Creative agency Loud and Clear is set to launch its own startup incubator, looking to invest in four B2B startups a year.
Loud and Clear will provide the technical expertise, essentially joining the startups it invests in as a technical cofounder. It’s looking for non-technical entrepreneurs with solutions for problems in industries they have experience in.
The agency will offer discounted development costs and seed funding, the amount of which will be determined based on the startup’s valuation, in exchange for about 15% equity.
Loud and Clear managing director Cade Witnish says the advantage of its incubator program is that it won’t be reliant on the startups it invests in to generate revenue.
“A typical incubator relies on a certain amount of startups coming through their doors to keep their lights on, but for us the agency does that,” he says.
“We prefer to invest in people rather than ideas. The reality is every startup is going to need to pivot, it’s going to need to shift and it’s going to need to change. If we don’t find anyone that we think fits the bill, we won’t do it.
“What we as a group think works best is when we have a non-tech entrepreneur who has experience in a particular field, provided their experience gives them an insight that other people couldn’t up with, and we couldn’t come up.
“A niche in that industry that we can help them bring to life.”
The new accelerator will be run by Humphrey Laubscher, general manager of innovation at Loud and Clear and formerly of Pollenizer. He says it’ll aim to bring on one startup per quarter initially as the program finds its feet.
“Where we’ll be a little bit different is we won’t go straight into the build stage. We’ll have agreed what the MVP might look like right now, then go through a testing stage, test customer acquisition, value proposition, things like that,” he says.
“Our focus is on b2b products. With b2b the benefits that those entrepreneurs bring having worked in the industry, and the relationships they have, often means they can test the product and find those first customers themselves.”
As part of the launch Loud and Clear is offering one entrepreneur the chance to win a trip to the 2015 Silicon Valley Innovation Summit. Victorian residents over the age of 18 can enter here.