TechStars Acquires UPGlobal and We Couldn't be Happier

By James Brehm & Adam Lotia

We’re seeing the market in IoT consolidate and now the ecosystem fueling the startup world is doing the same. And we believe it’s about time things started to compress. The variety of accelerators, incubators and events is great, but the noise has become overwhelming to both the investors and to the potential customers of the startups.
It was recently announced that the TechStars program is buying UPGlobal. Since JBA offices out of Geekdom, a co-working, accelerator-like space, we’ve had first-hand interaction with the TechStars program. Currently, Geekdom is home to the TechStars Cloud Accelerator. The program, as we highlighted in an earlier blog, has some great companies and will have another class starting in the next few months. Despite TechStars’ past success, it’s getting tougher for it (and others) to find the right kind of startups now that the number of accelerator programs worldwide is nearing 5,000.
UPGlobal is a non-profit event-hosting group known for its great startup events, namely Startup Week and Startup Weekend. These two events bring investors and predominantly big customers to events to catch a glimpse of what startups are working on. The startups in Startup Week can showcase how they are changing the landscape of the markets they are working around.
We see this as a great new future in TechStars’ evolution and growth. UPGlobal has a great marketing arm and creates so many opportunities to show off what the companies are doing out of the program. By acquiring UPGlobal, TechStars gains vast resources in startups and a larger talent pool to invest in. Startups are funded not on their ideas, but more so on the talent behind the idea. Investors see ideas in such volume that the idea is just to catch investors’ attentions, but not to necessarily fund. In the early days of dotcom and still now in Silicon Valley, there are lots of ideas terribly executed, but are still funded. Essentially, it isn’t enough to have a brilliant idea; you also need a brilliant team in order to make that idea a reality. We believe that through its acquisition of UPGlobal, TechStars will be in a better position to continue to help startups make it happen.