Chicago has always been less than stellar in self-promotion when it comes to our entrepreneurial community. It’s not like there’s a lack of capital, nor a lack of talent. There’s a ton of opportunity, and there’s a ton of great work going on here. It’s not nearly as networked as it should be, and it’s often under-reported. That seems to be changing with the introduction of two new seed capital incubators, Excelerate Labs and ScaleWell.
Excelerate Labs is an entrepreneurial incubator program, similar to TechStars, which offers seed capital (in the low five figures) and mentorship to new startups. It’s well-connected to some of Chicago’s leading entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. ScaleWell, the brainchild of Sean Corbett (HaveMyShift.com) and Andy Angelos (GetTalkedAbout.com) is a much more organic and grassroots effort, offering $1,000 and office space. Both occupy a much needed space in the Chicago entrepreneurial community, alongside the more established organizations like the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.
I’m honored to add my support to Excelerate Labs as a mentor for the Summer 2010 session.
Word from Troy Henikoff is that the participants will be announced very soon, and I’m extremely excited to meet and begin working with them.
I’ve also reached out to Sean Corbett of ScaleWell to see about helping there as well.
It’s good to give back.