What up, my nerds? Tech incubator comes to 1 News Plaza
blog by Ben Kirst • June 23, 2012 @ 6:31am
There is a veritable all-star team of investors lining up to support the new Z80 Labs Technology Incubator project set to officially launch on Monday, July 23.
Slow down there, Zuckerberg, you may be saying. What the hell is the new Z80 Labs Technology Incubator project?
GLAD YOU ASKED. According to the official press release from Synacor, one of the initial supporters of the initiative, “Z80 Labs…is Buffalo’s first Internet-focused technology incubator, providing entrepreneurs the ability to build new and innovative tech companies in Buffalo, New York. Startups invited to locate in Z80 Labs are given a wide array of services including office space, tech support, collaboration tools, weekly education programs, specifically-assigned mentorship teams, access to the Z80 Speaker Series, amenities and infrastructure from local companies, as well as expert advice from renowned industry advisers.”
Well, that sounds nice, doesn’t it? But being the frugal Buffalonian that you are, you can’t help but wonder who’s going to foot the bill. Buffalo News reporter David Robinson noted that $4 million will come from New York State, while Softbank Capital, The Buffalo News, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions and Synacor will pick up the rest of the check.
The goal of Z80 Labs is to make Buffalo a tech hotbed. The Synacor release explains that the incubator will “...serve as a catalyst…by creating an environment that gives entrepreneurs exposure to industry leaders typically available only in New York City or Silicon Valley, (allowing) Z80 Labs (to) kick-start entrepreneur-driven tech businesses within an accelerated environment, bolstering the local economy.”
Each business in the incubator—which will be located on the first floor of The Buffalo News Building (1 News Plaza, Buffalo), home to a certain website that you know and love, as well as (we are told) some sort of newspaper (kidding, editorial)—will be assigned a mentor. And look at who some of these mentors will be! The list of heavy hitters includes:
- Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures, also known as the guy who invested in Tumblr, Twitter and Foursquare
- Jonah Peretti of Buzzfeed fame and co-founder of The Huffington Post
- Mark Pincus, creator of Zynga. Damn you, Pincus, and your Farmville.
- Gary Ginsberg of Time Warner
- Andrew Siegel of Advance Newhouse. Probably will not be the most popular guy in the building.
- Brad Feld of Foundry Group, an investor in sites like SEOMoz and Oblong, as well as a bunch of projects that were acquired by major players
...and many more. “We’re going to change the way young people think about digital media in Buffalo,” local investor and project originator Jordan Levy told Robinson.
Anyhow, this is a great thing for the city and will hopefully serve as the catalyst to improve our company cafeteria as well as the local economy. Best of luck. And now, a special message from your new friends at Buffalo.com:
Photo from Flickr / joefoodie.