Techstars-Boston is celebrating its tenth anniversary today. Over the years, it has helped contribute to the Boston startup ecosystem, graduating 155 startups over that time, some of which have gone on to successful exits, while raising more than $1 billion in funding.
Among those, the biggest is PillPack, the online pharmacy that Amazon acquired last year for almost a $1 billion, while Kinvey, a mobile backend startup, sold for $49 million in 2017 to Progress Software.
Other successful grads from the Boston program include Localytics, a mobile analytics platform, which has raised almost $70 million; Snyack, a security startup, which has raised over $60 million; and Placester, an online real estate ad company that has raised more than $100 million.
Clement Cazalot, Techstars-Boston managing director, says he got his start in Boston as a startup founder eight years ago when Techstars invited him to bring his French company, docTrackr.com, to Boston. That company was eventually sold to Intralinks in 2014 for $10 million, and Cazalot went on to become managing director of Techstars in 2017.
He says the 10-year anniversary was a good time to look back at the contributions the organization has made to the Boston startup ecosystem. Techstars-Boston only accepts a single cohort each year, consisting of 10 companies. “With the accelerator piece, our goal is to become co-founder of these companies. In every program, we only invest in and help just 10 companies once a year in order to be able to go extremely deep with all of them. And we truly are co-founders, not just for the three months of the program, but throughout the entire life cycle of the company,” he explained.
Sravish Sridhar, founder and CEO of Kinvey, and a graduate of the 2011 Techstars cohort, says the experience contributed to him building a successful company. “In my own journey as founder of Kinvey, Techstars helped me accelerate Kinvey through its vast and valuable mentor network, right up to our successful exit,” he said.
As companies graduate, not unlike Y Combinator, it helps build up a network of startup founders who can in turn help the next generations of startups. Early on, when there was no network, Cazalot explained that the company was able to find local Boston tech companies to step up and help the fledgling incubator.
Even today, it reaches out to the broader Boston tech community to expand its network with successful companies like Avid Technology, Constant Contact, HubSpot, iRobot and RunKeeper helping out, according to the company.
Techstars is more than its Boston location, with a presence in 150 countries. Among its most successful 50 graduates across the program are SendGrid, sold to Twilio last year for $3 billion, DigitalOcean and SalesLoft. Boston boasts 11 places in the company’s Top 50.