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.
Started by a group of Atlanta tech entrepreneurs who want to attract and keep startup talent in the Southeast, Shotput Ventures is accepting applications from young, first-time founders for its summer program. The deadline is April 10.
Mitch Free, the founder of industrial marketplace MFG.com, is one of the backers. He explains in an email:
We are looking for “capital light” web startups. We think there is so much open source software, web services and cheap cloud computing capacity (like Amazon S3) that web business can be prototyped and launched very inexpensively.
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 (all seasoned entrepreneurs) will mentor them through the summer. We will take a 5% to 10% equity stake. At the end of the summer we will pick some to further fund and/or help raise capital and some we will probably kill.
There has been nothing like this in the Southeast. We have lots of great breeding grounds such as Georgia Tech but the people with the next big idea have had to reach out to the Northeast or West Coast to find seed capital and support. Our goal is to create an eco-system in the Southeast to encourage and support web startups. And once they are up and running we don’t want them having to relocate to Boston or San Jose
The first summer round is funded with $300,000. Who needs a summer job, when you can create a startup instead?