Incubator helps nontech entrepreneurs

Oct 21, 2013
Austin American Statesman

Unlike most of Austin’s growing list of accelerators and incubators that focus on technology, Incubation Station is designed for startups that sell consumer packaged goods



Launched by a group of veteran Central Texas entrepreneurs in 2012, the mentoring program includes an intensive 14-week boot camp with mentors including Clayton Christopher, co-founder of Sweet Leaf Tea and co-founder and CEO of Deep Eddy Vodka; Leon Chen, co-founder and CEO of Tiff’s Treats; and Scott Jensen, co-founder of Rhythm Superfoods and former CEO of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q



Participating companies receive up to $20,000 in cash, as well as professional services including legal counseling and accounting, sales and marketing support. In return, the incubator receives a 2 to 10 percent stake in each company



The goal was to help nontech entrepreneurs connect in the way that Austin’s tech startup community does



Now Incubation Station is gearing up for its third annual program, with applications being accepted through Dec. 15, with classes starting on Feb. 4. It will culminate with a May 20 showcase where companies will make presentations and field questions from entrepreneurs and investors



More than 100 companies applied for the most recent program, and six were accepted. This time up to 10 will be chosen



New this year is a $100,000 fund that will allow Incubation Station, which operates as a for-profit business, to make investments of $25,000 to $75,000 in participating companies



The fund was created by 10 incubator mentors who put in $10,000 each. The size is expected to grow as Incubation Station invites additional mentors to put money in



None of Incubation Station’s 11 companies has been acquired yet, but collectively they have secured or are the process of raising more than $9 million in funding



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