Techstars and UP Global Join Forces to Support the Entrepreneurial Journey

Today Techstars announced that it has acquired UP Global, including the organization’s Startup Weekend, Startup Week, Startup Next, and Startup Digest programs.

This is great news for entrepreneurs everywhere.

Both organizations have a deep seated community-centric ethos that aims to accelerate the pace of innovation through community-focused, entrepreneurial-led business creation. UP is now in 600 cities, 120 countries and six continents. Techstars now has over 18 programs worldwide and counting.

Together, Techstars and UP Global create a powerful union which will strengthen the global entrepreneurial ecosystem and bring even more support to the entrepreneur’s journey. The two organizations are stronger together because of the efficiencies gained from meeting in the middle of this journey: UP Global focuses on grassroots, community-led inspiration and getting founders started on their path, while Techstars helps to make that dream a reality by helping founders establish solid, sustainable and successful companies.

I’ve been involved in both organizations since the beginning – as one of the founders of Techstars and as a board member for UP Global. Both organizations started on the entrepreneurial journey together and share a similar vision of entrepreneurship. The first Startup Weekend took place in Boulder in June 2007 and I’ve been on the UP Global board since it was formed by the merger of Startup Weekend and the Startup America Partnership. Many of the ideas in my book Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City have been informed by my experiences with these organizations and they have incorporated many of the ideas from the book into what they do.

When David Cohen, David Brown, Jared Polis, and I founded Techstars back in 2007, our vision was to make entrepreneurship accessible to everyone. By bringing UP into the Techstars family, this helps to bring this vision even closer to reality.

Together, UP and Techstars have built programs and resources for every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from community catalysts who are focused on early stage grassroots community development to entrepreneurs looking for more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, and funding.

The merger of these two great organizations is a logical next step in the expansion of vibrant startup communities around the world. I’m a huge believer in consolidating efforts between complementary organizations. This one was a natural one and I’m excited about what’s coming UP!

  • Sean OSullivan

    Wow. Big move, Brad. Congrats.

    • Thanks Sean. Love to get the SOS world connected in any way that makes sense.

  • Andy Stannard

    Great news! I love the startup weekend format and find it such a fun and educational experience. Do you see any changes happening to the format of these events as a consequence of this merger?

    • There will be no changes to the format and we plan to increase the number of Startup Weekend’s substantially.

      • Andy Stannard

        That’s good to hear. They have made a massive positive impact for me. Hope it continues growing and helps more people

      • Matt Kruza

        Is there a potential to add a little more grounding in what the entrepreneurial journey would entail / will entail for people who attend? I have attended a few, and I am a startup / VC / finance industry junkie and have experience with all so I get that I may not be the intended audience, but I feel so often there is such a disconnect on what starting a company really takes and the process that it is often hard to advance otherwise good ideas. I guess adding perhaps a 1-2 hour (optional probably?) panel / education style to the process might really be helpful. Again, perhaps this differs by location since there are 600 as you say, but I would suggest that something to that effect could help everyone, not the least techstars as you look for more people to get plugged into deal flow in the future

  • Awesome news. Can’t wait to see all the amazing changes you have in store with this move

  • Ben

    Fantastic move Brad! Could we potentially see a “Fast-Track to Techstars” prize for Startup Weekend winners in the future?

    • David Cohen

      this is an idea we’re going to socialize with the community. we certainly are interested in “continuation” paths for promising companies not just to Techstars accelerators but to any potential next step.

      • Den

        Amazing ! Congratulations to all the teams. almost the same question: any particular focus for startups who went through Startup Next ? would it worth as any kind of validation ?

  • Extremely excited for what this will be.

    Happy to be back as well!

    • Did you see the suggestion from @disqus_5EpOYaRqnD:disqus for a VoSnap reunion?

  • Drew V

    Congratulations to both organizations!! Great news for the community

  • Amazing combination. The synergy is just mind boggling.

  • Why don’t we rustle up a #VoSnap reunion? Might be a cool event, and cool networking [?] to get all of the cowgirls and boys circled back up and detail what has been derived since Startup Weekend t-zero…

  • Let me know how i can support…

    • Email me ([email protected]) and I’ll plug you in.

  • As a facilitator and organizer for Startup Weekend DC, I am pumped for this union! I think this will give SW participants many more options to continue their journey after the weekend. Great stuff, Brad.

  • Sebastien Latapie

    This is fantastic news! Congratulations

  • Wow, to see how far both of these programs have come in the last 7 years is pretty unbelievable. Excited to see what the next 7 years hold…

  • B. Hilton

    I’m really excited to see what the next stage will bring to L.A.-based starters!