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startup - Business Express

Techstars London launches the most diverse cohort in the Capital 


  • Meet the 12 purpose-led startups joining the accelerator’s community  

OCTOBER 2022, LONDON: Techstars London has today unveiled its latest cohort – the most diverse in the London accelerator’s history. 

96% of the founders involved are either female or from minority or immigrant backgrounds. Sixty seven per-cent of the businesses are female led, and 42% of the businesses have a female CE0. Fifteen per cent of the founders are black, and in total, 69% are minority founders. The early stage startups originate from countries across the globe, including the USA, Nigeria, Malaysia and Denmark – all of whom have chosen Techstars London as the place to grow their business. 

The accelerator received more than 1,000 applicants for the programme and conducted over 400 interviews ahead of selecting the final group for 12 coveted spots. 

Three quarters (75%) of businesses focus on solving ESG challenges – from reducing our heating bills and fossil fuel use to better access to healthcare to driving a circular economy.

The businesses range across B2B and B2C industries, and include a company dedicated to transforming global logistics and its CO2 footprint and a personalised digital therapy service for women. 

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Eissra Eltom, founder at Verve, part of Techstars’ cohort: “As a third culture kid, I know just how important community is. I also know how lonely entrepreneurship is. As we set out on our company mission to help globally distributed teams keep connected, the opportunity to be part of a thriving global community ourselves is what drew us to Techstars. We love the candour, encouragement and critique of the Techstars London team. As a first-time founder you bounce between visionary optimism and functional pragmatism; the team has challenged us to focus on what makes us uniquely different as founders to truly channel our passions into our businesses.”

Designed to assist startup founders in supercharging their plans, Techstars London’s programme is guided by an experienced team including Managing Director, experienced VC and former founder and start-up veteran, Saalim Chowdhury. Each business will engage in an intense programme where they build a playbook to grow at a rapid pace, through to and beyond their series-A. On this journey they will be coached with one-to-one mentorship from multiple former startup founders, assigned dedicated growth coaches, customised training and access to capital as they find focus, in order to aggressively grow and scale their businesses. 

Saalim Chowdhury, Managing Director at Techstars London, said: “Growing a business at any time is hard. Throw in a bout of economic turmoil and increased uncertainty, and founders starting up are presented with an increasingly difficult task – and that doesn’t take into account the ongoing challenges faced by underrepresented founders. We know that outlier founders drive outlier performance. Overwhelmingly most of our founders have overcome many social challenges and adversity to get to where they are. Their above average level of determination, tenacity and intellect is why we’ve chosen them. Equally they over-index on deep customer empathy and humility – they are intimately intertwined with their customers and we’re looking forward to seeing what they achieve.”

Here are the new companies joining Techstars this Autumn and their selected founders: 

  • Verve – helping distributed companies keep their cultures thriving with better data-driven company understanding
  • Kitchenswaps – a marketplace for underutilised commercial kitchen space
  • Boxxdocks – building a sustainable global network of logistics boxes, to provide industry  standard solutions for a $77 billion market
  • Fyyne – a marketplace for beauty services and products. A business management software for underserved, independent beauty artists to connect them with customers looking to book them
  • Kestrl – app helping Muslims to grow their wealth without compromising on their beliefs, using a personal finance tool and a software solution for banks
  • Matutto – Matutto is a relocation platform that helps expats feel confident when moving abroad with reliable information and advice from other expats
  • Re-Style – a Treatwell for tailoring, connecting people with local tailors to alter and repair their clothes
  • Harp Health developing personalised digital therapies for different stages of women’s lives 
  • Moticsusing wearable technology to gamify physiotherapy and improve recovery times through actionable muscle insights
  • Zephframemaking smart building energy management software that helps buildings greatly reduce energy use from heating and cooling
  • Don’t Shop Swap allowing Gen Z to trade their clothes for digital tokens to spend on preloved fashion, helping them refresh their wardrobes, save money and reduce waste 
  • Gravel AI – bringing data-driven decisions to the $4 trillion chemical manufacturing industry by creating granular ‘chemical level’ insights at scale taking on the likes of Mintel

Diversity is at the heart of Techstars London. Three quarters (75%) of its own team is made up of female employees and half (50%) are female, or come from an immigrant or minority background. All of whom have considerable amounts of experience in the startup world, with 100% of its employees having built or been part of a startup. 

London is Techstars’ 3rd largest base globally, and part of a larger network that includes 50 programmes across the world. One of the world’s leading accelerators, Techstars has invested in more than 3,000 companies that today have a combined graduate market cap valuation of $75 Billion. 

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