NextView Ventures is launching a remote accelerator for startups


GettyImages 841429164
Image Credits: erhui1979 / Getty Images

Over the weekend, Silicon Valley leader Marc Andreessen broke his usual silence and gave some advice to Silicon Valley: It’s time to build. The famed investor urged CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors alike to welcome new companies into their circles.

The blog post details high-flying pieces of advice that could each land in a unique angle depending on where you sit. But as venture capitalists rush to prove they are open for business, the true test these days is a bit more grounded: cut checks and signed term sheets.

The words are eerily similar to the thesis of NextView Ventures, a Boston-based venture capital firm, and its new remote accelerator program, announced today.

“During this current COVID crisis, we have seen many VCs publicly saying that they are ‘open for business,’ but we wanted to put our money where our mouth is,” according to partner David Beisel.

Using money earmarked from its current fund, NextView will invest $200,000 for an 8% stake in fewer than 10 pre-seed and seed startups. The program will be fully virtual and is investing in founders that drive change in the “everyday lives of everyday people.”

Rob Go, the co-founder of NextView, tweeted about the launch today.

The NextView accelerator is launching at a time when historical incubators like Y Combinator and 500 Startups are rethinking their independent strategies. Today Y Combinator announced its upcoming batch will be fully remote, and last month 500 Startups said it is scrapping its cohort model.

The firm also publicly said what it didn’t like about traditional accelerator programs, like big batch sizes and flashy demo days.

“Accelerators were at their best when they were small and intimate. YC’s initial batch was just eight companies,” Beisel said about the small number of participants. “But over time, accelerators became more of a numbers game.”

Beisel added, “traditional accelerator demo days originated as a way to showcase startups to follow-on investors, but eventually evolved into an elaborate show attempting to satisfy many constituents.”

Still, an unavoidable truth about demo days is that it connects startups to founders and ideally that first check. What happens to deal success when you don’t have a buzzy room of journalists, venture capitalists and bright lights on founder faces?

After YC and 500 Startups hosted their first-ever virtual demo days this year, we’ve heard grumblings of mixed results. Y Combinator last week changed from always investing in YC graduates to reviewing on a case by case basis, hinting at conservatism within the accelerator.

NextView also approaches post-accelerator funding conservatively. The firm says it will connect its small cohort to next-round investors, but will “intentionally not lead the next round of financing.” The firm is being upfront about its choice to not lead follow-on investing to “avoid potential signaling issues for future financings.” The company will participate with at least pro-rata for all companies in any subsequent round of financing to help the cohort.

An optimistic read of this decision is that NextView is viewing its accelerator as a separate function of its investment firm and wants to be more of a helper than a robust pipeline for deal flow. Alternatively, it could mean that the firm doesn’t want to over-promise capital in an unpredictable time for the economy. And in the chance that it does find a gem within this batch, it would be surprising for NextView to not invest in the company.

The bottom line is that NextView is launching an accelerator and investing in startups during a time when many are not. So while we’ll wait to see how successful the firm is in cultivating young startups with ripe returns, for now it’s building. And in today’s new normal, building is a welcome sign.

More TechCrunch

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender Solo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient, and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets