Last night, we first unveiled AngelPad, the stealthy new startup incubator run by seven ex-Googlers. Today, we’ve managed to get quite a bit more information about it. How? One of those ex-Googlers, Thomas Korte, stopped by our office to talk a bit about the project.
Actually, it was quite convenient for Korte to come by because AngelPad’s office is right around the corner from our own office in the SoMa area of San Francisco. And though it’s not open just yet (September 10), soon, this will be the home to all of the startups accepted to be the first class of AngelPad.
And that’s one key to the project: they already have their first class all signed up and ready to go. Korte says there are 10 startups that were accepted into this inaugural class. In total, there will be about 25 founders working in the AngelPad offices when the 10-week program starts on September 10. Those companies will each be allowed to stay long after the formal program wraps up as well, Korte says.
They’re actually still figuring out all the best practices for AngelPad, Korte admits. But the core idea is what’s important: they want to recreate the type of atmosphere they all experienced relatively early on at Google. “You want smart people around you. That’s the secret sauce down at Google,” Korte says.
He notes that startups with founders working by themselves at home or in their own office space are missing out on the kind of impromptu conversations that can happen when great minds come together — even if they’re not all working on the same thing. Obviously, the seven ex-Googlers will be around to act as advisors, but it’s also about these guys’ networks that they’ve built up over the years. The startups that are a part of AngelPad will have plenty of resources at their fingertips.
Korte wouldn’t say how many applicants they cut to get down to the 10 they accepted in this initial round. But he does say that since they were doing it stealthily, all were hand-chosen by the seven members. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that more than half of the founders in this first class are also ex-Google employees.
Obviously, given that AngelPad is essentially a 10-week incubation program, it’s going to draw some comparison’s to Y Combinator, Paul Graham’s incubator (which is incidentally having its demo day tomorrow). Korte freely admits that this “incubator 2.0” idea was Graham’s, but he says that they will distinguish themselves by looking for founders with a bit more experience — ones who are more seasoned.
- YC is based in Mountain View, CA; AP is based in SF, CA.
- AP supplies your team with office space for the 10-week period and expects all startups to try and work there regularly to foster a collaborative work environment.
- The AP thesis is focused on accepting experienced veterans in their respective fields who wish to launch a startup, whereas YC may have a broader philosophy. Not a requirement, but simply a focus.
- AP also seeks to have at least 1 product/business co-founder in addition to 1 technical co-founder. Again, not a req.
For similarities, Bilimoria notes that both are web startup-focused and both are founder-friendly.
Korte also notes that all seven AngelPad principals put their own money into the pool which is then invested out into each of these companies. He says the amount should be larger than what Y Combinator and TechStars companies get in their initial rounds.
He notes that he doesn’t want AngelPad to turn into another so-called “Super Angel” fund (angel investors who raise a lot of outside capital to pump into startups) because he really doesn’t see this as being about the money. Instead, this is all about creating an environment that will help these startups grow.
Korte notes that between things like Dogpatch Labs and Kicklabs, these types of creative working environments are hot right now. Given the heavy Google influence on both sides, AngelPad has an opportunity to be the hottest.