Los Angeles has a growing startup community, and is home to startups like DocStoc and a few much larger businesses, like MySpace and CitySearch. One program looking to help foster that community is Launchpad LA, which has just opened applications for the second round of its mentorship program.
The program was created by Mark Suster of GRP Partners, who previously founded BuildOnline (acquired by SWORD Group) and later Koral (acquired by Salesforce, where he became VP Product Management). The criteria for interested companies: startups can’t have raised more than $1 million (or institutional venture capital), and are based in (or willing to move to) Los Angeles, where the program is based.
As with incubator programs like Y Combinator and Techstars, Launchpad LA invites VCs and other mentors from the area to help mentor participating companies. But unlike those programs, it doesn’t directly invest in the companies — it’s purely for mentorship. That said, many VCs and angel investors in the Los Angeles area have some involvement, so it has played a role in those companies getting funding down the road.
Mentors for the last program included Mike Jones, who is now co-President of MySpace, DocStoc’s Jason Nazar, and Adam Bain of Fox Media Interactive. The last program included 13 companies, including Mobile Roadie, Movoxx , and GumGum.