Techstars Startup Next: Austin Summer ’16 (Before)

The Program

Startup Next is a “pre-accelerator” program that was recently acquired by Techstars. The program prepares companies for acceleration and/or seed investment by providing high quality mentorship and leveraging the global network of Techstars.

Since November, we’ve been talking with founders around Austin to determine whether the Next program would be filling a void or just adding to the noise. We started to observe a few patterns:

  • In the early stages, founders are often heads down building product and either overlook the importance of mentorship or don’t have easy access to mentors who can have a substantial impact on direction.
  • There’s a gap in education and support between the early formation of a company and being accepted into an accelerator.

That’s why we’re excited for Austin to be the 20th city to launch a Startup Next program. The first cohort gets underway on June 8 and culminates with Demo Day on July 27 at Galvanize. We hope you’re as excited as we are.

Meet the Companies

We reviewed over 40 applications for the first cohort and here are the teams…


Dojour is a self-service tool for creating and following event calendars.

Human Planet

Human Planet provides businesses and their customers the tools to ensure a personalized experience with every visit.


OnePay is your personal bill payment concierge service that improves your financial health, while saving you time and money.


Ponos provides fully-automated, smart hydroponic systems you monitor and control with an easy-to-use app.

Uplift Memorials

Uplift Memorials is the easiest way for anyone who has ever lost a loved one to discover, compare and book unique and meaningful life celebrations and lasting memorials.

The Mentors

Startup Next wouldn’t be possible without these the mentors who are willing to donate their time and energy to helping these companies.

Gavin Gillis, Keith Casey, Niek Smit, Ryan Joy, John Kestner, Stu Smith, Amos Schwartzfarb, Sam Kapila, Ashley Hathaway, Joel Bush, David Lemphers, Evan Michner, Damon Clinkscales, Evan Baehr, Gregg Cochran, Moyo Oyelola.

Want to help?

Here’s how you can help the teams or get involved with the Startup Next program itself:

Join us at Demo Day

Each company will highlight the problem(s) they’re solving and the progress they’ve made during Demo Day on July 27 at Galvanize. Join us


Sharing this post (and the companies) with those who may be interested is a small gesture that goes a long way.

This is going to going to be a lot of fun.

Thanks for your support!

Andy Keil + Sean Duffy
Co-Directors of Startup Next: Austin.

Like what you read? Give Andy Keil a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.