Techstars announces pre-seed, pre-accelerator fund

Techstars, the Boulder-based organization running the “Industries of the Future Accelerator” in Knoxville, has announced the close of Rising Stars, a new pre-seed fund that will invest in underrepresented founders of color in the U.S. Key investors in the new fund include Twitter and Amazon, alongside additional corporate and individual investors.

As described in this announcement, “Many Techstars applicants are not yet ready for an accelerator, but as a pre-seed fund, Rising Stars will enable the organization to invest in founders at the earliest stages in their entrepreneurial journey and identify future candidates for the company’s 50+ accelerators around the world. The fund will support U.S.-based Black, Hispanic and Latino, Indigenous American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and Filipino, Hmong and Vietnamese Asian entrepreneurs through $100K pre-seed investments, access to the Techstars broader network, and early consideration for accelerator participation.”

We first saw the announcement in TechCrunch which wrote the following and called out the local region: “Unlike perhaps its closest competitor, Y Combinator, Techstars has gone the divide and conquer route of early-stage startups support: Instead of one massive batch, it has dozens of dedicated programs all over the world, ranging from Tel Aviv to Lagos to Oak-Ridge Knoxville.”

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