Former CEO David Cohen returns to lead Techstars as Maëlle Gavet steps down for health reasons

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May 23, 2024
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2 min read
David Cohen, CEO of Techstars

The news: 

  • On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, Techstars announced that Maëlle Gavet, CEO of the international accelerator, will be stepping down at the end of May 2024 due to health reasons, ending her three-and-half-year leadership. 
  • David Cohen, the investment firm's co-founder and Chairman of the Board, will take over her role. Cohen will return as CEO after leading the company for 13 of its nearly 17-year existence. 
  • The development occurs at a time when the company is struggling with growth and profitability. 

According to preliminary 2023 results, Techstars reportedly failed to meet revenue targets, leading to cost-cutting measures such as reducing staff by 7℅ and closing several accelerators globally. 

Gavet, who has been with the global pre-seed investment firm since 2021, announced her departure in a LinkedIn post, expressing her gratitude for her brief tenure as CEO.

“I would not exchange the last 3.5 years of hard work for the world,” he wrote. 

Gavet exits Techstars after what is considered to be an impressive tenure, with the company investing in more than 2,000 startups.

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In 2023 alone, 469 Techstars portfolio companies secured over $2.4 billion, with 69℅ of them raising rounds of $1 million or more. Applications to Techstars programmes doubled between 2022 and 2023 under Gavet’s leadership. 

“The diversity of our founders rose to 25% female founders and 36% black and brown founders (in 2023),“ both Gavet and Techstars’ statements claimed. 

Cohen thanked Gavet for pouring passion, blood, sweat, and tears into making Techstars a top accelerator in the world and wished her well as she goes on to 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 wrote in a statement.

Gavet revealed that she had thyroid surgery 11 years ago due to the presence of cancerous nodules, allowing her to live "almost worry-free with daily medication and a checkup every 6 months." 

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Unfortunately, the results of her last checkup revealed that nodules had begun to grow on her other thyroid, forcing her to leave her position at Techstars. 


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