Launched in 2010, .CO is the domain extension of choice for tech startups, innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide. Its short, memorable name enables startups, mid-size and multinational businesses like Techstars, Angelist, 500 Startups, and Twitter (Vine.co) to stand out online. And today, with a presence in 200 countries, .CO is reshaping the global digital community by supporting the inspired, innovative entrepreneurs who make up the fabric of the newest digital evolution.
Building a business to support an international community doesn’t happen overnight, though. Businesses must have the right tools and a strong network in place, before they can provide the right support to budding startups in their industry. For .CO, this meant teaming up with Techstars in 2011 to pair its innovative solutions and services with Techstars’ expansive network.
“We wanted to partner with Techstars from the very beginning of .CO’s inception,” says Chelsea Hurley, [Business Development, Registry Solutions, Neustar]. “We saw that they shared our dedication and appreciation for the startup world, and we wanted to get involved in what they were doing! It has proven to be a great investment too, because we’ve been able to introduce our brand to thousands of people around the world and align ourselves with a strong force on the world-stage.”
Building on a .CO Domain
As a Techstars Global Partner, .CO annually supports over 200,000 startup founders worldwide, by encouraging event attendees to think up innovative solutions and gifting each founder with a .CO domain to bring their idea to life. Hurley explains how this works:
“The .CO domain extension is applicable to startups at all stages of their journey, but where we can make the most impact is the beginning, during the idea creation stage. When the idea strikes, and the company is first being shaped, we want creators to put their brand, business or idea on a .CO domain.”
“That’s where Techstars comes in. At each Techstars event, we provide .CO domains to the attendees and encourage them to build their business on the domain over the weekend,” explains Hurley. “When the event ends, those startups then have the advantage of owning a fresh, memorable domain that will help their business stand-out.”
.CO’s engagement doesn’t stop there, though. In the spirit of Techstars’ #GiveFirst credo, .CO continues to support startups long after each event has ended, by drawing the founders into the global .CO community, connecting them with the right resources, inviting them to exclusive events, and even promoting them on social media channels.
“We like to refer to startups as the movers and shakers and better internet makers,” says Hurley. “And that’s the exact principle of our own brand! We work hard to align ourselves with these thought leaders, disruptors and creators who are changing the world for the better. One of the best ways we can do that is by supporting them along the way.”
Even though .CO is all about the founders first, the startups aren’t the only ones who benefit from the .CO + Techstars relationship. For .CO, the value continues to manifest in impressive ways. Its growth has exploded in less than 6 years to incorporate over 2 million registered domains in 200 countries. And, with an ever increasing list of success stories, .CO has also seen dozens of powerhouse businesses emerge with a registered .CO domain, including Brit & Co (Brit.co) and Taco Bell (ta.co).
As Hurley explains: “This partnership is so valuable from a brand awareness standpoint because .CO is global, and our partnership with Techstars helps us reach a global audience of entrepreneurs and changemakers. Now, we’re covering events all over the world and introducing .CO to innovators in every corner.”