While Silicon Valley startups have long enjoyed the benefits of the region’s history of entrepreneurial mentorship, with a number of seed programs and incubators focused on helping to the next big idea, New York City startups have historically had to go it alone. But now, the Entrepreneurs Roundtable is looking to change that by launching a new startup incubator that will inject some funds into promising New York-based startups and provide guidance over a three-month period this summer. It’s the latest in a wave of start-up help for local entrepreneurs, who now have a number of options.
The Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator program will run three months this summer, from June through August, and will conclude a demo day and investor pitch at the end. The 10 startups selected to participate in the program will each receive $25,000 and free, collaborative office space for the summer. In exchange, the program will get an 8-percent equity stake in participating startups.
The incubator has lined up some 140 mentors to participate, including heavyweights in the New York startup and investment community such as Fred Wilson, Brian Cohen, David Pakman and others. Gunderson Dettmer is offering legal advice through the program, and the incubator will have interns available from inSITE. Participating startups will also get help from on-site developers and administrative support through the program.
The Entrepreneurs Roundtable program isn’t the only incubator for New York startups: TechStars announced it would launch an incubator in New York last year, and Y Combinator has also been ramping up its New York City presence. Dreamit Ventures also announced a New York class for the first time, and locally-based NYC SeedStart launched its incubator program last year and plans to run it again in 2011, this time with a media-focused program that pairs entrepreneurs with established companies such as the New York Times, Hearst, News Corp. and others.
In general, the increase in the amount of early-stage funding available has grown as New York has come into its own as a startup haven. That has led firms like First Round Capital to launch New York offices and investors like Ron Conway to greatly increase their investment in New York-based startups. While New York has a long way before it supplants Silicon Valley, the market is rapidly growing and incubators like the Entrepreneur Roundtable program will only accelerate that.
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