TechStars Boston Gets a Jump on Summer, Switches to Spring; Applications Open Now

11/17/09Follow @wroush

[Updated 9:05 a.m., 11/16/09, see below] David Cohen, the co-founder of Boulder, CO-based venture incubator program TechStars, sent Xconomy a note this morning to say that the Boston version of TechStars is coming back to town a bit earlier than expected. The 2010 session of TechStars Boston will take place in the spring, rather than the summer, as it did this year.

For teams considering applying for TechStars’ increasingly renowned startup mentorship bootcamp, that means applications for the Boston program are open and due pretty soon—on January 11, in fact. The Boston program will run from March 2 through June 2. As in the past, about 10 companies will be selected for the session. (Applications for the Boulder program are due March 22, and the program will run from May 10 to August 6.)

[Update] We e-mailed TechStar’s Boston executive director, Shawn Broderick, to ask about the reasons for the switch in timing. Broderick says there are several. “We realized that running the Boston and Boulder programs simultaneously during the summer this year spread a bunch of our shared resources thin—mentors, staff, investors, etc.,” Broderick writes. “We also wrestled with the traditional ‘silent summer’ of Boston that happens in July and August. It made it tough for some of the mentors to be as involved as they wanted to be.”

“I’m sure we’ll learn a few interesting things we didn’t expect, but I’m also sure it’ll be a net positive as we optimize our resources for the new teams,” Broderick continues.

I also asked Broderick whether he’s located new office space in town—as Bob wrote recently, Broderick has taken up temporary residence in Polaris’s Dogpatch Labs after TechStars vacated last summer’s Central Square digs. “Not yet,” he answers, “but I’m working on it!”

Here’s David Cohen’s entire note, which contains quite a few interesting TechStars tidbits:

“TechStars will now run the Boston program in the Spring instead of the Summer. As such, applications are now open. We would love it if you’d help us get the word out to entrepreneurs.

Some thoughts for this story:

- TechStars Boulder will still operate in the summer as it has for the past 3 years.

- Three TechStars startups from the first year of the program were recently acquired: Socialthing (by AOL), Brightkite (by Limbo), and Intense Debate (by WordPress).

- TechStars has now run the Boulder program for 3 years, and the Boston program for one year (it was added last year).

- Hundreds of investors attended the first TechStars demo day in Boston in September. The program has been very well received there, with some 60 mentors participating.

- TechStars was started by David Cohen and Brad Feld.

- Shawn Broderick is the Executive Director of the Boston program.

- Bill Warner instigated bringing the program to Boston.

- The Boston program last summer produced 9 new companies, about 5 of which look like they’ll end up closing additional outside funding. oneforty is perhaps the most well known so far. See techstars.org/companies for a complete list of companies we’ve funded historically.

- The Boulder program recently completed its third year, and 6 of the 10 companies are funded by VC firms (not all disclosed by the companies yet, but more should be soon). 1 (or perhaps 2) others will be angel backed shortly.

- TechStars is mentorship driven. What sets us apart is the fantastic mentors that participate in the program and meaningfully help each company. We also think our focus on quality over quantity has led to such a high rate of follow on funding for 75% of our companies.

- Because the Boston program is now operating in the spring, applications are now open at http://www.techstars.org/apply – apps will automatically roll over from Boston (spring) to Boulder (summer).”

[Update] I asked Broderick to clarify Cohen’s last point. He says teams that aren’t accepted for the Boston session will automatically be considered for the Boulder session, if they are so inclined.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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