Over the past four decades, Xerox PARC has helped spark some amazing innovations, from the ethernet to laser printing to the graphical user interface.
Now, PARC, originally founded in 1970 as the Palo Alto Research Center and reincorporated as a subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, is turning to Seattle to find some breakthrough innovations that help businesses become more innovative and efficient.
In addition to monetary support, PARC is providing technical mentorship to those in the program and the potential for rapid prototyping and other services.
In fact, one of the startups from that class, Comr.se, entered into a partnership with PARC last year, one which has helped save the entrepreneurs significant development resources and time. And 9Mile has other ties to PARC.
Enrique Godreau, one of the 9Mile partners, started his career as a Xerox engineer and worked at PARC as a researcher for seven years in the 1980s and early ’90s.
PARC is looking to work more closely with startups, and they liked 9Mile’s laser focus on B2B companies, an area of historical interest for the R&D shop.
“The collaboration between PARC and 9Mile Labs creates unique combinations of disruptive technologies and startups that has not occurred previously,” writes 9Mile Labs partner Sanjay Puri. “PARC serves to accelerate startups in 3 distinct ways. First, PARC can efficiently offer the broad and deep base of technical expertise with PARC researchers and technologists to help startups in the form of technical mentoring. Second, PARC can draw upon its vast stable of existing technologies and IP that can provide startups a great head-start, as in the case of Comr.se. Third, PARC provides a world-class infrastructure for rapid prototyping – specifically their foundry services for software and cloud technology startups – that obviates the need for startups to expend their scarce time and resources building this infrastructure.”
The 9Mile Labs accelerator, which is actually located inside SURF Incubator in downtown Seattle, is currently nurturing its second class of companies. Those that go through the program receive $35,000 in startup capital, as well as intense mentorship during the four month program.
9Mile — which raised $900,000 last fall from super angel Rudy Gadre and others — plans to present its latest cohort during a demo day on May 16.