that the companies will need to relocate to the US. We will build on the mentor network that Springboard has already started in London and supplement it with mentors from the broader TechStars network in the States.

Any and I are going to spend two weeks in London this summer during the program. I lived in London for a summer when I was 16, worked for Centronics (the creators of the parallel port), wrote dot-matrix font creation software for the Apple II, got paid with a Centronics 351 printer, learned how to drink a lot of beer, watched Pink Floyd The Wall for the first time, and spent a week wandering around in Paris in August when no one was there. I’ve always felt super comfortable in London and am looking forward to hanging out with the newest members of the TechStars family, while drinking a lot of beer.

TechStars Chicago Applications Are Now Open

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TechStars Chicago applications are now open. Apply now.

Huh? What? You didn’t know there was a TechStars Chicago? There is now.

Techstars Chicago

Last night I was in Chicago at 1871, the amazing 50,000 square foot co-working space in the Chicago Merchandise Mart that has become the convening spot for the digital economy in Chicago and the home of Excelerate Labs. It was the mentor kickoff night for the fourth year of Excelerate Labs and I was delighted to be able to announce that Excelerate Labs and TechStars are joining forces to create and run TechStars Chicago.

Excelerate Labs is a three year old, high-quality accelerator in Chicago managed by Troy Henikoff (SurePayroll) and Sam Yagan (OkCupid, SparkNotes, Match.com) as well as Sandbox Industries’ Nick Rosa and New World Ventures’ Adam Koopersmith. In its first three years, it has already earned a place among the very best accelerators in the nation. Its first three classes of thirty portfolio companies have raised more than a combined $30M and I had the distinct honor of keynoting at their Demo Day last August.

Our relationship with Troy, Sam, and team started when Troy came to TechStars Demo Day in Boulder in 2009. Next Big Sound had gone through TechStars and Troy was a seed investor. He spent a bunch of time with me and David and suggested we start a TechStars Chicago. At the time, we weren’t ready to scale TechStars beyond Boulder, as we were obsessively focused at the time on getting things right and really working in Boulder before we tried to do a TechStars in another city. But we encouraged Troy and Sam to do their own Chicago accelerator, which became Excelerate Labs. David was a formal advisor, we both were mentors, and Troy and Sam did an outstanding job of picking our brains as they created Excelerate.

I remember showing up on one of the first days of the Excelerate program to do a mentor talk and Sam said “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing but this is going to be awesome!” It turned out he did, and it was, and Excelerate quickly became one of the best accelerators in the world.

Last fall when I was in Chicago for the Startup America Partnership regional meeting, I had lunch with Troy and asked him if he’d consider joining forces with us. Up to this point, we hadn’t expanded into a new city with another program – the TechStars programs in Boston, Seattle, and New York were created from scratch. And our vertical and powered by programs – Cloud (in San Antonio with Rackspace), Microsoft Accelerator (in Seattle with Microsoft) and Nike Accelerator (in Portland with Nike) were also started from scratch. We wanted to explore expanding by partnering with existing accelerators and based on the relationships, superb quality of Excelerate, and amazing Chicago startup community, we felt like Chicago was at the top of the list for doing this.

Fortunately, Troy, Sam, Nick, and Adam agreed and a few months later we are psyched to launch TechStars Chicago and welcome them to the TechStars family. Excelerate Labs is now TechStars Chicago. Apply today.

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