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On November 13th, Techstars NYC announced the 12 companies selected as part of their winter cohort for this year. The Techstars program is among one of the top and highest regarded accelerators in the world and is known for its immersive mentorship program and well rounded programming.
The program runs through February and will culminate on February 15th, where the founders will complete their program and present their work and progress throughout the program with a Demo Day.
Leantime in Techstars NYC Accelerator
Leantime, a company based out of Charlotte, NC, is founded by married couple, Gloria & Marcel Folaron. Brought into the open source community in 2019 with the business founded in 2022, they believe the future of project management is one supported by behavioral science, motivational psychology and generative AI features.
“We are so excited to be part of this program,” says Gloria Folaron, CEO, “each program is uniquely organized and run. We can already see the immense value that Techstars NYC will bring to our growth. Both as founders and as a company.”
While Leantime is a project management & work management tool, they describe themselves as, “project management for the non-project manager” and are building workflows that don’t require you to spend hours setting it up. They want to simplify the project management experience.
“Think Canva for project management,” says Gloria Folaron, “Tracking the work should be the easy part and for many, it’s one of the most frustrating parts.”
But they want to take it a step beyond that and focus on cognitive accessibility as well; building with neurodivergence and ADHD in mind. They are excited for what’s to come.
About Techstars NYC and the 2023 Winter Cohorts
Techstars NYC is organized by Managing Director, Jordan Fliegal. From the original article,
“Jordan Fliegel is a tech entrepreneur and early-stage investor. Currently, as Managing Director of the Techstars Sports and Techstars NYC accelerators, his team invests in 25 companies per year and provides tremendous resources and support to the founders they back. Since 2019 Jordan has led successful Techstars Accelerator programs, including five Sports Accelerators in Indianapolis, and now two NYC accelerators, resulting in over 75 active portfolio companies that have raised over $150M in venture funding.”Techstars Blog
Techstars is known for taking only 1-2% of their applications and is said to be harder to get into than Harvard (5% acceptance rate).
The other inspiring companies selected for this cohort include:
For more information on the cohort and program, the original article is accessible on the Techstars blog.
What is Techstars?
Techstars is a global startup accelerator and investment organization that provides support, mentorship, and funding to early-stage companies. Founded in 2006, Techstars has become one of the most well-known and respected accelerator programs in the world.
Here’s how the typical Techstars accelerator program works:
- Application: Startups apply to join a Techstars program. The application process is competitive, and selected companies are usually in their early stages with a focus on technology and innovation.
- Selection: Techstars selects a cohort of startups for each program through a competitive screening process. The selected companies receive funding, mentorship, and access to a network of entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts.
- Program Duration: The selected startups go through an intensive, mentor-driven program that typically lasts for about three months. During this time, they work on refining their business models, developing their products, and preparing for market launch.
- Mentorship: One of the key features of Techstars is its emphasis on mentorship. Each startup is paired with experienced mentors who provide guidance and advice on various aspects of business development, strategy, and growth.
- Demo Day: The program culminates in a “Demo Day,” where each startup presents their business to a room full of investors, potential partners, and other stakeholders. This event provides the startups with an opportunity to secure additional funding and partnerships.
- Investment: Techstars invests a certain amount of capital in each participating startup in exchange for equity. In addition to the initial investment, startups gain exposure to a wide network of investors who may choose to invest further.
- Post-Accelerator Support: Even after the formal program concludes, Techstars continues to provide support and resources to its alumni through its network.
Techstars has expanded its presence globally and runs accelerator programs in various cities around the world, covering a wide range of industries. The organization has played a significant role in fostering innovation and helping startups succeed.
What is a startup accelerator?
A startup accelerator is a program designed to help early-stage companies rapidly grow by providing them with mentorship, funding, resources, and a collaborative working environment. The goal is to accelerate the development and success of these startups, often over a fixed period, typically ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
Well-known accelerator programs include Y Combinator, Techstars, 500 Startups, and Seedcamp, among others. These programs have been instrumental in the growth of many successful companies by providing the support and resources needed during the crucial early stages of development.
Techstars companies have been known to continue on to raise millions of dollars and is part of the growth path for at least 11 unicorn companies.
Why join a startup accelerator?
Startup accelerators play a crucial role in the growth and development of early-stage companies for several reasons:
- Mentorship: Accelerators often set startups up with connections to experienced mentors who offer guidance, share insights, and provide feedback. This mentorship can be business-changing by offering founders insights that they may not have had prior; supporting making the best decisions.
- Network Building: Accelerators offer startups the opportunity to build a strong network of connections, including mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts. This network can provide valuable resources, partnerships, and potential customers or clients.
- Funding: Accelerators typically offer seed funding or investment in exchange for equity. This initial capital injection helps startups cover early expenses, accelerate product development, and focus on growth without the immediate pressure of generating revenue.
- Education and Workshops: Accelerator programs often include structured educational components and workshops covering various aspects of business development, marketing, finance, and more. This training helps startups build a solid foundation and acquire the skills needed to navigate the complexities of running a business.
- Validation: Acceptance into an accelerator program can serve as external validation for a startup. It signals to investors, partners, and customers that the startup has potential and has undergone a competitive selection process.
- Focused Time Frame: Accelerator programs typically have a fixed duration, often lasting a few months. This focused time frame encourages startups to make quick decisions, iterate on their ideas, and achieve tangible results within a defined period.
- Demo Day Exposure: Many accelerators conclude with a Demo Day, where startups present their businesses to a room full of investors, potential partners, and other stakeholders. This exposure can lead to additional funding, partnerships, and opportunities for growth.
- Access to Resources: These programs can often provide startups access to co-working spaces, legal and accounting support, cloud services, and more. Such services support startup founders and allow them to focus.
- Community and Collaboration: Accelerators foster a sense of community among participating startups. The collaborative environment encourages knowledge sharing, peer learning, and the exchange of ideas, creating a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurial growth.
- Acceleration of Growth: The intensive and structured nature of accelerator programs accelerates a startup’s growth trajectory. Through mentorship, funding, and resources, startups can progress more quickly, increasing their chances of success in the market.
Overall, accelerators provide a comprehensive support system that goes beyond funding, helping startups overcome challenges, refine their business models, and position themselves for long-term success in a competitive business landscape.