Two months ago, Techvibes reported that Vancouver’s newest superangel, Mike Edwards, would be taking over the helm of Vancouver accelerator GrowLab. We warned Vancouver’s startup community to buckle their seatbelts and prepare for “massive action” with Edwards in the Executive Director role.
Techvibes sat down with Edwards this morning to learn more about his first big GrowLab announcement—the cohort selected for their Spring 2012 program which kicks off next week.
You’ll notice from the list of successful applicants that they are a little more mature than those selected for the inaugural cohort. Clearly an Edwards influence on the selection process: “One of the keys that I identified coming into GrowLab is that there is an opportunity in the marketplace to go a little bit later in the cycle of a startup. We went and hunted talent, we went looking for interesting opportunities, interesting entrepreneurs, and interesting teams that were at the stage where we could actually helping them commercialize their idea.”
GrowLab’s Spring 2012 cohort is:
• BlueBat – Co-founded by Kenny Huang and Tim Harris. The creators of BlueBox, an engine that allows game developers to easily build on social platforms.
• Cinecoup – Founded by Overinteractive Media’s J. Joly. Cinecoup wants to disrupt how feature films have been created, financed and distributed since 1878.
• Skyscrpr – Co-founded by Paul Burger and Jacob Reiff. Skyscrpr makes it easy for bloggers to sell ads directly to advertisers with a user friendly interface and automated media kits.
• Wantering – Co-founded by Matt Friesen, Nicholas Molnar, Nick Cairns, and Jesse Sherlock. Wantering lets you visually browse, find and buy the latest trends from fashion blogs and curation networks.
Since these teams are more established than the first cohort, the requirement of setting up shop in GrowLab office space is now gone. Edwards compares the services provided by GrowLab in 2012 to bespoke services as the cohort has specific needs at specific times whether it be mentorship for growth, help building a defensible business model, doing A/B Testing around those business models, raising money, or scaling.
What’s next for this GrowLab cohort? For the next three months, each team will tap into these bespoke services in an intense acceleration period which will conclude with an invitation-only Demo Day event at Vancouver’s third annual Grow Conference on August 22.
That same weekend Edwards will host an Accelerator Symposium, bringing together Executive Directors at accelerators from all over the globe to discuss best practices and challenges these organizations face in the ever-changing landscape of scaling companies.
GrowLab was founded by Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures, Debbie Landa of Dealmaker Media, Jason Bailey of Eastside Games, and Leonard Brody of Clarity Digital, and its investors include BDC, iNovia Capital, Relay Ventures, Rho Canada, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Growthworks, Yaletown Venture Partners, Chris Albinson, and Mike Edwards himself.