Monday, May 9, 2011

Awesome Progress

I realize this update is long overdue - and I apologize - but so many great things have happened.
Over the past 10 days, amazing things have happened. Here's a quick overview:
  1. My suspicions were confirmed: The overall consensus is that SoCal needs a YC and/or YCR-style accelerator
  2. Had dozens of awesome meetings & calls with high caliber mentors, angels, and VCs -- they ranged from "positive" to "wow"
  3. Received a flood of ideas on how to structure LaunchSpark to achieve the highest probability of success for the participants
  4. Got some early press from and a few other places
#3 is the most interesting. In order for LaunchSpark to be a success, participants of it's inaugural class must be achieve a certain level of success. The ideas span a wide spectrum and are all under review.

At the same time, I'm putting together a rock star advisory/management team for LaunchSpark that will help shape the future of the program, with the primary focus being it's success and longevity.

I realize that the initial deadline for applications has passed, but in light of the amazing response and feedback, we're going to be accepting late applications. This will benefit all participants because the caliber of the mentors is increasing daily.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.


LaunchSpark founder

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Announcing: LaunchSpark LA [Updated]


My name is Mike. I'm currently the co-founder of a few start-ups and have been involved in the start-up life for 14 years, after starting my first company in high school.

LaunchSpark is modeled after Allan Teruel's original plan.

The purpose of this project is to gather like-minded individuals to form an alternate YC group in Silicon Beach (Santa Monica/Venice/Marina Del Rey/LA) to coincide with the official YC group to keep us focused and motivated.

This is what we want to do:
  • Find 5-10 groups that will meet once per week in the Santa Monica, CA area starting around June 13, 2011 for about 12 weeks.
  • Meet once per week to a have a dinner where we can discuss our projects, plans, problems and accomplishments.
  • Gather other successful founders of So Cal companies to meet with us in a small group environment to answer our questions.
  • After the 12 weeks, we'll gather several investors at a TBD location, invite the press and do our own demo day.

What we will not do:
  • Will not give you funding, but hopefully through out efforts we can make that happen.
  • Will not make you incorporate.
  • Will not provide you the secret sauce to magically make things happen - hard work and determination is the only way.

What's the catch?
  • We have to keep this group small in this first batch to make it successful. We need to stay laser focused.
  • Be open, be helpful and be prepared to share ideas and lessons learned.
  • Come with a fun and open-minded attitude.
  • We're not charging for anything, but keep in mind that we'll probably collect money for food and other expenses (we'll go over this when the time comes).

What are the next steps?
  • Please fill out the application form. Sorry, I can't fill out an NDA.
  • Deadline to fill this out is 5pm PST, May 6, 2011.  ongoing - we are still accepting applications
  • I'll contact those that are most promising.
  • Check out the FAQ

I look forward to working with you all soon.

Google Voice: (661) SPARK-20  [gv is out of 310/213 numbers =( ]

Updated: Location will be around Santa Monica, CA (not Santa Clara as originally posted)
Updated: Linked to application
Updated: Linked to FAQ
Updated: Deadline to "ongoing"