When your company mantra is “give first,” it’s bound have a philanthropic focus.
And that ideology seems to have driven Techstars’ recent move to become a certified “B Corporation,” entailing the investment and accelerator group adhere to strict standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
A “B Corp” — or benefit corporation — is a for-profit business designation that promotes a positive impact on the firm’s employees, its community, society and the environment. To earn the designation, companies undergo a rigorous vetting process by the nonprofit B Lab to demonstrate its positive impact and must remain transparent metrics on that impact.
“At Techstars, we believe that a for-profit corporation like Techstars can also be for good and behave responsibly,” Techstars co-founder David Brown wrote in a blog post. “We’re proud to join other for-profit companies that feel that same way and have made this commitment.”
Though Techstars is based in Boulder, Colo., Kansas Citians should be pleased to hear the firm’s B-Corp news as it continues to increase its impact in the area’s entrepreneurial community.
After a three-year partnership with the Sprint Accelerator from 2014 to 2016, Boulder-based Techstars announced in October that it’s returning to Kansas City launch a new accelerator program. Techstars and the Sprint Accelerator also have successfully helped transplant more than five out-of-state startups to the Kansas City area via its mentor-led program.
Techstars joins more than 1,800 other B Corps around the world, including New Belgium Brewing, Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Kickstarter, Etsy, Warby Parker and others.
There are only eight B Corps in Kansas and Missouri combined. In Kansas City, Global Prairie and the Arnold Development Group are the only certified benefit corporations.