Boston’s Ecosystem Investment Trends, and Focus for the Next Techstars Class.

Boston is home to remarkable entrepreneurs creating movements that change how people, and businesses, experience the world around them. With clusters of industry leading companies, ranging from Cyber Security to IoT to Infrastructure and CleanTech, Boston maintains its position as a global innovation hub.

Over the past months I’ve been diligently meeting key players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Boston, from founders to investors to top executives in some of the most well-established companies across the region. Largely I’ve been on a quest to answer two questions: What is the most significant “unfair advantage” for early stage Boston companies? Followed by: What are the markets where our ecosystem can provide the most support around funding and operational expertise.

At Techstars, we are uniquely positioned to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as usher in new generations of founders adding to the depth Boston has been building for decades.

Leveraging Boston’s unique ecosystem advantage

The next program, beginning in January 2018, will be the 12th class in Boston’s history. The program will focus on companies that our mentor and investor network can uniquely impact. Each vertical is represented locally by deep expertise both across the ecosystem, as well as within the Techstars alumni network.

Below are the six key industries we will be focusing on, with a few of the Techstars alumni companies from, or in Boston (linked below) as well as the world-class leaders that are calling Boston their home! (I had to keep the list to only 4–5 names for each categories, I apologize for all the many more fantastic companies that are not listed here!)

Within each vertical, Techstars will look for companies either pushing for a transition to the cloud (i.e. a SaaS approach), or leveraging the accessibility of data to automatize or make applications smarter using to AI and Machine Learning.

We are not ruling out specific technology trends, like blockchain applications, or AR and VR, nor biasing for go-to-markets approaches (B2B, B2C, B2D…) as each of these represent solutions offered across different industries that Boston knows how to support.

Practice what you preach: Some unique evolutions to Boston’s program to further help the founders and alumni

Techstars has iterated it’s approach to accelerating companies through dozens of programs and helped hundreds of companies. In January, the team will be running a handful of portfolio-focused experiments to further accelerate and support its founders through:

  1. Accelerating talent acquisition: In addition to the well-known Hackstar program, Techstars will create a pool of senior talent that will sit in-house with the goal of joining the right company
  2. Acquiring more customers, faster: Techstars will host a Corporate Demo Day, introducing the startups to potential partners and customers, as well as introduce a number of customer-centered activities throughout the program
  3. Follow-on Support: Engaging Boston alumni companies and providing unique content to support founders through future stages of their company’s growth

The Inflection Experience

Techstars provides the type of inflection point that changes the course of lives and companies. It’s also an experience that many founders finish with a feeling of excitement, gratitude and immense opportunity. To continue enhancing this experience, Techstars is excited to announce that Aaron O’Hearn is returning to Boston and joining the team as the program’s Director. You can reach out to Aaron directly at aaron.ohearn@techstars.com.

Let’s talk!

If you’d like to join Techstars as a founder, we will be running office hours to help companies all around the North Eastern region. See our program schedule here, or book a time with the Boston Program team.

Our personal goal is to work, help and collaborate with the 50+ entrepreneurial programs all around the city, from accelerators and specialized incubators, to incredibly dynamic co-working spaces and university programs — all in the spirit of helping more entrepreneurs succeed. #givefirst

Applications close Oct 15th. Apply today.

The beautiful iconography in the illustration in the header was provided by Nicolas Bayard and the fantastic designers at The Noun Project, Rajappar29 and StoneHub.