MuckerLab, a tech startup accelerator in Los Angeles
Plain white walls with minimal decorations. Bare exposed ceiling in an open space. Ample lighting. Long, complex calculus equations on one whiteboard; web performance metrics and long list of beta customers on another. Engineers toil over long lines of code on big monitor screens. There is an air of seriousness here. This is MuckerLab.
In less than a year since its creation, MuckerLab has already graduated a class of 8 stellar startups, all got follow-on funding from top tier VCs. We talked to Bill Woodward, Managing Partner at Anthem Venture Partners who invested in SurfAir, an alum startup from the first class. Woodward is very happy with his investment. While getting funded may be a vanity milestone for individual startups, it is a very good market acceptance indicator on an accelerator program as a whole. MuckerLab is about hand-picking quality startups and providing them with a mentorship driven accelerator program that is modeled after TechStars, it is, in fact part of the Global Accelerator Network founded by TechStars.
“We keep a very low profile here. We put our heads down and focus on finding initial product-market fit in order to build real and sustainable businesses.” – said Will Hsu, the co-Founder and Managing Partner of MuckerLab. Casually dressed, quick-witted and with a quiet demeanor, he could easily be mistaken for one of the startup geeks here. There are no private offices or cubicle dividers here. He comes into the office, works long hours and stays very hands-on with the startups.
“We believe in building a fraternity or sorority sense of community. You have to go through the pain together. So, no rolling application. We have classes.” – Hsu commented – “We don’t limit ourselves to any market segments. We will consider B2B companies, B2C companies, and so on – collectively the partners have operating experience in a wide range of industries.” Technology core competency is an important acceptance criteria here at MuckerLab. “They must have a tech cofounder. If they can’t convince a developer to join their vision, that might be an indicator of their lack of sale skill. Maybe they won’t be able to close the deals that they need with a big company or investor later on.”
This fall, MuckerLab is starting its second class of 11 new startups. Aaron Stannard, founder of MarkedUp, a startup in the new class excitedly shared with us: “The fall program has not officially started yet but MuckerLab has already been tremendously helpful to us.” Chad Billmyer, founder of Enthusify, another startup in the fall class, concurred with Stannard’s sentiment. “Muckerlab is the accelerator to join if you want to work alongside SoCal’s top product guys.” – said C.K. Lin, the Entrepreneur in Residence. At MuckerLab, each startup is provided with $21,000 in funding in exchange for 6% common equity, a co-working space and a 4-month accelerator program. We look forward to watch this new class of startups bloom.
MuckerLab 1st class
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