The Start Project Launches To Create, Incubate Startups

A group of entrepreneurs and investors have partnered to create a new Silicon Valley based business incubator called The Start Project.

Behind the new company are Polaris Venture Partners, the founders of 83 Degrees (Webshots, 30 Boxes, Power Twitter, fbExchange) and entrepreneur/investor Josh Felser (Spinner, Crackle, Freestyle Capital).

The 83 Degrees team has built a number of successful companies in the past. They founded Webshots, a photo sharing site which was sold, bought back and re-sold for a total of $150 million (hear that story here).

Cofounder Narendra Rocherolle says that his team loves identifying trends and building applications, but they need a way to turn those ideas and products into companies. This new partnership, which he says is still a work in progress, will give them the platform they need to build companies around those products.

That’s where Polaris and Felser come in. Polaris is giving the new company office space in their San Francisco Dog Patch Labs offices, and they have a first look option to invest in all new companies coming out of The Start Project. Felser, who is on the board of directors of the new company, will help with overall strategy and team recruiting. Polaris partner Mike Hirshland is also joining the board of directors of The Start Project.

Business incubators are nothing new, and just about every variety of incubator has been tried at one point or another. One key to success seems to be keeping things simple. Y Combinator, for example, has had a tremendous track record over the last few years of starting companies for very little capital, and most of their 100+ startups are either still in business or have been acquired.

The Startup Project certainly is keeping things simple. I’m looking forward to seeing some of their early ideas turn into startups.