The fee for participating in the program is 6% of common stock. You should think of Techstars as a tried-and-trusted co-founder who opens doors, connecting you to the people who will help you and your startup grow. This equity stake ensures that everyone involved - from the MD to Techstars as well as METRO - are incentivised to ensure the exceptional delivery of our program.
This 6% equity stake is standard for all companies entering a Techstars program, and is non-negotiable.
Our stake is covered by the Equity Back Guarantee (EBG). The EBG means if you successfully complete the program but still don't feel that your startup has received a real benefit from the program, you can just tell us how much of that equity you want to buy back. We'll sell it back to you at the same price we purchased, it's that simple.
In exchange for 6% and your participation in the program, we'll invest €20K into your business. Separately, we offer an optional $100K convertible note. You'll have until the end of the first week of the program to decide if you want to accept the note, and it comes with a valuation cap of either $3mil or $5mil. The valuation cap depends on whether or not you've previously raised capital on a higher cap. The best way to treat the note is to have it plug into your ongoing fundraising process, if you are doing one. A startup that doesn't take the note is treated exactly the same as a startup that takes it.
If you look at the public list of companies that have been through Techstars programs, you'll note that Techstars companies go on to raise (on average) more than $2M of outside capital after completing the program. These statistics should speak for themselves.
Alongside access to the program, mentorship and Techstars network, you'll also immediately be able to redeem hundreds of meaningful perks (worth over $2M from more than a hundred different companies), including hosting credits, deferred credits from top legal firms, travel credits, and even accounting and payment credits. For example, you will get $250K credits with Digital Ocean, $100K credits on Amazon, Google and other top cloud computation & hosting providers. You will also receive free space for at least a month after the program, to help you set up a base in Berlin.
Lastly, in addition to Demo Day exposure and other investor connections, one of the most valuable tools we offer access to is Techstars Connect, an internal-LinkedIn that connects you to the Techstars network for life. This active network including more than 10,000 mentors; 2,700 investors; 1,300 alumni companies and 190 staff members spread out over the world.
NB: An offer from Techstars to join the program is not an 'exploding' one, which means we will give you advance notice as well as time to review. The Managing Director is always available to answer additional questions. Remember, we care just as much as you about ensuring the accelerator program works for startups involved.