The Techstars Boulder class takes the stage for one final round of applause at Wednesday's demo night where startups pitched to investors and community members. (Joshua Lindenstein/BizWest)

Techstars announces 2016 program to align with Boulder Startup Week

BOULDER – The final startup pitch was still echoing through Boulder Theater Wednesday night when Techstars managing director Zach Nies announced that the accelerator’s 2016 Boulder class would be springing forward.

Traditionally held in the summer, the Techstars Boulder cohort will gather in the spring next year so that the culminating demo night can be held in conjunction with Boulder Startup Week.

The shift not only brings together two of the biggest annual events on the city’s startup calendar, but it also aligns Techstars’ roots with one of its latest undertakings.

Techstars announced in June its acquisition of UP Global, the nonprofit parent organization of the Startup Weekend, Startup Week, Startup Next and Startup Digest programs.

Techstars began with its first Boulder class in 2007. The accelerator this year will host 19 programs in 12 cities, with a dozen programs slated for just the first third of next year. Techstars has also added a venture capital arm, Techstars Ventures (formerly Bullet Time Ventures), to invest in companies that are part of the accelerator’s ecosystem of founders and alumni. The UP Global acquisition extended Techstars’ reach to startups’ earliest stages.

“All of that came from the idea of getting some people together in Boulder, Colorado nine years ago and seeing what happened,” Techstars cofounder Brad Feld told the crowd during intermission Wednesday night.

Demo night – 9/9 on the calendar – marked the ninth for the Techstars Boulder program and brought the number of graduate companies from the local program to 99.

The latest cohort ranged from a startup making a wearable personal safety device to one aiming to revolutionize the way homebuyers pay brokerage fees to one that helps kids create their own music via mobile app.

HobbyDB, one of three Boulder-based startups in the group, is creating an online catalog of every collectible ever made where collectors can buy, sell, research and showcase their collections in one marketplace.

“If it’s related to James Bond, you will find it here,” co-founder Christian Braun told the crowd in illustrating one example of the types of memorabilia on the site.

The nine startups that pitched Wednesday night included:

AdHawk: A mobile app that aggregates a company’s digital marketing campaigns across platforms and makes optimization recommendations. Based: San Francisco. Founders: Todd Saunders, Dan Pratt.

Blazing DB: A super-fast data science platform running on graphics cards. Based: Houston. Founders: Felipe Aramburu, Rodrigo Aramburu.

Edify: Creates apps that help kids make their own music. Based: Denver. Founders: Jacob Zax, Zack Sulsky, Rhys Lindmark.

Flytedesk: An ad marketplace matching brands to millennials. Based: Boulder. Founders: Alex Kronman, Joel Leger.

HobbyDB: A catalog of every collectible ever made where collectors can buy, sell, research and show off. Based: Boulder. Founders: Christian Braun, Andrew Adamides, Ben Smith.

MadKudu: Helps companies analyze customer behavior to identify drivers of engagement. Based: Mountain View, Calif. Founders: Sam Levan, Paul Cothenet, Francis Brero.

Revolar: Creator of a wearable personal safety device. Based: Denver. Founders: Jacqueline Ros, Megan Espeland, Andrea Perdomo.

Stryd: Maker of a wearable power meter that helps runners improve performance. Based: Boulder and Ann Arbor, Mich. Founders: Robert Dick, Li Shang, Gus Pernetz, Jamie Williamson, Kun Li, Wyatt Mohrman.

Trelora: A real-estate company that replaces percentage-based commissions with a flat fee. Based: Denver. Founders: Joshua Hunt.

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