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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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Techstars San Diego Powered by SDSU to Elevate San Diego’s Innovation Ecosystem

A new competitive accelerator powered by SDSU will provide funding, mentorship and programming for early-stage start-ups.
By Kellie Woodhouse

San Diego’s innovation ecosystem is getting a major boost with the collaboration of one of the region’s premier public universities and one of the top startup accelerator networks in the world. 


San Diego State University and Techstars – are partnering to create Techstars San Diego Powered by SDSU, the only accelerator in San Diego with a worldwide footprint. 


Techstars partners with organizations like SDSU to provide early-stage founders with a hands-on, mentorship-driven environment while also offering partners access to new technologies and ways of approaching industry- specific challenges. 


Through Techstars San Diego Powered by SDSU, founders will receive access to capital, one-on-one mentorship and programming. The program will be uniquely positioned at the SDSU Mission Valley Innovation District, and bring expertise and resources to founders from the San Diego region and beyond. 


“Techstars San Diego Powered by SDSU is an incredible opportunity to support entrepreneurs as the university works to expand and enhance San Diego’s innovation ecosystem with the SDSU Innovation District,” said Hala Madanat, SDSU’s vice president for research and innovation. “We want to bring in the best ideas and innovators into the SDSU fold, connecting these startups with our students, researchers, SDSU Innovation District industry partners, robust alumni network, and local startup ecosystem.” 


Techstars San Diego Powered by SDSU will create opportunities for SDSU alumni and community members to connect with early-stage innovators as mentors and investors. SDSU will foster opportunities for students to participate in the accelerator and startups as interns, supporting SDSU’s workforce preparation efforts. 


“Techstars firmly believes anyone, anywhere can become a world-changing entrepreneur and there is no place better to do that than San Diego, where entrepreneurs will have access to talent from world- class universities like SDSU, a strong flow of venture capital into the region and a world-class lifestyle,” said Ryan Kuder managing director at Techstars. 


Applications for the fall 2023 class will open in March 2023. The accelerator will accept up to 12 companies each year. Techstars Powered by SDSU will initially operate from SDSU’s San Diego campus, but will move to the SDSU Innovation District entrepreneurship center once completed in 2025.


“We want the innovation district to be a setting where new, successful ideas come to life and the partnership with Techstars will advance this vision in a very meaningful way,” said Ron Fowler, chair of the SDSU Presidential Innovation District Advisory Committee and a philanthropic investor in the partnership. 


“Bringing the Techstars mentorship, programming, process and internationally recognized brand to San Diego is the single biggest thing SDSU can do to raise the bar for innovation in our community,” said Andy Ballester, co-founder of GoFundMe, an SDSU donor and a mentor for Techstars San Diego Powered by SDSU.