Few people have asked us this question directly, others by implication. So we thought we'd share our point-of-view. We all know Seattle is rapidly becoming an attractive startup destination (#4 in the world according to the Startup Genome report) not just for WA state but also for the Pacific Northwest. An organization that helps nurture and grow early stage startups may not be a bad thing for our startup community. We certainly hear it all the time how the early stage startup ecosystem could use more support. Not just that, the Seattle area has been relatively sheltered from the economic crash of 2008 and as things begin to look up in the economy, we believe that the startup activity will intensify.
And how is 9Mile Labs different from the dozens of other incubators and accelerators in town? First off, we believe lumping incubators and accelerators together is like comparing apples and oranges, they are fundamentally very different business models. For a lot more on this topic, and which one is more appropriate for you as a startup, see this short YouTube video from Brad Feld or the discussion thread on Quora. So just focusing on the oranges (just go with it people!) while TechStars and Fledge.co are doing a great job with their startups, this region could certainly benefit from another early-stage accelerator. With all the technology talent and aspiring entrepreneurs in this region (rated #2 in the world in the Startup Genome report), there’s surely more than 10-20 competitive startup ideas that can use help from an accelerator.
One other way that 9Mile Labs is slightly different is our exclusive focus on B2B startups. All of us founders are career B2B software guys and the mentor network we are recruiting are all B2B-focused superstars. While we acknowledge that we end up narrowing the applicant pool with the B2B-only strategy, we believe we improve the chances of success for our startups with the laser focus.
So do we have what it takes to compete and succeed? You bet we do! We are entrepreneurs / executives ourselves and understand that our success is tied to the success of our startups. We continue to expand our slate of mentors, will have our program closely hew to Steve Blank’s customer development methodology, are creating customer panels to provide critical customer input, and offer great support to improve the success of our startups. There’s a lot more that goes into it, but you get the idea!
So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to www.9MileLabs.com and apply today!