Betaspring

A La TechStars & YC, Providence Offers Startups $50K To Complete Local Accelerator Program

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Back in January, Yuri Milner and SV Angel partnered to offer every startup that was part of Y Combinator’s winter batch (some 40 startups) $150K each in convertible debt. In September, national startup accelerator, TechStars, followed suit, upping its investment in each startup to $100K in convertible notes.

Providence, Rhode Island may not be the first city that pops into your head when you think of burgeoning startup ecosystems, but it looks like the city and one of its prominent young incubators is looking to change that. This week, Betaspring, the Providence-headquartered startup accelerator, announced that all startups that complete its 12-week accelerator program will be automatically eligible for a $50K equity investment from Rhode Island’s capital city.

Of course, there is a small catch. For startups to be eligible, they must complete Betaspring’s Spring (or Summer) Programs, and they must agree to locate their companies in Providence for at least a year. Though this seems a small price to pay to begin putting the city on the map as a technology incubator and for grabbing $50K in convertible notes. Plus, in contrast to Y Combinator and TechStars, which fund companies upon entry into their programs, Betaspring will be seeding its startups with investment once the program is completed. Not a bad graduation present.

Betaspring, which is itself a charter member of the TechStars network, provides mentorship, seed funding, office space, and exposure to a startup community of focused entrepreneurs. The accelerator focuses on startups in the web/mobile, physical technology, and gaming arenas.

As to the background of this investment: The City of Providence is partnering not only with Betaspring but with other local angel and venture investors as well, including Slater Technology Fund and Cherrystone Angel Group to found the so-called Innovation Investment Program (IIP), which will be managed by the city and funded under the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The fund will use these federal dollars to provide startups with capital to get them off the ground and begin spurring innovation, growth, and job creation in Providence.

The Betaspring team said that this new equity investment program is “the first of its kind for Providence and was championed by Providence Mayor Angel Taveras”. Together, the parties are working to support early stage ventures in Providence, which we love to see.

Betaspring has also extended its application deadline to midnight on Tuesday, November 22. And for all companies reading this who want a shot at application, you will have the opportunity to apply to Betaspring’s program through midnight on Wednesday, November 23rd — just be sure to reference this post using “TechCrunch” in your application. Applications can be found and submitted here.

The spring session kicks-off on February 6th in Providence.

For more, check out Betaspring’s blog post here.