Why Vertical Incubators Are More Interesting to Investors

The first time I’ve seen the “incubator for x” category given a name: Vertical Incubator.

It’s important to give it a name, because it’s a model we’re going to see grow tremendously in popularity, even outside of tech.

Hunter Walk

According to AngelList there are 1,530 organizations listed as “incubators.” Even assuming several hundred of these are using the broadest definition of the word to describe themselves, it’s an incredible number. Many (the majority?) are what I’d categorize as “horizontal” – that’s to say, they don’t focus on a specific industry but rather try to help a group of startups generally advance their development. Whether you want to call them incubators, accelerators or any other name, the template is pretty similar: fixed amount of time inside the program in exchange for equity (and sometimes a cash investment).

As a seed fund investor here’s what I want from an incubator: (a) serve as a selection filter for me to meet interesting companies and (b) give their startups a competitive advantage via deep network beyond their incubation. I know that many incubators commit to doing more than this – mentors…

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Born to code.
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4 Responses to Why Vertical Incubators Are More Interesting to Investors

  1. That’s a great term! I’m surprised I haven’t seen that used before. I’m hoping that term takes off.

    Speaking of inventors, did a certain somebody get their greasy mits on a pair of Google Glass? ( I stalk your Github movements from afar 🙂 )

    • Brent says:

      Haha yes, I did. Just when I thought I was out (ditching Android for iPhone), Google pulled me back in.

      I’m too shy to wear it in public yet, but when I pluck up the courage, directions etc. only work with Android so I might end up with an iPhone in one pocked and my old Nexus in the other haha. Device chaos.

      • Damn you! I want Glass. I signed up ages ago but obviously don’t have the street cred to get a pair yet.

        I like that you’re back on the Android bandwagon. Lachie reckons of all places to wear Glass you should be fine in San Francisco! Carrying all those devices could be a pain. Then again I guess I carry 5 devices to work every day. #firstworldproblems

        • Brent says:

          It’s not your street cred, it’s your street address haha.

          I submitted a request ~12 months ago as an Australian, heard nothing. Submitted one about a month ago with US address etc. and got an email 2 weeks later.

          In any case, I’m emailing you now to hatch a scheme to get you hooked up. 🙂

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