May 16, 2013
Starting this summer, the newly created FirebrandGroup will be investing $10,000 to $25,000 in very early-stage startups who go through a new accelerator called Progression Lab.
The funding is intended to help new (not serial) entrepreneurs build an MVP for their big idea.
“We’ve always wanted to have a way to invest in early ideas that simply need enough capital to allow the founders to go heads down and prove their concept, but we never had the capacity to do it at VegasTechFund,” says VegasTechFund partner Zach Ware.
The VegasTechFund is the tech startup investment arm of the Downtown Project, a revitalization project for downtown Las Vegas started by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. The FirebrandGroup, as part of the VegasTechFund, will allocate up to $500,000 of the VegasTechFund’s $50 million to pre-seed companies. So far, the VegasTechFund has made around 27 investments itself.
Progression Lab is a three-month accelerator and “residential immersion program” that will run its first class starting in June. The idea is to help entrepreneurs get connected to the community and get mentored by some of the visionaries who visit downtown Las Vegas. Participants will have access to the Work in Progress coworking space, our monthly Tech Cocktail Week events, and the Downtown Speaker Series. FirebrandGroup-funded startups will go through the accelerator with companies in other industries, like fashion and design.
The FirebrandGroup was started by seven Venture for America fellows, recent college grads who work for the Downtown Project.
The preferred application deadline is May 22. Those interested in learning more should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tech Cocktail received a $2.5 million investment from the Downtown Project.
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