The Techstars Foundation

Improving Diversity in Entrepreneurship
The Techstars Foundation is a non-profit created to improve diversity in technology entrepreneurship by providing opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs through grants, scholarships, and sponsorships.
Donate
Through the Techstars Foundation, we can now offer a way for Techstars accelerator alumni, partners, mentors, Startup Weekend and Next alumni, and other supporters to Give First by providing access and opportunity to underrepresented minorities and – together – create stronger entrepreneur communities worldwide.

Please consider donating cash or stock to the Techstars Foundation, or to name the foundation as a beneficiary. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

To learn more, please watch the video above. Thank you for your support!


Donate Today.

Request a Grant
If your organization is broadly impacting diversity in tech entrepreneurship, please request a grant. Please note that this is not startup funding for startup founders of diverse backgrounds. These are grants for organizations which are impacting diversity in tech entrepreneurship in a positive and scalable way. These organizations can work in other areas, but should have at least one scalable program that focuses on diversity in tech entrepreneurship. The organization can be based anywhere in the world, and can be nonprofit or for profit. If your organization is for profit, we require a fiscal sponsor to be in place.

Check back soon for more information on the next round of grant requests.

Current Grant Recipients
Learn more about what our grant recipients are doing
Change Catalyst
Change Catalyst is an organization committed to inclusive innovation through two main initiatives, Tech Inclusion and Startup Showcases.

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Astia
transforms the way businesses are funded by providing capital, connections and expertise that fuel the growth of women-led ventures.

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Defy Ventures
Defy "transforms the hustle" by providing entrepreneurship training, intense character and personal development for people with criminal histories.

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Gaza Sky Geeks
A co-working hub, entrepreneurship outreach organization and startup incubator and accelerator in Gaza, run by the global organization Mercy Corps.

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Patriot Bootcamp
An intensive 3-day educational event designed to mentor military members, Veterans and their spouses to start technology-focused businesses.

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Advisory Board
These distinguished leaders and experts help us move the needle.
Director of Innovation, Horizon Media
Jeremy Shure
Jeremy Shure is a Director of Invention for Horizon Media, Inc., the world's largest independent media agency. In this role, he launched and leads Horizon's startup incubator program and spearheads many of the innovation and venture initiatives across the agency.

Jeremy has spent many years an active mentor to a variety of Techstars programs across the country. He has a passion for entrepreneurship, a deep belief in the Techstars mantra of "give first", and he possesses deep experience and knowledge in mentoring early stage companies.

Aside from his work with the Techstars Foundation, Jeremy is a member of the National Board of Directors of Active Minds, is on the Board of Trustees for the JCC of Harrison, and is the past President of The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Young Leadership division, and is the President of his class at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University School of Law.

Jeremy can be found on Twitter at @jeremyshure.
Director, Google for Entrepreneurs
Mary Grove
Mary Grove is the Director of Google for Entrepreneurs, leading Google's efforts to support startups and entrepreneurs in more than 100 countries around the world. Mary is passionate about building community and has worked with groups of entrepreneurs in Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza, and Afghanistan, and previously led numerous international partnerships for Google. Mary earned her BA and MA from Stanford University. She is the co-founder of Silicon North Stars, a nonprofit that connects youth from the Midwest to Silicon Valley. She has served on the Board of UP Global, the Techstars Foundation and the Stanford Alumni Association.
Founder & CEO, ConnXus
Rod Robinson
Rod Robinson is the founder and CEO of ConnXus, Inc., a supplier diversity software platform that enables Fortune 2000 companies to manage supplier diversity compliance tracking and reporting requirements. Since starting the company in 2010, Rod has led the company through successfully raising $10 million in venture capital, 102% compound annual revenue growth, a database of 1.7 million diverse suppliers and a growing list of global customers including American Express, McDonald's, Caesars Entertainment, Coca-Cola and Cummins. Rod holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Dun & Bradstreet fellowship recipient. Rod was recognized by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2012.
Jeremy Shure
Director of Innovation, Horizon Media
Jeremy Shure is a Director of Invention for Horizon Media, Inc., the world's largest independent....more
Mary Grove
Director, Google for Entrepreneurs
Mary Grove is the Director of Google for Entrepreneurs, leading Google's efforts to support startups and....more.
Rod Robinson
Founder & CEO, ConnXus
Rod Robinson is the founder and CEO of ConnXus, Inc., a supplier diversity software platform that enables....more.
COO, Techstars
Jenny Lawton
Jenny Lawton joined Techsters as COO in September 2016. Jenny is responsible for the day-to-day management of the company including sales, marketing, business development, engineering and operations.

Prior to Techstars, Lawton served as the COO of littleBits and was responsible for the overall strategy and growth of the company, working with the CEO, Ayah Bdeir, to scale the company. While at MakerBot from 2011 until 2015, she held several positions prior to being appointed interim CEO, including president, chief strategy officer and head of people. At MakerBot, Lawton was instrumental in driving the company's meteoric growth of more than 600 percent in two years and she was one of the main architects in the merger between MakerBot and Stratasys in 2013.

