Do I need to be based in Berlin permanently? Can I commute?
The Techstars Berlin program is a full-time, 3 month program, in Berlin. You do not need to be based in Berlin to apply, nor do you have to permanently relocate to Berlin after the program.
There may be some breaks throughout the program, but the CEO will be expected to spend most weekdays in Berlin once the program starts. It's ideal that as many team members are able to join, but there is no requirement for the whole company to move to Berlin.
We recommend at least one of the founders participates in all the program activities (generally weekdays only - weekends are almost always kept free from the program's perspective), and others from the founding team join whenever they can (cycling through every couple of weeks, for example).
We do recommend bringing as many team members as possible -- some of the companies in the program have in the past brought their employees to join for one week at a time. The first month of the program is very very hectic, so we recommend having at least 2-3 people (one biz dev, one tech, one management/founder) available for our mentoring sessions. We'll be introducing you to over a hundred potential mentors, so you'll definitely need support (even if it's a virtual team). Trust us, we've run these programs before.
It is a big decision to leave behind your family and company, if it is based in a city other than Berlin, for an extended period of time. Of course, you’re always welcome to bring your team and family members with you! During past programs, several founders brought their husbands, wives and children along for the journey.
We are extremely appreciative and understanding of the sacrifices founders sometimes make to join a Techstars accelerator. We’re also human, and are aware life and family situations can arise at any moment. We try to be as accommodating as possible when these things happen, but cannot say with 100% certainty that we will be able to reschedule if you miss a workshop or meeting.
Things will also come up last minute throughout the program, and it’s up to you to be flexible in your schedule and do what you can to join in. Even if they are last minute, you never know how valuable a session might be. And we often ask mentors and other interesting people to come in whenever they can, because we think it is valuable for program participants to be surrounded by people who will help them get things done.
I’d suggest you plan out most of your trips before the program begins, and provide us with your timetable in advance. This way, we can have a heads up as to when you might be away or travelling and can schedule accordingly. Even though there’s only one of you, we’re managing 10x as the program runs!