The Real TechStars of New York

Meet Your Spring 2012 TechStars NYC Class: ‘They All Take Big Swings’

tisch 300x169 Meet Your Spring 2012 TechStars NYC Class: They All Take Big SwingsIt’s that time again, boys and girls. TechStars NYC managing director David Tisch just announced the 14 companies who got the golden ticket to the accelerator and seed fund’s Spring class. Unlike the previous two programs, which operated out of Pivotal Labs, this class will call 36 Cooper Square home. (TechStars recently moved in to Foursquare’s old office in the Village Voice building.) “They’ll be able to sleep there easier,” Mr. Tisch quipped to Betabeat over the phone.

Last year, TechStars NYC funded 23 companies, 21 of which went on to raise $50 million after they graduated. According to Mr. Tisch, you can expect even bigger things from this class. The common element among all 14 newbies? “They all take big swings,” he said. “I think the ideas are all going for something big.  I don’t think there are  lot of safe bets or small bets.”

That ambitious streak applies to the founder themselves. “They’re all obsessed founders,” said Mr. Tisch. “I think if you looked at all of them, they’ve spent a lot of time working in that industry or were really obsessed with it.” Although there’s a 21-year-old and a 22-year-old in the program, “I think it goes more to people who have deep experience in their space, whether older or younger,” he noted.

Now that the TechStars brand is well-established in New York City, did the caliber of candidates go up? “Yeah, I feel like all these things feel real,” said Mr. Tisch. “It feels like it’s a super different, exciting group.” This class was chosen from 1,500 applicants. Six of the companies have a female founder (and of those five hold the CEO title–including Markover CEO Kelsey Falter, who won Betabeat’s web series The Pitch). Nine of the companies have already been operating out of New York City, two are international (from Amsterdam and Vancouver), and five are relocating to New York. “Founders range from an angel investor in Twitter to a senior at Notre Dame, an Oscar nominee, a four time founder and a 3-time applicant of the program,” added Mr. Tisch.

Without further ado, say hi to the new kids on the block:

  • 10Sheet:  automated bookkeeping as a service
  • Markover: collaborative feedback system for creatives
  • Bondsy: the social network of things
  • Moveline: decision engine for moving
  • Classtivity: discovery engine for recreational classes
  • Pickie: social commerce
  • Condition One: immersive video technology for tablets
  • Rewind.me: creating present value from your past actions
  • Droptype: simple content publishing
  • SmallKnot: local social lending
  • Karma: simplified mobile provider for travelers
  • StockTouch: revolutionizing finance with mobile data visualization
  • Lua Technologies: project management and communication platform
  • Wander: keep wondering

Class isn’t officially in session until March 14th. But we trust we’ll be hearing plenty from them before Demo Day in mid-June–going back to the beginning at Webster Hall. In the meantime, there’s Tips @ Betabeat.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com