The global business accelerator firm that operates the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator announced a major acquisition Tuesday that will expand its reach in Kansas City.
Boulder-based Techstars reported Tuesday morning that it acquired UP Global, an international non-profit that fosters entrepreneurship with a variety of events and programs around the world. UP Global operates the bi-annual Startup Weekend and Startup Digest in Kansas City. Techstars’ acquisition of UP Global further extends the organization’s footprint into Kansas City after it entered the City of Fountains with the Sprint Accelerator in 2014.
Techstars president David Brown said in an announcement that his organization and UP Global have worked together since 2007. UP Global’s “Startup Weekend” was born out of the Techstars’ Boulder headquarters, he said, and it served as the first community event for the accelerator’s inaugural class to mingle and acquaint themselves.
“By joining forces with UP Global, Techstars can continue to accelerate the pace of innovation by strengthening the path for entrepreneurs, providing better support for entrepreneurial communities, and helping to grow the worldwide entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Brown said. “We are committed to the lifelong impact that entrepreneurs have on the world, no matter where they choose to live. We believe this partnership is great news for entrepreneurs everywhere. Together, we will leverage each other’s areas of expertise and combine resources to provide more sustainable support for communities and the entrepreneurs within those communities.”
As part of the deal, Techstars has acquired UP Global’s Startup Weekend, Startup Week, Startup Next and Startup Digest programs, Brown said. The programs will immediately become part of Techstars, but will remain independent in their operations at a community level. While he expects the UP Global programs to continue similar operations, Brown expects an eventual expansion of the programs, as well as Techstars’ existing accelerator programs.
UP Global CEO Marc Nager will continue in his role as leader of the UP Community as Chief Community Officer, and will lead most UP employees, including its IT, marketing and finance teams.
A longstanding partner of UP Global, Google for Entrepreneurs will continue to work with Techstars on its Startup Weekend and Startup Next programs. Techstars also announced that fees previously associated with Startup Next, UP Global’s pre-accelerator program, have been eliminated, allowing more entrepreneurs to tap resources to help them scale.