TechStars NYC: Where Are They Now?

We catch up with the first two classes of startups to graduate from TechStars NYC.

We feel a little guilty. We’ve been fickle and easily distracted. Last year, the first two TechStars NYC classes were all we could talk about. But when their programs ended, we kind of forgot about them and directed our attention to the newest TechStars NYC class. Shame on us!

But back in the day, those first 23 companies were all the rage. Like shiny new toys, they were exciting and fascinating. There was even a reality television show about them. So even though their three-month, highly-competitive startup accelerator program has ended, these companies are still around. They didn’t just vanish into thin air. (Well, some of them did).

But all of this begs the question, where are these companies now? How have they fared in the big, bad world? Did they flop? Or surpass expectations?

We didn’t know, so we decided to find out. And it turns out that we weren’t the only ones who were curious about what these companies have been up to.

“When we launched, everything was a concern,” managing director David Tisch told Betabeat in an email. “We were new, a startup.” New York City, he said, brought a unique set of challenges and advantages to these first two classes, but you never how things might turn out. So, Mr. Tisch, what’s the verdict? Have the first 23 New York City companies done TechStars proud?

“The progress shown so far is very promising,” Mr. Tisch said, “and I expect a few very big companies to emerge. There are some early standouts who have shown progress on the product side, revenue side, and team side.”

In the last year, about half of the companies raised over a million dollars in funding from investors (in addition to TechStars’s initial $18,000 in each company) and only two companies failed. A third company, FriendsList, also failed, but its two cofounders shifted gears and transformed into another company, Timehop, a popular app that has since raised $1.1 million.

“I think the quality of the people we funded stands out to me,” Mr. Tisch added. “[And] as I look back at the companies from our first two classes at TechStars NYC, I am confident we have funded some amazing teams who are building big businesses.” -Jess Schiewe