Since TechStars in Seattle applications were due June 1, we've been working diligently on reviewing and processing the over 400 applications. This is no small feat. I assure you. We've strived to have 3 people review every application. Tomorrow, we're going to be notifying approximately 30 finalists. Being a finalist means you're in the top 10% of applications. It does not mean you are in the program. Over the next few weeks, we'll be meeting and interviewing the "finalists" and making a final list of approximately 10 companies that will comprise the TechStars in Seattle companies.
For those companies not selected as a finalist, we're going to try to be as responsive as possible. I encourage you to continue to pursue your dreams of building your own company. TechStars is a great catalyst for those companies lucky and good enough to get in ....but it is by no means the end all be all arbiter of success. The specific market you're in is the arbiter. There are lots of reasons that we chose not to select a company as a finalist. Some common issues that came up were :
- Location and visa issues - we definately looked at international applicants but dealing with visa issues is HARD for the entrepreneur and the program
- Team - we definately have a preference for 2 or 3 member teams that can participate in the whole program
- Niche market - companies focused on specific niches are sometimes discounted as thinking too small
- Commitment and perseverence -- those entrepreneurs that simply submitted applications and demonstrate a continued interest in standing out from the 400+ applications will have a harder time getting selected
The above list is not intended to be comprehensive. It's just intended to give people some visibility into the selection process and our thinking.