Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Structure for an Incubator

For my next trick, I plan to start an
incubator of sorts here in India. I see an
opprotunity to coach young hackers interested
in starting up to help prepare them for working
with Silicon Valley VCs or tech companies.

This is similar to how Paul Graham
pitches students on starting a company rather than taking an
internship with a large company for their
summer vacation.

Initially when people join they are entrepreneurs in
residence who research, prototype, and pitch
ideas within a few domains that look like high growth
fields.

Once a pitch solidifies with an idea and team behind it
we provide seed funding to take the team 6 months
to a year thru a public launch. During this time we
provide a great deal of mentorship encouraging people
to use the best development practices.

Since the most likely exit from the incubator is an
early stage acquisition, we need to build a reputation for
producing teams with strong development skills which can
integrate well with existing silicon valley based teams.
Starting and running an internet company has to be the
best training for learning how to work productively
in one, provided sufficient guidance is provided.

As teams mature and the winners net out, a small business
team can work the valley either filling out teams with
complimentary players in preparation for real venture
financing, or exploring partnership / acquisition opportunities
where we would bring well functioning teams with significant
experience in the emerging technologies du jour, some product IP,
and a user base to the table.