On Tuesday, UP Global announced that it has been acquired by, and will become a part of Techstars. UP Global, as you are no doubt aware, is the organization behind many great startup based programs: Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Digest, Startup Week, and more.
This move by Techstars should not come as a surprise. Indeed, the idea for Up Global – or what would eventually come to be UP Global – began in the Techstars basement in Boulder, Colorado, back in 2007:
Techstars and UP Global have a long-standing relationship dating back to 2007 when the idea for Startup Weekend was born out of the Techstars basement in Boulder, CO. Startup Weekend was created as a community event for the first Techstars class to get to know each other — we’ve always had a close relationship and share a similar vision of empowering entrepreneurs worldwide. 1
Though the two organizations have diverged and converged over the years, there has always existed a special, mutually beneficial relationship between the two. Perhaps the main factor that lead to the deal, however, is the recent success of the Startup Next program. Startup Next is a pre-accelerator program that boasts some pretty dramatic results. While Techstars clearly has an interest in building the world wide entrepreneurial community, the success of Startup Next clearly plays some part in the deal. By acquiring the UP Global, Techstars has access to pre-accelerator programs in more than 20 cities across the world. The accelerator will clearly have no problem filling their classes.
Speculation aside, this is clearly a huge win for everyone: Techstars, UP Global, and entrepreneurs across the world. UP Global’s programs, which are already excellent and incredibly accessible, will only get better. All UP Global programs will remain and operate as they do now, with a few added benefits.
All UP Global programs will now become part of Techstars but will remain open and independent in their execution at a community level. The programs will continue to run as they do now, and we expect additional expansion of these programs, as well as our existing accelerator programs, in the future. We’re excited that Google for Entrepreneurs will continue to partner with us by powering the Startup Weekend and Startup Next programs. Furthermore, effective immediately, fees previously associated with Startup Next, UP Global’s pre-accelerator program, have been eliminated – enabling more entrepreneurs to take advantage of that resource to help them scale.2
Marc Nager, David Brown, David Cohen, Brad Feld, and Trey Bowles all took part in a live Google Hangout yesterday to talk about the acquisition and what the future of both Techstars and UP Global will look like. Check out UP Global’s announcement and Techstars’ announcement for more info.
- Techstars Blog, David Brown, “Techstars Acquires UP Global Including Startup Weekend and Other Programs,” 16 June 2015 ▲
- Ibid ▲