Jason Seats. photo courtesy of TechStars

The TechStars Cloud is open for business and accepting applications, said Jason Seats, managing director.
“If someone puts in their application right now the deadline is in November, the chances of me having meaningful interaction with the team is much higher,” he said. “That’s the value of hitting me up right now.”
The TechStars Cloud, a branch of TechStars based in Boulder, Colo., is an accelerator program aimed at startup companies focused on cloud computing. The first class of 11 teams to go through the cloud-themed program graduated last April.
The TechStars Cloud focuses on creating new “plumbing” or infrastructure products for the Internet. But Seats also sees great growth opportunities in the consumer side of the cloud.
“I don’t want people to be overly restrictive,” Seats said. “While I do think the sweet spot is infrastructure stuff it’s a whole big world.”
Services like Dropbox, Spotify, AppleTV have changed consumer habits. Seats see so many other areas ripe for disruption including e-mail.
Seats did this post a week ago on TechStars explaining why startups should apply for the TechStars Cloud accelerator.
The next program begins Jan. 14th. TechStars Cloud will take approximately 10 to 12 teams. Solo founders are at a selection disadvantage, Seats said. Teams of two or more people are given greater consideration, he said.
Each team receives $18,000 and access to $100,000 convertible debt. They also get a package of services including free hosting, valued at more than $200,000.
In addition, a group of local investors backed nearly all of the companies last year. A fund set up to invest in the TechStars Cloud companies raised $2.5 million from 25 investors and awarded an average of $250,000 to 10 of the companies. The fund did not invest in one company.
Pat Condon, co-founder of Rackspace, and Graham Weston, co-founder and Chairman of Rackspace, are the anchor investors in a new fund that is going to be supporting both the next TechStars class and other investments in cloud computing. The fund is expected to be around $6 million to $8 million.
“Our hope is to invest it in the first half of next year,” said John Mosher, managing partner of the fund.
“It’s a fund of San Antonio based investors that are going to be investing in the majority of the TechStar companies,” Mosher said.
Out of the 25 investors in the last fund, all came from San Antonio except one, Mosher said.
The application deadline for TechStars Cloud is Nov. 4th. Seats will host TechStars Cloud for Day Nov. 3rd at Geekdom, the 10th and 11th floors of the Weston Centre in downtown, featuring some alumni from the previous class. TechStars Cloud will be based on the 10th floor next year.
“If anybody is interested and just wants to ask a question, I’m very receptive to that,” Seats said. “Now is the time because I have the time.”