Oft-rebooted startup accelerator gets new funding to focus on industries ripe for disruption
Last November, Extreme Venture Partners' startup accelerator, which had been around since 2009 and was geared toward social, mobile, and local spaces, launched a significant reboot, which the company coined Extreme University. Well, this reboot was itself rebooted Tuesday, and renamed as Extreme Startups.
Extreme Startups received $7 million in funding from investors, Extreme Venture Partners, OMERS Ventures, RHO Canada Ventures, BlackBerry Partners Fund, and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The start-up accelerator will use these funds to develop two cohorts of five start-ups each, over two 12-week period at the company's Toronto headquarters.
Back in November, previous incarnations of the accelerator program ExtremeU announced that Facebook would supply product strategy and design mentorship for "students" in the program. Now, in the current iteration of the program, Facebook will be joined by companies like Google, Microsoft, AutoDesk, and Twitter, among others in mentorship of those in the program.
Each company inducted into Extreme Startup's development program will recieve an initial $50,000, with as much as an additional $150,000 upon graduation. Also, each company will have one mentor overseeing them closely, with a lot more helping out in a larger community sense.
Extreme Startups indicated in one report that it hopes to sidestep problems of accelerator oversaturation by focusing on fields ripe for disruption, "like media, education, health, and publishing."
The company also mentioned in this report a desire to explore "newly created products and industries," though this strategy doesn't seem to jive very well with the guidelines as laid out by FakeGrimlock, a popular, fictional dinosaur, whose Twitter serves as a mouthpiece for all kinds of tech wisdom, and which added some monosyllabic advice in the blog announcing the new accelerator initiative.
"NO ONE WANT DO NEW THING. MAKE SHOES INSTEAD. EVERYONE LIKE SHOES. GO ON FEET, MAKE WALK BETTER," said the FakeGrimlock blog post. (I told you it was monosyllabic.) But really, this blog post is both funny and insightful, and worth checking out.
So we'll have to watch and see how Extreme Startups reconciles the innovation of "newly created products" and FakeGrimlock's good advice about how no one wants a "new thing."