Business & Economy,
Technology & Science
May 7th, 2012
By Rip Empson
Launch Pad Ignition, the first tech incubator to make its home in the Big Easy, today officially unveiled the seven companies that participated in its second annual session.
The accelerator’s 12-week program began the second week of February and culminated yesterday with its own New Orleans rendition of the patented “Demo Day,” appropriately called “Launch Fest,” which we’ve been told is “Jazz Fest plus startups, on steroids.” Launch Pad’s model is a bit different than that of the traditional accelerator, in that Co-founder Chris Schultz tells us it’s geared towards building traction, not offering big early funding.
It’s actually a bit of a spin on Founder Institute’s approach. Launch Pad has done away with the “fixed funding” model and instead chooses to engage startups on more flexible terms that “don’t impact their valuation.” The accelerator seeks to offer value from its mentor network, which includes investors, executives, and founders of Particle Code, Microsoft, Aol Ventures, BetterWorks, Ning, Whole Foods, Skillshare, Lerer Ventures, AudioSocket, etc., as well as a lean startup curriculum, and connections to New York and Silicon Valley.
Rather than putting up capital up front in exchange for equity, Launch Pad offers founding teams a 3 percent stock warrant grant with 1 percent of that going into a “founder’s collective” so that each company has a shared stake in other members of its class. The team and mentors then follow that up by actively fundraising for the companies at the end of the program, at Launch Fest and beyond.