Canadians Michael Parkatti and Mike Marrone are in Cambridge, Massachusetts participating in the 2008 summer session of Y Combinator - a new kind of venture firm specializing in funding early stage startups, to begin work on their new stealth-mode Internet startup. In a special GlobeTechnology.com feature, Parkatti and Marrone will be filing weekly reports as they work they way to publicly launch a new Web-based business in August.
However, the dim prospects have not deterred my business partner, Mike Marrone, and I from throwing caution into the wind and participating in the most high-profile entrepreneurial launch pad possible: Y Combinator. For those unfamiliar with Y Combinator, it can be roughly described as a Venture Capital firm that provides seed funding for startups. However, their obvious corollaries with the traditional venture capital industry end there. From a first-time founder's perspective, Y Combinator is exactly the sort of program that provides the means to achieve our ambitions. On top of the seed investment, they also provide many of the intangibles (product advice, connections, ready access to hundreds of potential investors) that first-time entrepreneurs usually lack. In exchange they receive a small percentage of equity from each founding team. For the current three-month session (June to August), 22 teams have converged on the Boston area.
You may recognize Parkatti's name from previous Techvibes coverage on another one of his start-ups - ChompChompDead.