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Monday
Nov102014

Welcome to The Incubator

Here’s a little surprise: starting Dec 1st and ending at the LAUNCH Festival on March 2nd I will be hosting a six-startup incubator called: “The Incubator.”

[ You can refer to it as “The LAUNCH Incubator” if you like. ]

Two of the companies have been selected. One is founded by my former partner on Weblogs Inc, Brian Alvey; the other is by former LAUNCH CEO Jason Demant — I like to keep it all in the family!

That leaves four more slots, one of which I hope to be a team willing to take on thetruthaboutcars.com (based on this request for prototype: http://goo.gl/sxYoJz ). I’d also be interested in most of the Y Combinator list of requests here: http://www.ycombinator.com/rfs/

[ Click to tweet this email (you can edit first): http://ctt.ec/27133 ]

"The Incubator” is going to follow the basic Y Combinator model of 12 weeks and 12 dinners with speakers, but with a few twists:

1. The first half of those talks will all be part of This Week in Startups, the second half will be off the record.

2. Speakers will come from the top 20 ranked speakers at our SCALE event. We tracked the scores of 50+ speakers, after considering 250+ folks seriously for the event. This means the 12 speakers will be giving “field-tested” advice that was ranked highly by the 900 folks who came to SCALE last month.

3. Those six startups will launch in front of 3,000 people at the 10,000+ person LAUNCH Festival compared to 200-300 people at a typical demo day.

4. Each company will be getting $25,000 for 6% (similar to the original Techstars and Y Combinator deals) from the LAUNCH Fund.

5. ALSO: each company will be syndicated for another $25,000 from the LAUNCH Fund and $200k (minimum) to $1m+ from my AngelList Syndicate (depending on how much the founders and the syndicate members want to raise) at a $2-4m pre-money valuation (your call). The largest syndicate we’ve done to date is $750k, but I think these incubator companies will do even better.

6. We will meet for dinner at my house, The Battery, or our offices and talk about product and listen to a speaker.

7. Every year we will do an alumni episode of This Week in Startups with these six startups.
We have four slots open and here is what we are looking for:

a) Stage: 1-18 months old with either no funding, some funding (friends and family), or an angel round. If you have a raised a $3-5m A round I’m not sure it’s a fit.

b) Product: at a minimum you should have impressive mockups or wireframes. Ideally you have an MVP or a released product with some customers. We are NOT looking for a business plan, metrics, or other irrelevant s@#$t. Product speaks in our world. We need to see some product chops to make the right decision.

c) Team: At least two members, but three or four is OK. Optimally we would like a world-class designer and three developers (best chance of success), but we would take a business person with a designer and a developer. We will not accept three business people and no designers or technical folks (because that results in a lot of talk and not a lot of product).

d) Corporation: basically a clean slate is best. So think: a clean cap table, no pending lawsuits, agreement to standard vesting between founders (in case someone bails or things break down). If you’re not incorporated you can do that as you start “the incubator.”

e) Design: I’m a design freak.

f) Pedigree: We don’t give a s@#$t who you are, what your parents did, or what school you went to. We care about your skills, your resiliency, your leadership ability, and how badly you want to win.

The application process is here: https://launch.submittable.com/submit/36533

You will meet with two or three members of my team in November.

Important: If you apply and don’t get into the incubator you may qualify for “early acceptance” to the LAUNCH Festival! So, this is a way to “jump the line” of 1,000 startups competing for the 50 slots at the LAUNCH Festival.

Also, if you apply this time you will be given priority access if we do a summer incubator (which we will do if the majority of these startups get outside funding -- a major proof point).

Note: If a power angel or VC firms wants to put up $25k in investment to each of these firms now, we would love to have one or two partners helping grow these startups.

We will keep you updated at: https://twitter.com/launchincubator

all the best, @jason

PS - If you want to come to the LAUNCH Festival as my guest, click this secret link for a “Builder Pass”: jc.is/1xl9swW

PPS - If you want to start a 60-day free trial to our research service, the LAUNCH Ticker, click here: http://www.launchticker.com/

PPPS - If you are an accredited investor (which means you can afford to lose money angel investing), you can invest in my deals at angel.co/jason/syndicate — of my last 14 deals 13 of them were also syndicated.

AngelList is the future of investing, and I’ve got 450+ investors representing $1.9m in capital in my syndicate. it’s doubling every three months, and our first deal was for $250k and our last deal was for $1m. We ain’t f@$king around! Note: If you’re not an accredited investor you don’t get to play because our government thinks you’re not smart enough to lose your own hard-earned money (talk to them, not me!). Disclaimer: if you want to get in the angel investing game read this first:http://goo.gl/V7kEan