Editor’s note:Peter Relan is a former programmer and Internet executive, as well as a successful serial entrepreneur, Silicon Valley executive, angel investor, and technology veteran for over 25 years. Relan founded YouWeb Incubator in 2007, spinning out a string of successful mobile and gaming companies.
Incubators are now an industry segment in their own right. Before starting YouWeb Incubator in 2007, I began to explore the idea of an incubator with friends and colleagues. Most people told me that Idealab and CMGI had tried the model in the 1990s and didn’t really work out (with the exception of Overture, which spun out of Idealab). CMGI imploded in the dot-com bust.
However, I noticed one model gearing up: Y Combinator by Paul Graham. At least in Silicon Valley, YC was pretty much the only well-known incubator. Today the total number of incubators (broadly defined to include incubators, accelerators…
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