K2 Labs, “a new model for early stage investing,” differentiates itself from the herd by focusing on and healthily funding just a handful of fledgling companies at once. Instead of throwing a ton of new ideas against the wall and seeing which ones stick, K2 funnels its resources into the few startups it believes in, nurturing them until they blossom into mature companies with Ivy League IPOs.
They’re the helicopter parents of incubators, if you will.
The people behind K2 Labs are all bigwigs in their own right: cofounder and chairman Kevin Wendle had a hand in founding Fox and E! Online and was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “101 Most Powerful People in Entertainment.” He also “helped to launch the careers of Will Smith and Johnny Depp,” which we think are critical qualifications for successful incubator execs. Didn’t have a hand in Pirates of the Caribbean? The door is over there, sir (or ma’am)!
Other K2 Labs team members include Music Nation cofounder Daniel Klaus, ex-Limewire engineer Paul Tepper Fisher, and Chris O’Brien, CEO and cofounder of Motionbox.
K2 has three startups on its plate right now: the creepily knowledgeable Sonar, which tells you which of your Foursquare, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter connections are in a room with you; Fingerprint, a “mobile learning and play network” for kids; and Tracks, which allows you to make photo sets called “tracks” to share “social photo stories.”
As Mr. Klaus told AllThingsD, “We’re not giving people $25,000 and space to hang out at. We’re really building businesses.” No pre-revenue pool table in a sick Manhattan loft? What kind of operation are you running here?