fb-pixel Skip to main content

Boston’s Techstars program unveils latest startup class under new director

Participants on stage during the opening of a Techstars Demo Day at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston.
Participants on stage during the opening of a Techstars Demo Day at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston.John Blanding/GLOBE STAFF FILE

Techstars Boston, an organization that invests in early-stage startups, unveiled its latest class of entrepreneurs on Monday, selecting 12 fledgling companies from around the world to grow their operations out of offices in downtown Boston.

The companies, selected from a pool of several hundred applicants, span numerous industries, including health care technology, climate innovation, and medical devices. Four hail from Boston. Others are headquartered in New York City; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Silver Spring, Md. Three companies come from Canada, Australia, and Colombia.

Gregory Raiz, managing director of Techstars Boston, said that when he was selecting this class of companies, he focused on recruiting a diverse set of founders solving crucial problems that affect everyday life.

Advertisement



“I looked at companies that are saving lives, saving the planet, and changing the way we live and work,” Raiz said in an interview. “That focus is something that we haven’t had before in Boston.”

Raiz took the helm of Techstars Boston in June, replacing former managing director Clement Cazalot. He’s a Microsoft alumnus and has long been active in the local tech scene as the founder of Raizlabs, a mobile and web design and development firm.

Techstars Boston started in 2009, a replica of the Techstars program that was founded in Boulder, Colo. The Boston program has contributed heavily to the region’s startup ecosystem, supporting over 150 companies with over $1 billion in funding. Notable companies to come out of the program include PillPack, the online pharmacy Amazon acquired for over $1 billion. Bevi, a Boston-based company that creates bottle-less water dispensers for offices and commercial spaces, is also an alumnus.

Starting Monday, the Boston program’s 15th class of founders embarks on a three-month training program where they will be provided up to $120,000 in funding, office space, and a network of over 160 mentors — senior leaders at organizations such as HubSpot, MIT, and Bain & Co. — to help grow their companies. In February, the program will end with a “demo day,” where founders will pitch their ideas to investors and other members of Boston’s startup community.

Advertisement



Founders will initially work from a coworking office space at 24 School St. in Boston. Later in the program, they will have the option to complete the program remotely. As part of the Techstars community, companies also will be eligible for partnerships the program has made, including with Amazon Web Services for website hosting services and law firms for legal issues, Raiz said. Techstars gets roughly 6 percent equity in each company for the funding and services it provides, according to its website.

In the new class, Boston-based companies include BeAKid, a service that connects children to afterschool programs; Health Haven RX, a digital pharmacy startup; Rivet, which allows online creators to track metrics important to them; and Trova, an employee engagement firm. Overseas companies include TuCann Medical, a Melbourne-based medical device company; Bogota’s Two To Tango, which fosters in-person connections at business events; and Speakbox, a Vancouver-based mental health provider office management solution.


Pranshu Verma can be reached at pranshu.verma@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @pranshuverma_.