Bring On the Pre-Incubators

Joanne Wilson, Founder Labs mentor.

New York has plenty of accelerators–TechStars! DreamIt! Entrepreneurs Roundtable! TechStars, again! But incubators have gotten so selective that companies need to be more and more mature in order to get in. Enter the pre-accelerator.

Founder Labs is a five-week mentoring program for (preferably) female entrepreneurs looking to do something with mobile. It was developed by Women 2.0 and is now being spun off as a standalone entity, and expanding to New York.

“The time is tight and the expectations are high, especially since most of you walk in pre-team, pre-idea. You will ideate, talk to potential customers, release products constantly, while getting insights from weekly visiting advisor talks and feedback from mentors,” the website says.

Unlike incubators that take a stake in their companies, Founder Labs is pay-to-play at $755 a person (scholarships available). Mentors include Fred Wilson, Joanne Wilson, Esther Dyson and Pivotal Labs’s Ian McFarland. Applications are due by April 20.

“Think of [it] as what you do before Y Combinator or Techstars,” Fred Wilson told TechCrunch.

Bring On the Pre-Incubators