September 20, 2023
One of the most successful accelerator and founder facilitation programs in Chicago is Techstars, an annual mentorship course that allows entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies to participate in a 13-week forum that teaches them how to improve and execute their business ideas. Techstars and Managing Director Neal Sáles-Griffin just announced their Fall Class of 2023.
The program culminates on Demo Day – where the Techstars participants will pitch their concepts and businesses to the investor community. The participant Class of 2023 and Techstars have scheduled Demo Day for December 7th, 2023.
Techstars is based in Boulder, Colorado, and has a global footprint. The Chicago branch began locally as Excelerate Labs – which was the brainchild of Sandbox Industries, the I2A Fund, Sam Yagan (OK Cupid, Sparknotes) and Troy Henikoff – before it merged with Techstars in 2013. Troy Henikoff was the primary Managing Director through the decade. Neal Sáles-Griffin, an associate in Venture Capital and a Chicago founder, was named Managing Director of Techstars Chicago in July of 2019.
Nine of the Fall teams are local, the other three hail from Nashville (TuneHatch), New Haven (OTTO) and Dubai (Viewit). “They all have a deep connection to the problem they are solving, are obsessed with helping their customers, and are life-long learners willing to test hundreds of assumptions,” said Sáles-Griffin in the announcement.
In an interview with the IVCA in July, Sáles-Griffin emphasized outreach to the IVCA community in completing the Techstars journey … “Get to know our companies, get involved as a mentor, help us do a workshop and connect our companies to an opportunity. We are an open door, so if anybody wants to talk to us or be a part of it, including understanding the processes on why we chose the companies we chose, please contact me at neal@Techstars.com,” he said.
The following are the Techstars Chicago Fall Class of 2023 …
Echo Labs Chicago, IL
For organizations subject to the ADA, Echo Labs is making accessibility affordable and effortless with low-cost, high-accuracy transcription.
Third Opinion Chicago, IL
For clinical trials struggling to find eligible patients, and for medical patients looking for alternative treatment, Third Opinion increases access and efficiency in clinical trial enrollment.
immersionED Chicago, IL
For humanities teachers looking to keep their students engaged, immersionED creates immersive learning video games tailored to the AP curriculum.
GridLink Chicago, IL
For EV fleet managers looking to reduce costs of operation, Gridlink provides intelligent charging management software to streamline operations and save on charging.
Viewit Dubai, UAE
For real-estate agents looking to create stunning video tours of their listings, and for buyers/tenants looking for a realistic view of properties, Viewit is the ultimate video real estate platform.
Overture Games Chicago, IL
For beginner music students, Overture makes audio-responsive video gaming with real-time feedback to make music practicing fun
Orca Chicago, IL
For eCommerce companies that ship perishable products looking for an easy and affordable fulfillment solution, Orca provides logistics services to reduce costs and improve management.
Syndacart Chicago, IL
For college athletes looking to grow their personal brand, Syndacart empowers them to mobilize and monetize their NIL.
Visual Labs AI Chicago, IL
For musicians, producers, and DJs looking to create high-quality music videos to increase engagement at low cost, VisualLabs AI enables effortless generation of audio-reactive visuals.
TuneHatch Nashville, TN
For music venue managers and showrunners who feel overwhelmed, TuneHatch offers a turnkey platform that allows them to book, promote, and ticket their shows, and manage payouts, all in one streamlined interface.
PerennialParadigm Chicago, IL
For art aficionados looking to update their personal space in a meaningful way, Perennial House connects visions to artists to generate bespoke pieces.
OTTO New Haven, CT
For homeowners looking to collect offers on their home without any expense or commitment, OTTO hosts a self-service marketplace to get real offers from qualified buyers online.
The Techstars Chicago Fall accelerator is currently in session. Demo Day, that culminates the program, will be on December 7th, 2023, time and place TBD. For more information about TechStars Chicago, click here.