Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet Addresses Changes And Criticisms


Earlier this week, Techstars, the accelerator group, faced criticism after announcing changes to its operations. The decision to shut down its Boulder and Seattle accelerators, following the closure of its Austin-based program, was met with mixed reactions. However, Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet has come forward to address the concerns and defend the organization’s new direction.

Key Takeaway

Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet defended the organization’s changes, emphasizing its global impact, commitment to diverse founders, and the evolution of its funding and operational models.

Franchise Model Evolution

Maëlle Gavet addressed the criticism surrounding the shift from local fundraising to a more centralized model. She explained that Techstars initially operated as a franchise, with managing directors raising funds in individual cities. However, the limitations of this model became apparent over time, leading to the realization that the organization’s strength lay in the infrastructure it could provide to founders, both during and after the program.

Funding Structure

Gavet outlined Techstars’ two types of funds, emphasizing their pre-seed focus and diversified portfolio. She highlighted the organization’s commitment to making investments, with a strong pipeline and a focus on both domestic and international opportunities.

Corporate Partnerships and DEI-Focused Fund

Addressing concerns about corporate partnerships, Gavet emphasized the selectivity of Techstars’ programs and the high demand from entrepreneurs. She also clarified the status of the Advancing Cities Fund, emphasizing its successful deployment and the sources of its funding.

Global Expansion and Tech Infrastructure

Gavet responded to criticisms about Techstars’ focus on specific markets, highlighting the organization’s extensive global reach and the importance of balancing local and global impact. She also emphasized the significant tech infrastructure required to support Techstars’ extensive portfolio and global operations.

Commitment to Founders and Mentorship

Gavet reiterated Techstars’ dedication to supporting founders worldwide, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. She emphasized the organization’s extensive network of mentors and its ongoing investment in diverse founders.

Future Initiatives

Looking ahead, Gavet expressed excitement about Techstars’ plans to create a new curriculum and provide entrepreneurs with access to the organization’s wealth of knowledge and mentorship.

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