Kauffman Partners With TechStars Network to Standardize Seed Accelerator Processes

Boulder, Colorado and Kansas City, Missouri (PRESS RELEASE – February 18, 2011) – TechStars, the premier startup accelerator, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation promoting entrepreneurship, announced a partnership to create awareness of and simplify access to the growing number of credible seed accelerator programs globally. As part of the partnership, the Kauffman Foundation is providing TechStars with $200,000 in funding to build software utilized by the TechStars Network.

“Entrepreneurs are arguably the most important actors in our economy—the creators of new wealth and new jobs, the inventors of new products and services, and the revolutionizers of society and the economy,” said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of advancing innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. “Our commitment to the TechStars Network is to ensure that entrepreneurs gain awareness and easier access to these valuable acceleration programs, and equally important, to allow us to study the impact of accelerators and share those lessons with others.”

Funding from the Foundation will be used to build and manage a unified application processing and tracking system for seed accelerator programs across industries, dozens of which are members of the TechStars Network, launched Jan. 31 as part of the Startup America Partnership initiative. The system will enable entrepreneurs to fill out and submit a single application form and share it with any of the utilizing organizations. It will also allow Kauffman and other researchers to track and analyze aggregate data relating to the demand for the programs as well as funding and business performance results for the companies that the accelerators fund over time.

“The Kauffman Foundation is supporting the seed accelerator movement that TechStars helped pioneer, with the goal of making it easier for entrepreneurs to gain access to mentorship from the best and brightest entrepreneurs and investors in their communities,” said David Cohen, chief executive officer of TechStars. “The TechStars Network consists of high quality mentorship-driven business acceleration programs in dozens of cities throughout the United States, and Kauffman is helping to create more visibility and simpler tools to help entrepreneurs access these programs.”

About the TechStars Network

The TechStars Network is a membership organization that ensures the sharing of resources and best practices between independently owned and operated mentorship-driven seed acceleration programs across the globe. Currently, the TechStars Network includes charter members in dozens of cities, including AlphaLab, Pittsburgh, PA; Arizona State University, Scottsdale, AZ; Betaspring, Providence, RI; Blueprint Health, New York, NY; BoomStartup, Salt Lake City, UT;The Brandery, Cincinnati, OH; The Elevator, Tel Aviv, Israel;Excelerate Labs, Chicago, IL; Founders Co-op, Seattle, WA; Incubate Miami, Miami, FL; Joyful Frog Digital Incubator; Singapore; Jumpstart Foundry, Nashville, TN; Launchpad LA, Los Angeles, CA; LaunchPad Ignition, New Orleans, LA; Ryan Academy Propeller Seed Accelerator Program, Dublin, Ireland; Springboard, Cambridge, UK; Startupbootcamp, Copenhagen, Denmark and Madrid, Spain; TechStars Boston, MA, New York, NY, Boulder, CO and Seattle, WA; and Tech Wildcatters, Dallas, TX. The TechStars Network is quickly expanding its membership.

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