A seafood factory worker weighs lobster tails using a tablet device
Sustainable tech in use in Belize © Randy Olson


Techstars and The Nature Conservancy Announce Open Applications to Accelerator Program

Challenging Entrepreneurs around the Globe to Solve Environmental Problems with Tech

The worldwide network for entrepreneurs, Techstars, in partnership with the world’s leading conservation organization, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), announced today the opening of applications for the second class of the TechStars Sustainability Accelerator program. The two organizations forged this first-of-a-kind partnership in 2017 to identify entrepreneurs with commercially viable technologies to solve the greatest challenges facing nature and people through the accelerator program. Now, after graduating a tremendously successful first cohort of startups who are now piloting their tech as the foundation for several global conservation projects, Techstars and TNC are calling on the tech sector for more applications.

“We had a very successful first class of entrepreneurs, and we are very much looking forward to continuing our partnership with Techstars with this second round of applicants. Together, we can pursue technology breakthroughs that will help create a world where people and nature thrive together,” said Mark Tercek, chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy. “As the world prepares to add more than 2 billion people in the next 30 years, we need to support businesses, especially entrepreneurs, who can rapidly scale technology to help provide food and water sustainably and tackle critical issues, like climate change.”

The 2018 Accelerator class is an impressive group that is not only helping both people and nature tackle some of the greatest threats they face today, but also growing their individual businesses and making a name for themselves in both the tech and conservation worlds.

The list of startups from this inaugural class includes names and projects like This Fish, a global provider of seafood traceability software that improves business efficiency and increases trust and transparency in seafood supply chains, StormSensor, which is creating the world’s first smart urban watersheds by providing customers the information they need to identify, track, predict and prevent pollution and flooding in real time, FlyWire, a patented video technology provides fishers and managers with the tools they need to effectively assess and certify their fisheries are operating sustainably, Conserve With Us, an online conservation fundraising and engagement platform that makes it easy for individuals and businesses to find and support conservation projects that matter to them, and Lotic Labs, an environmental data science platform to drive financial stability in the water sector in the face of climate change and weather volatility.

“What continues to be so unique about the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator is that by partnering with The Nature Conservancy, the program is able to use the same technologies that have disrupted other industries like finance, healthcare, mobility and energy, to help make leaps and bounds forward when it comes to sustainability, which is without question at the height of importance and urgency in today’s changing climate,” said Brad Feld, co-founder of Techstars. “Techstars is calling on entrepreneurs to apply for the 2019 class to advance their own development, and to bring the advanced technology solutions that we need to the forefront of sustainability.”

Continuing through 2020, the Sustainability Accelerator expects to attract thousands of potential applicant companies, of which 30 high-potential companies will be selected for the program. The Sustainability Accelerator is establishing a more systematic approach for bringing technologists, conservationists, entrepreneurs, corporate partners and investors together to accelerate the pace of technological innovation for sustainability.

Applications for round two open January 7th and the program kicks off on July 29, 2019. The Sustainability Accelerator, in Partnership with The Nature Conservancy, will continue to be based in Denver, but encourages applicants from all across the globe. For more information about this program, to read more about last year’s winners and their current pilot programs, and to learn more about how technology can help nature, go to nature.org/techstars.


About Techstars: Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders and their teams connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners who will help their companies grow. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs help founders do more faster and Techstars Startup Programs inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurs. Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships helps brands supercharge growth by accelerating innovation and cultural transformation. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,600 companies with a market cap of $16 Billion. www.techstars.com

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.