The program will be based out of Atom Factory’s L.A. office, and invest $50,000 in five to seven startups in exchange for a 3 percent stake in the companies.
Accepted startups will participate in a 10-week curriculum designed to teach founders things like how to get press, user acquisition strategies, and other skills that all early-stage companies need to succeed.
Carter mentioned that most accelerators produce founders that still lack these important skills, which is why SMASHD LABS will make teaching them a main focus of the program.
While SMASHD LABS won’t have the brand recognition of programs like YC or 500 Startups (at least at first), Carter’s connections to celebrities and influencers could be valuable to startups targeting the entertainment industry.
According to Carter, the inspiration for the program came from working with Disney’s Accelerator, of which Carter is a mentor. He also hopes the initiative will allow him and his company to better mentor young entrepreneurs and startups, as well as invest in early-stage tech companies.
Atom Factory eventually hopes to turn the accelerator into an annual or semiannual program accepting a wide variety of companies. However, the first batch will be focused just on startups innovating in the entertainment industry.
Specifically, Carter said he is interested in companies offering predictive analytics to the music management industry.
For example, many artists have trouble identifying the perfect tour schedule that will maximize sold out shows. If a company could analyze listening habits and notice that certain artists are heavily played in certain locations, it could sell data on an ideal concert schedule to an artist’s manager.
Applications are open now on SMASHD LABS’s website, and the program will start on September 14 in Los Angeles.