Techstars Company Analysis

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Techstars Company Analysis

While we were unable to pricing details for Techstars, 500 StartUps, Startupbootcamp, and WIForum/Society3 as these companies do not publicly provide these details, our research indicates that Techstars charges about $2 to $3 million per corporate accelerator program plus and the corporation also has to invest about $100,000 into each successful startup.

Helpful Findings

  • Techstars, 500 StartUps, Startupbootcamp, and WIForum (Society3 merged with WIforum) require corporations to contact them for corporate innovation programs or corporate accelerator programs.
  • Techstars generally requires corporations they are working with to provide office space for Techstar's staff and the startups, pay the overhead cost of Techstar's members during the duration of the corporate innovation programs or corporate accelerator programs, and provide a certain amount of funding for startups that they select to work with.
  • Techstars requires corporation they partner with on corporate accelerator programs to pay/fund all startups that participate in the program $20,000 and an additional $100,000 to successful startups.
  • Wonder doesn't consider Quora a credible source and normally doesn't use material from the source, however, given the lack of information from credible sources, it is worth noting that an anonymous person on Quora who claimed to have spoken with people in corporations that worked with Techstars and the managing directors of a few of their programs said that back in 2014 "they charged roughly $1 million per program (one ~10 startup, 3 month cycle) and the corporate sponsor also paid the $100k investments into each of the startups."
  • According to the anonymous source, "that initial investment netted 7–10% of the startup's equity, split between TechStars and the corporate sponsor. Nowadays, I believe that the base sponsorship fee has gone up to $2M–3M per program (plus initial investment)."
  • The fact Techstars states that its investment in startups gets it about 6% (used to be 7-10%) of the startup's equity and that they invest $100,000 in startups adds some credence to the statement above from the anonymous source.

Research Strategy

To understand the pricing for corporate innovation programs or corporate accelerator programs for Techstars, 500 StartUps, Startupbootcamp, and Society3/Wiforum, we started by searching each company's website, press releases, and case studies for the pricing of the service. However, we were unable to find this data and all the company requested prospective corporations looking to use their service to contact them.

Next, we searched media and industry articles to find any details of pricing or related data for each of the companies. We looked at each company's profiles, reviews of each of the accelerators, and interviews of each company's founders/executives conducted by the press for any hint of the company's pricing as the companies do not provide pricing details publicly. We searched sources such as Forbes, Crunchbase, CB Insights, Tech Crunch, Free Code Camp, Xconomy, among others. We found very little even when we expanded our search to information older than the Wonder standard of two years. Most information available are about each company's various partnerships as well as the investment they make to attract startups or the investment corporations have made in the company's. We also found a 2013 article by one of the founding partners of 500 Startups revealing that they relied on corporate sponsorship and events for about a third of their annual revenue but he didn't reveal any other relevant details.

Given that we were able to find several companies that have partnered with the listed accelerators in the past, we proceeded to search if those companies disclosed details about what it cost them to partner with the various accelerators. We searched some of those companies' databases and press releases. However, those companies didn't reveal details either. The best information we came across that discussed their program in some details is from Target's partnership with Techstars and we have highlighted the relevant part above.

Also, given that all the listed companies are startup accelerators, we decided to search for pricing details in general for startup accelerators. Our goal was to get an industry picture of the typical pricing in the industry so we can triangulate the data with that, but the research path wasn't successful either. We mostly found details about Techstars that were not relevant and information such as GE and Cisco investing $2 million and $1 million respectively in Alchemist Accelerator and reports about how corporate partnership is a key part of the income accelerators generate but details on actual pricing was unavailable. Given that our various research paths were unable to uncover the data, we have concluded that the data is unavailable publicly and have compiled relevant findings we came across above.
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