Ex-Myspace CEO Mike Jones launches start-up incubator Science
Thursday, November 17, 2011/
Former Myspace chief Mike Jones has launched a new start-up incubator known as Science, joining the plethora of tech entrepreneurs who have launched accelerators.
Jones was named chief executive of Myspace in October 2010. In this role, he oversaw global business operations for Myspace, Myspace Music and Myspace Mobile.
Jones is also the founder and former chief executive of internet company Userplane, acquired by AOL in 2006 for $40 million. Within AOL, Jones served as a senior vice president.
In addition to managing Userplane within AOL, Jones coordinated with AOL subsidiaries and internal brands to enable distribution of web applications under the Userplane brand.
Jones is also chief executive of Tsavo Media, sold to Cyberplex in 2010 for $75 million.
Additionally, he serves as an advisor to private start-ups and currently sits on the boards of Docstoc, GumGum, MoVoxx, People Media and FreeConference.
Now he’s announced he will immerse himself in the start-up world with the launch of Science, a start-up incubator, accelerator and studio.
Science, based in Santa Monica in California, will develop and incubate new business ideas, advise early stage start-ups and help “Web 1.0” companies reinvent themselves.
It will focus on smaller classes of potential companies, with a particular interest in eCommerce, mobile and social platforms.
“We want to be involved in a small set of businesses that we run through the entire gauntlet and get them to success,” Jones said earlier this week.
Science is aiming to be the gateway for venture capitalists in the LA tech scene by finding and producing innovative companies through a three-step process.
Firstly, start-ups will go through an incubation period before being injected with strategic and operational advice. They will then be exposed to late-stage investments.
The company has already raised $10 million from Social+Capital, Tomorrow Ventures, Rustic Canyon, White Star Capital and a handful of high-profile angel investors.
It finds start-ups through “various relationships… with investors, VCs and fellow entrepreneurs”. Start-ups are also encouraged to introduce themselves to the company.
Jones says Science will provide all the basic resources so that start-ups can focus on “improving area expertise”, and envisions Science will remain involved throughout the entire business cycle.
His foray into the incubator scene follows the likes of Dave McClure and Paul Graham, the respective founders of 500 Startups and Y Combinator.
Both McClure and Graham established start-up accelerators after founding multiple businesses of their own. But according to Jones, Science will be different to both of these accelerators.
“A traditional incubator or accelerator is great for training entrepreneurs for three-month class cycles,” he says.
“But at the end of the day, when they walk out of the door with $50,000 in financing…that’s a tough place to be. They’re still going to need structure around them.”
“I think [the term] ‘science’ speaks to the theory we’re going after. Scaling these businesses is much more a science than an art.”