TechStars to launch branch in London

BOULDER – TechStars is extending its ever-growing reach across the pond.

The Boulder-based startup accelerator announced Wednesday it will launch TechStars London. The program, which will help entrepreneurs by connecting them with mentors and potential investors as they develop their startup companies, is the first TechStars in a foreign country. TechStars, which now has programs in six cities, was founded in Boulder in 2006.

Jon Bradford will be the managing director responsible for running the London program, TechStars chief executive David Cohen wrote on the TechStars blog. Details such as when the program will start and when applications are due have not been released.

Bradford and Cohen have known each other for about three years, meeting when Bradford was running the Difference Engine accelerator program in Newcastle, United Kingdom, according to posts on their respective blogs. A 20-minute meeting in the old TechStars bunker led to subsequent visits to each other’s accelerators, with Cohen providing guidance as Bradford developed his philosophy and organization, Bradford wrote.

Bradford since founded the Springboard accelerator in London, which will become the new TechStars office.

In addition to helping launch great companies, Bradford said joining TechStars will serve a more ambitious goal.

“I believe that TechStars London will be the first tangible bridge that brings the tech and investment communities in the U.S. and Europe much closer together to create substantive value to founders on both sides of the Atlantic,” Bradford said.

Both parties already have something of an international reach. According to his online biography, Bradford has advised other accelerator programs in Montreal and Moscow.

TechStars also has admitted a handful of European companies to its programs, including London-based Memrise, which is developing online learning tools. Memrise has raised $6.3 million from venture capital investors after graduating from the Boston program in 2011.

On Feb. 1, TechStars announced it was taking over the Excelerate Labs program in Chicago, and Monday it announced it has formed a partnership with educational publisher and test prep company Kaplan Inc. TechStars will manage the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, which will be in New York City.

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