Startup Incubator Programs
What’s better than a startup incubator program that will not only fund your startups early stages, but also mentor and motivate you the entire way? Startup incubators have been around for quite some years. They have been proven to produce top notch talents as well as build successful teams. The last couple of years, startup incubator programs have expanded to places such as Hong Kong, China, and more. Now that there are so many, which ones are the best?
Since 2005, Y-Combinator has set the standard for technology incubators. Founded by tech entrepreneur Paul Graham, the Silicon Valley-based paradise for coders with an entrepreneurial streak hosts teams in two rotations from January to March and from June to August of each year. Y-Combinator invests about $18,000 per company for the session, and asks an equity stake that averages about 6 percent. Roughly 300 companies have received funding to date, among them Scribd, WePay, and Reddit.
Pros: Powerful investors that look after the program. Good amount of seed money. Proven results.
Cons: Early equity stake. Hard to get in.
Apply here: http://ycombinator.com/apply.html
Chances are if you are familiar with startup incubator programs, you have heard of TechStars. Founded in 2006, TechStars is one of the country’s most prestigious incubators. Its four locations in Boston, Boulder, New York City, and Seattle, host 10 teams for three months of the year on rotation, funding each team member between $6,000 and $18,000. More than 600 teams applied last year, making TechStars one of the country’s most competitive incubators. TechStars focuses on technology companies with transnational appeal, and requires a 6 percent equity stake in any new companies that are funded. Each program ends with a pitch event with venture capitalists and other investors.
Pros: Extremely well known and very location independent. Program ends with a pitch event with a VC. Very strict mentorship.
Cons: 6% equity. Lowest amount of funding is $6,000. Extremely difficult to get in even with a proven team.
AngelPad is a mentorship program founded by ex-Googler Thomas Korte to help web-technology startups build better products, attract additional funding and ultimately grow more successful businesses
Twice a year, Angelpad provide an extensive mentorship program to carefully selected startups, during the course of 10 weeks, in their San Francisco (in the Spring) and New York (in the Fall) offices.
The 10 weeks program covers all aspects of a company launch – from idea to product, market fit, customer acquisition and fundraising. AngelPad also take care of the less glamorous things like incorporation, immigration visas or fundraising documents.
A strong emphasis is also put on helping founders to prepare for demo day, which occurs towards the end of each program and allows companies to present their idea/vision/product to several hundred investors.
Pros: Small program only about 12 teams. Strong emphasis on demo day/product marketing/designing. Office space provided. Strong one on one mentors.
Cons: Equity. Not as known. Only twice a year and once at each location.
Apply here: http://angelpad.org/more/
Kicklabs (The Transmedia Capital)
Kicklabs, now known as the transmedia capital investment is one of the few early stage funds investing in specifically the new media and online advertising sector, providing deep domain expertise, operating experience, and expert advisory relationships for entrepreneurs. Some of it’s known fundings include appgalleries (acquired by inmobi) , kiip, snaptv and many more.
Pros: Proven track record. High amount of early seed capital. Smaller teams, more close up mentor. Backed up by many known investors.
Cons: Requires a MVP built and working. Needs a solid proven team. Must be generating revenue within 12 months.
Apply here: http://transmediacapital.com/contact-us/
Dreamit Ventures is one of the more known startup incubator. Over the years it Dreamit have expanded to multiple location and hosting many events. Up to $25,000 of seed funding per company — $5,000 plus $5,000 for each founding team member (up to four) who will be onsite for the program. DreamIt Health program participants receive up to $50,000 in seed funding per company — $10,000 plus $10,000 for each founding team member (up to four) who will be onsite for the program.
Pros: Dreamit offers 1 on 1 coaching with a qualified mentor. Very known demo day with top VCs. Co-work desk and work place that allows you and your team to brainstorm and work together. Very fast paced. You can apply as an individual or as a team.
Cons: Might be too accelerated/pressured. Extremely hard entry process.
Nyc seed is a startup incubator based in New York City. NYC Seed is known for funding companies such as seatgeek, ticketfly,zipmark and many more. NYC help driven, small teams move from an idea to a product. Through the combined efforts of New York City’s most innovative organizations, NYC Seed provides funding, mentoring and support to create the next generation of companies in New York City.
Pros: Strong incubator program with strong proven trackrecord and investors. In a highly impacted city with lots of potential customers. Quick review process.
Cons: Must be in NYC or have to move there upon selection. Only seed round fund. Doesn’t fund ideas that require a mass amount of scale and money. Need a solid team.