EP Award Promo

Levy to lead second Techstars accelerator


Kerty Levy, managing director of the Techstars Iowa accelerator, will also lead the new Techstars Crypto Boston accelerator starting in January 2023, she told the Business Record in an interview last week.

She said Techstars is encouraging experienced managing directors to run more than one accelerator, and her interest in blockchain technologies and Web3 drew her to the crypto-focused accelerator based in Boston, which was announced in June.

Web3 is an idea for an iteration of the internet that uses blockchain, cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens to give users control and ownership of online assets.

“There’s so much to uncover there,” Levy said. “I’m interested as an investor, I’m interested as a coach to founders. It’s just so early — it’s a really fun time to be in it.”

The Crypto Boston accelerator is a 13-week hybrid program, meaning Levy will be traveling to Boston for the in-person portions from January to April next year.

Techstars has partnered with blockchain protocol Algorand and the Algorand Foundation to offer the program for three years. Levy said she has committed to running the first program.

The accelerator will bring together startups from across the globe that are using blockchain technology for a variety of solutions and industries including infrastructure, supply chain, decentralized finance (DeFi), social networks and more.

Levy said blockchain technology’s potential lies in the ability to broaden individuals’ accessibility to and ownership of assets, and to more efficiently authenticate transactions.

Blockchain “can make certain industries much more efficient than they are today,” she said. “For example, the exchange of value across supply chains or movement of money require many checks and balances today that are put behind institutional walls, making them slow and expensive. What blockchain technology does is make those transactions immutable. The record is there and it doesn’t need to go through all the different points of contact to prove that it’s complete.”

She is curious to see what types of solutions founders are creating and how the various uses for blockchain could benefit Iowa’s key industries, including logistics, manufacturing, finance and insurance.

Next year’s Techstars Iowa program will see a small change with the accelerator running in the fall instead of over the summer. Levy said this timeline will allow more college students interested in venture capital and investing to assist with the accelerator.

Grinnell College students will help source and evaluate startups for the fall program in spring 2023, and fall internships will be open to students from Grinnell and all three public universities. Grinnell, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are partners of Techstars Iowa.

Techstars Iowa has also added a new role to its team. Each year an investment associate or investment principal will work alongside Levy to help source and screen startups, match the startups with investors that fit their business and serve as a mentor to the founders.

The role is filled this year by Dan Pfeil, who will work with different Techstars program throughout the year. Levy said there will be a new person in the role for each future program.

The Techstars Crypto Boston accelerator is accepting applications until Sept. 28.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!

hy vee web 060123 300x250