Category Archives: TechStars

DigitalOcean Launches Incentivized Customer Referral Program

DigitalOcean, a New York-based cloud server and hosting provider has launched a commission-based customer referral program. The plan is accessible to registered DigitalOcean customers and will compensate them with a $10 commission for each newly acquired customer that totals $10 in billing. Registered users are provided with their own unique referral code link that allows them to track the customers they’ve brought in, as well as their commission totals.

Boasting over 190,000 Linux–based cloud servers launched since inception, DigitalOcean is a TechStars startup accelerator graduate. Each SSD “Droplet” — the company  term for its cloud servers — provides disk and network performance, coupled with the capability to easily migrate and resize existing Droplets with a single click.

“We love listening to our customers and our new referral program is one way we can give back,” says Ben Uretsky, CEO of DigitalOcean. “Referrals have been a huge driver of success for DigitalOcean. We want to give back to our loyal customers by rewarding them for continuing to spread the word and help our business grow.”

Additional cloud hosting plans include options ranging from the initial 512 MB of RAM starting at $5 per month, to a maximum of capacity of96 GB of RAM and 10 TB of bandwidth transfer.

Kaplan Launches Education Startup Accelerator

Kaplan, Inc., the education services subsidiary of The Washington Post Company, announced today the launch of the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by TechStars, an intensive three-month mentoring and business development program for 10 startup companies, in collaboration with TechStars, a nationally recognized startup accelerator.

The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator will select startups using technology to create products and services across the broad spectrum of education including K-12, higher education, professional education, lifelong learning, and other areas. TechStars will invest $20,000 in each company accepted into the program.

The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator is the first corporate sponsored accelerator focused exclusively on the education sector, using TechStars’ mentor-driven, deep immersion model. TechStars has completed 15 accelerator programs and its selected companies have attracted more than $285 million in funding in the past six years.

The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator will host the startups, to be chosen by application, at its offices in New York City’s West Village neighborhood from June to September 2013. They will be mentored by industry leaders, such as Kaplan, Inc. Chairman and CEO Andy Rosen, TechStars founder and CEO David Cohen, Washington Post Company Chairman and CEO Don Graham, noted venture capitalist and Foundry Group Managing Director Brad Feld, and many notable founders of ed-tech companies, including Jose Ferreira of Knewton and Eren Bali of Udemy.

Additionally, Kaplan will provide the startups with office space and facilities, and other resources as they work to build their companies and products. This support includes access to Kaplan’s proprietary “Kaplan Way for Learning” program, which harnesses the latest learnings from the fields of science, instructional design, and technology to support the development of highly effective, evidence-based learning products. Kaplan also has tremendous reach in education with more than one million students enrolled annually, taught by 10,000-plus instructors globally, relationships with 300-plus U.S. school districts, more than 20 university partners worldwide, and thousands of corporate customers.

The program will culminate in Demo Day, when the startups’ founders will present for an elite group of angel and venture investors and education industry influencers, with the goal of securing funding to grow their companies.

“We’re thrilled about partnering with TechStars to launch the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator,” said Andy Rosen, Kaplan, Inc. chairman and CEO. “Kaplan’s mission is to provide students around the world with the best, most efficient means to achieving their educational goals. Ongoing cultivation of new innovations from all across the sector—in ways like this accelerator program—is embedded in our company’s history.”

From its start, Kaplan has pioneered notable education innovations. It has, for example, launched the first wholly online law school in the U.S.; built its online university into one of the country’s largest higher education institutions; and, more recently, created mobile delivery systems for its test prep and professional education customers, a new prior learning assessment service for adult learners, and an innovative, large-scale online instructional platform, KAPx. Kaplan will be making available as mentors several of those Kaplan professionals who have driven many of these innovations.

The application deadline is April 14, 2013. Selected companies will be contacted in late April, and the program will begin in June. Further details and the application for the program are available at