Maëlle Gavet will step down as CEO of Techstars at the end of May 2024 due to health reasons, ending her almost four year leadership of the global accelerator. She will be replaced by David Cohen, co-founder and board chairman of Techstars.

“I will be rooting for all of you from the sidelines and will remain a supporter of #Techstarsforlife,” she wrote. 

Gavet’s exit comes at a time when Techstars faces difficulties in balancing growth with profitability. Techstars fell short of revenue targets in 2023, leading to cost-cutting measures. This included a 7% staff reduction and the closure of accelerator programs in Seattle, Boulder, Sweden, and others.

“I want to thank Maëlle for pouring her passion, blood, sweat and tears into Techstars. But now Maëlle must focus on her health. I speak for everyone at Techstars when I say that we wish her strength and courage as she addresses what is ahead,” Cohen said in a statement.

Gavet, who became CEO in 2021, leaves the global pre-seed investment firm after what is believed to be an impressive stint.  The company made over 2000 startup investments, 469 of its portfolio companies raised a total of $2.4 billion with 322 of them raising rounds of $1 million or more in 2023. Applications to Techstars programs doubled while the diversity of the founders increased to 25% female founders and 36% black and brown founders.

“Techstars is practically in my DNA,” said Cohen, who is returning as CEO after leading the company for 13 of its 17 years. He has been a board member since the company’s inception.

Towobola Bamgbose Intern Reporter

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