After expanding into London, TechStars, the accelerator which originally emanated out of Boulder, Colorado before reaching other US cities, is moving into continental Europe today.
It’s planning a June launch for its programme in the other major European startup hub, Berlin. This is the first TechStars in Germany, and will be run by Jens Lapinski, formerly of Techstars London, who happens to be a native German. TechStars Berlin joins a global network of over 5,000 alumni, mentors and investors.
It will aim to invest in 10, mainly European, start-ups annually (although they say they will take a company from literally anywhere) through an investment of $118,000. That breaks down to $18,000 of seed funding and an optional $100,000 convertible debt note for each company. The ten companies of the inaugural 2013 London program have, says TechStars, raised over $22m in funding so far.
In a statement David Cohen, CEO and founder of TechStars, said: “We’ve had our eye on the burgeoning Berlin tech scene for some time, well aware the US or the UK doesn’t have a monopoly on either tech skills or entrepreneurship. The current business climate here means we can work with an incredibly broad spectrum of German and international teams and top talent.”
Before Techstars, Lapinski co-founded Forward Labs, a London-based startup studio, which has since relaunched as Forward Partners. Before that he was Founding CEO of aiHit, a provider of automated company data to the business information industry, backed by Amadeus and VTB Capital. Prior to that he was the VP Analysis & Consulting at Library House, a business information and research company acquired by Dow Jones.
Applications for TechStars Berlin are open now.
TechStars Berlin joins a very long list of accelerators in Berlin now. Take a deep breath. There is hub:raum Berlin, Microsoft Ventures accelerators, Axel Springer Plug&Play Accelerator, Startupbootcamp Berlin, Berlin Startup Academy, MakeAStartup, YouIsNow, Founderslink, Wayra Berlin, FoundFair, Betahaus, V-Check, Founders Institute Berlin and probably more.
TechStars Berlin enters crowded market, so it will be interesting to see if they can bring anything new to the party.