More ‘Seed Incubators’

TechCrunch has the scoop. Silicon Valley has Y Combinator. Boulder, Colorado (and now Boston) has TechStars. Boston also as of today has Start@Spark. Washington, D.C. has LaunchBox Digital. Philadelphia has DreamIT Ventures. And now Atlanta is joining the seed incubator movement with Shotput Ventures.

We are looking for “capital light” web startups.

Ideally we are looking for a small team of co-founders, most likely still in college. We will pick 8 to 10 teams and give them $25k each so they don’t have to get summer jobs and can work on the product full time. … We will take a 5% to 10% equity stake.

The closest I’ve seen to this is the NI Tech Fund (PDF) which is an InvestNI supported Venture Capital fund. The brochure is from 2007 but I’ve emailed to see if the exec handling it can comment some more. It’s not the same as a Seed Incubator though.

A Seed Incubator aims to fund the very earliest stage – the bit with the highest risk in theory – with really small amounts of money (in VC terms). The idea being to allow small teams of smart people a few months of breathing space to build something great – so they don’t have to worry about the pressures of holding down a job as well as trying to create the next online revolution. The amounts are small and therefore are likely to attract younger folk to the table (or folk who have fewer commitments – family, mortgage, subscription to Sky movies).

Today I’m not sure we could find 8-10 startups in Belfast and the surrounding areas to qualify for this sort of programme. We need to start smaller and aim higher.

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