TechStars is doing something similar to what YCombinator has done – they’re funding 10 teams with up to $15,000 in seed capital and providing office space, operational support, and mentors from business leaders (and potential follow-on investors) in Boulder, CO. In exchange for the investment and everything else, the teams give up a meager 5% equity position in their companies. Our previous profile of them is here.
Ten startups ideas have now been selected out of 300 applicants.
All start-ups move to Boulder on May 15 and the program starts May 21 for 3 months. There will be 3 evening sessions each week that’ll give the teams access to 40 mentors for personal meetings and panel discussions. They’ll also have extensive meetings and access to the four founders of TechStars – notable VC Brad Feld, David Cohen, Jared Polis (founder of BlueMountain and ProFlowers) and David Brown.
Information is vague at this point on the selected start-ups, but two of them are Socialthing! and Intense Debate. Socialthing! is going to be doing something in the social networking space and Intense Debate has something to do with real-time debating online.
YCombinator’s model is similar – they give $5,000 plus another $5,000 per founder and take 2-10% of the start-ups’ equity. The model has worked – one of their investments, Reddit, went on to be acquired by Condé Nast last Halloween.
Of the selected teams, founder ages range from 20-36 with median age at 25. Seven of the teams are B2C (social learning, social networking, social media, mobile, social media sharing, alerting/messaging, local/community) and the other three are B2B (SMB/new media, infrastructure / VOIP response, enterprise social networking). One team has a partner coming from Sweden, while the other teams are all from USA (NYC, Philadelphia, St. Louis, South Carolina, Denver, Seattle, Jacksonville, LA).
Of the applicants, 80% were between 20-30 years old – youngest was 14 and oldest was 62. Of the ideas, 75% were B2C, 20% B2B, and 5% “public good”.
Editor’s Note: This post by Steve Poland, co-founder of WeBothLike.