TechStars launches in Austin and applications are open now

As I wrote in my Lucky7 post on the state of tech entrepreneurship in Austin last month, if you compare Austin to Austin (instead of Silicon Valley) the entrepreneurial scene here just keeps getting better and better. When I wrote that I had no idea that the President and CTO of the United States would be visiting us just one month later. I was proud to be at Capital Factory for their visit, thanks to Josh Baer, and I wrote about this amazing milestone for Austin in this Lucky7 post.

Well here we are the week after with more incredibly exciting news. Yesterday, TechStars launched in Austin. They are the leading brand and one of the most recognized accelerators for the brightest technology entrepreneurs. This is a big shot in the arm for the Austin technology market - nearly every tech-centric U.S. city aspires to have TechStars in their community. Their Austin program, which starts in August, will add approximately 10 talented teams annually to our already vibrant tech scene. At Austin Ventures, we have gotten to know the TechStars organization over the years and we are very fortunate to have Jason Seats, a former successful entrepreneur, move to Austin and run the program. Mike Dodd from Austin Ventures especially deserves a lot of credit here. TechStars Austin will be a great compliment to the other flourishing Austin based accelerators, including Capital Factory, where TechStars Austin will actually be located in an alliance between the two. Great companies like SendGrid and Cloudability were propped up by TechStars.

TechStars is now the sixth incubator that I know of in town, and five of them have launched just in the past four years (U.T.'s Austin Technology Incubator has been here the longest). I'm very excited about TechStars launching in Austin because, like other incubators, it will lead to more entrepreneurial experiments, which will undoubtedly result in us finding several big ideas to create a lot of jobs and economic ripples downstream. And the national brand incubators, now with Dreamit and TechStars here, pull entrepreneurs from other cities to actually found their companies in Austin so that the primary job and economic impact stays here locally but with talent pulled globally.

I'm proud to announce that I'm a Mentor to entrepreneurs that join the TechStars Austin program. Mike Dodd and Tom Ball, my fellow early-stage investing peers at Austin Ventures, have also stepped up to serve entrepreneurs in this capacity. And I have also formally joined Capital Factory as a Partner at the same time. I've been helping Josh Baer by serving as an adhoc mentor from time to time and with this move I decided to go all in. John Thornton, who has been with us at Austin Ventures since 1991, also serves as a Mentor at Capital Factory.

TechStars is really big news for Austin and the announcement was covered on their blogTechCrunch, and the Austin American-Statesman, among other publications. If you would like to apply, applications are open now and you can do so here. You can read about the program here.

Rock on, Austin!