TechStars’ New York greatest success story to date? ThinkNear, a hyper-local mobile ad service that was acquired today by Telenav for a whopping $22.5 million.

Telenav is a GPS navigator for your smartphone. With this buy-up, it will launch a new mobile advertising unit called “Scout Advertising” that will investigate new ways to connect with retailers and brands, and provide a new source of revenue for the company.

This provides much-needed legitimacy to TechStars, which competes for technical talent with a growing number of accelerator and incubator programs, including Y Combinator and StartEngine.

From VentureBeat
Got B2B problems? We’ve got the lead generation secret sauce. This free exec roundtable offers premium help from the best minds in lead gen.

In September 2011, its New York branch was featured in a 7-episode series produced by Bloomberg TV. The show followed six startups in the program, and their drama-filled struggles to build a company and raise funding. At that time, none of the startups in the TechStars New York alumni network could claim a successful exit.

ThinkNear, a Los Angeles-based startup, began its life as a yield management tool for local businesses. However, the attempt to drive foot traffic into a store during slow hours failed as company simply could not attract a base of users. It pivoted to an advertising company that can target consumers within a 100m of their location.

TechStars was founded by entrepreneurs Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis — it’s a 13-week program that is held in a handful of cities around the country and is differentiated by a focus on mentorship.

Read more about the spring class of TechStars’ companies here.

VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.