There's a new startup incubator program coming to San Francisco, this one is called, i/o ventures.
The fund is similar to Y Combinator in that it describes itelf as, "an early stage startup program that focuses heavily on its mentorship." It will be accepting five companies per session, which lasts four months with two months optional for those wanting to continue using the space. i/o said it will invest $25,000 per startup in return for 8% of the company.
i/o's founding team consists of four successful entrepreneurs. Aber Whitcomb was most recently the CTO and co-founder of MySpace. Ashwin Navin was the president and co-founder of BitTorrent. Jim Young was co-founder, CTO and CEO of HOTorNOT.com. And Paul Bragiel is the co-founder of Lefora.
Beyond the partners of the company, i/o also lists out its, "friends in San Francisco that will stop by frequently." Among these are some names to definitely look forward to including Aaron Patzer who just sold Mint, Kevin Rose founder of Digg, Mike Arrington founder of TechCrunch, and Russ Simmons co-founder of Yelp. There is no exact schedule of when or how often these names will pop up but Arrington said in a blog post he'd be there several times a month.
One of the requirements to be brought into the program is that accepted startups must move to San Francisco. i/o commented on its site saying, "the most benefit you can get out of our startup accelerator program happens when you are here with us face to face."
The founders definitely are looking to be closely involved with the startups as they explain, "we think of ourselves as advisors or even co-founders in your venture, rather than typical investors."
Similar to other startup incubators, at the end of the program startups embark on a Demo Day where i/o will invite angel investors and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley to check out what the startups have been working on.
The i/o building is not fully constructed yet, but will be located on 780 Valencia in San Francisco and size up to about 7,000 square feet, according to Arrington's blog.
The first program starts on March 1st, 2010 and i/o ventures is accepting applications now. The incubator said those looking to apply should have an idea involving web services, client software, digital media, and gaming, but at the same time, are open to anything.