As a long-time tech leader, Lawton co-founded Net Daemons Associates (NDA) in 1991, an information technology-consulting firm. With Lawton as CEO, NDA was recognized on the 1998 Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing privately held U.S. companies, and on the Deloitte and Touche Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists for 1997 and 1998. In 1999, Net Daemons was acquired by Interliant Inc. (formerly Sage Networks), where Lawton served as a senior vice president. She later worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence with Softbank and Mobius Venture Capital.

The events of September 11, 2001, were the impetus that inspired Lawton to leave the corporate world for a hiatus to become the owner of the independent bookstores Just Books and Just Books, Too, as well as Arcadia Coffee in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. After ten years running successful retail ventures, Lawton re-entered the business and technology scene, serving as COO for Rockin' Water and RAM Scientific, and senior vice president of operations for Mercury Solar Systems. In 2014, Jenny was appointed to the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.
CEO, NCWIT
Lucy Sanders
Lucy Sanders is CEO and Co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and also serves as Executive-in-Residence for the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU).

Lucy has an extensive industry background, having worked in R&D and executive (VP) positions at AT&T Bell Labs, Lucent Bell Labs, and Avaya Labs for over 20 years, where she specialized in systems-level software and solutions (multi-media communication, and customer relationship management).

Lucy is a recipient, along with NCWIT Co-founders Robert Schnabel and Telle Whitney, of the Computing Research Association's 2012 A. Nico Habermann Award. She has been inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the 2013 U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame Award. Lucy received her BS and MS in computer science from Louisiana State University and the University of Colorado Boulder, respectively.
Managing Partner, Techstars
David Brown
David Brown is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Techstars.

David is a serial entrepreneur who has founded three startups and been involved with two others. He is one of the original founders of Pinpoint Technologies, Inc. which is now part of ZOLL Medical Corporation and provides solutions to the emergency medical services market. He was President of the company from founding through over $50M per year in revenue and over 250 people.

David later co-founded Techstars along with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and Jared Polis. He has been an investor and advisor to Techstars since inception. In 2013, he joined Techstars in a more active role as Managing Partner.

David has a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. As a ski instructor in the past, David still enjoys hitting the slopes on a good powder day.

Follow @dbrown
Jenny Lawton
COO, Techstars
Jenny Lawton joined Techsters as COO in September 2016. She is
responsible for the day-to-day management of....more.
Lucy Sanders
CEO, NCWIT
Lucy Sanders is CEO and Co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and also serves as...more.
David Brown
Managing Partner, Techstars
David is a serial entrepreneur who has founded three startups and been involved with two others. He is one of the original founders of....more.
Managing Partner, Techstars
David Cohen
David Cohen is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Techstars.

Previously, David was a founder of several software and web technology companies. He was the founder and CTO of Pinpoint Technologies which was acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation (NASDAQ:ZOLL) in 1999. You can read about it in No Vision, All Drive [Amazon]. David was also the founder and CEO of earFeeder.com, a music service which was sold to SonicSwap.com in 2006. He also had what he likes to think of as a "graceful failure" in between.

David is a active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at DavidGCohen.com. He is also very active at the University of Colorado, serving as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Computer Science Department, the Entrepreneurial Advisory Board at Silicon Flatirons. David also runs the Colorado chapter of the Open Angel Forum.

You can find David on Twitter @davidcohen.
Managing Director, Foundry Group
Brad Feld
Brad Feld has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over 20 years.

He lives in Boulder, Colorado and Homer, Alaska with his wife and is on a quest to run a marathon in every state in the US.

Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars.

In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the board of Path Forward. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld Thoughts, Startup Revolution, and Ask the VC.

Brad holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chief Product Officer, Techstars
Nicole Glaros
Nicole has entrepreneurship in her blood. As a second generation American, with both her father and grandfather starting companies, she learned at a young age that being an entrepreneur means being in charge of your own destiny. She got her entrepreneurial start in the 4th grade, orchestrating cousins into theatrical plays and charging neighbors admission. Since 2002, she's been mentoring and funding early-stage web software companies. Most recently, Nicole is Chief Product Officer at Techstars, a global ecosystem for entrepreneurs based out of Boulder, Colorado. She's been with Techstars since its early days in 2009, has run 8 programs and has close to 90 companies in her portfolio. She's on the Board of Directors for SimpleEnergy, Owlet, and the Entrepreneur's Foundation of Colorado. She was named one of the "Coolest People in New York Tech" and an Extraordinary Woman in New York Tech by Business Insider, Marie Claire named her one of the "NewGuard", and Entrepreneur Magazine named her One of the Most 7 Powerful Women to Watch. You can see her at various speaking engagements like SXSW.

Nicole graduated with her Master's Degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Florida and has learned that the same principles of sport apply to startups. She is married to the love of her life and has 2 young children under 5 who keep her honest, humble, and acutely aware of how short and precious life is.

Follow Nicole at www.nearlynicole.com.
David Cohen
Managing Partner, Techstars
David Cohen is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Techstars. Previously, David was a founder of....more.
Brad Feld
Managing Director, Foundry Group
Brad Feld has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over 20 years.
Brad has been an early stage....more.
Nicole Glaros
Chief Product Officer, Techstars
Nicole is Chief Product Officer at Techstars, a global ecosystem for entrepreneurs. She's been...more.
If you are interested in supporting these and other important diversity initiatives, please consider donating cash or stock to the Techstars Foundation, or to name the foundation as a beneficiary. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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