Want to tackle social and environmental issues with a startup? There’s a new accelerator for that.
Techstars, a Boulder, Colo.-based accelerator, has chosen Austin for its first program aimed at “impact” startups.
The Techstars Impact Accelerator will target “for-profit, mission-driven founders” who are building technology to solve pressing social problems.
Ten companies will be picked to participate in the three-month program. Applications will open in December and the program will kick off in June 2018.
“Austin is an emerging leader bridging technology and social innovation and consistently attracts top tech talent from around the world,” said Zoe Schlag, managing director of the Impact Accelerator.
In exchange for a 6 percent stake, TechStars provides founders with mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts and the chance to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists.
Techstars is one of a number of incubator and accelerator programs, which operate using various models. Boston-based MassChallenge recently chose Austin as its second U.S. site and plans to accept up to 100 startups in its first program.
Founded in 2006 by entrepreneur David Cohen, Techstars runs programs in 17 cities worldwide including Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Cape Town and Berlin.
Techstars says it has accepted more than 1,000 companies into its programs and collectively they have raised more than $3.3 billion.
Backers of the Impact Accelerator include impact investment funds run by Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s AIP Private Markets Team, Impact America Fund and Cotter Cunningham, CEO of RetailMeNot.
“Companies participating in the program will focus on developing transformative technologies and innovative business models to solve our most pressing challenges across financial services, healthcare, education, agriculture, energy and more,” Schlag said.
She said that over the past several years, Techstars has made several investments in impact companies, including Austin-based Aunt Bertha,which runs a social service search and referrals platform.
Techstars Austin will continue to operate as a separate accelerator program.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.