You might say that there’s a bit of incubator overload these days. After all, this marks our third post of the day on the topic of startup incubators — following news from the Nike+ Accelerator in Portland and the announcement of the new cohort at 9Mile Labs in Seattle.
Now, here comes another incubator, though this one has a few unique twists. Get ready for Kick. The incubator is the brainchild of Michael “Luni” Libes, the Seattle serial entrepreneur who is also in the process of building out another incubator for “conscious companies” under the brand Fledge.
With Kick, Libes wants to fill a gap by catering to those companies that don’t make the cut at Founders Institute, TechStars, 9Mile Labs or, even, his other incubator Fledge. It’s also designed for entrepreneurs emerging from education programs like Startup Weekend, The University of Washington business plan competition or weekend hackathons, those who may have an idea but just need help getting it off the ground.
He describes it as a program for those entrepreneurs who are “diligently working on their plans, but who are not making the cut into the ‘exclusive’ programs.”
Kick has some other unique attributes that sets it apart. For one, it won’t take an equity stake in the companies that move through the program. But even more interesting is that it plans to require that all entrants pay for their $2,000 tuition though a crowdfunding effort on StartSomeGood. Participants must raise funds from at least 10 “supporters” as a proof of “sincerity” and “viability.”
In other words, you’ve got to get into fundraising mode immediately if you want into this incubator. Kick will be housed in the HUB Seattle, where Fledge also is based. (Discounts do apply for those who are HUB members). Members will meet twice per week at the Pioneer Square location from July 1 to August 22, with courses running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Libes expects about a dozen participants, noting that the summer hours could cut down on attendance.
The program is open to entrepreneurs of all stripes — hence the tagline of the “inclusive incubator.”
“This program is open to app developers and social entrepreneurs, as well as ideas for new non-profits and those looking to start a small lifestyle company on the side,” said Libes, who previously founded tech startups such as Medio, GroundTruth, 2Way and Nimble Corp.
He also said it differs from programs like NEXT, the new offering from Startup Weekend that is attempting to help entrepreneurs move their ideas beyond the 54-hour coding marathons. Startup Weekend’s Marc Nager has described that new offering as a “pre-accelerator.”
In fact, Libes agrees that Kick could also serve as a feeder system to some of the other accelerators, whether it be TechStars or 9Mile Labs. Or, possibly, not.
“If I do my job well, and the participant spends far more than two days per week on their business, they could skip that step and either go straight to investors or bootstrap via revenues,” he says.
Previously on GeekWire: Fledge: A startup incubator for socially-conscious startups takes flight with new cash