Business Incubators or Business Accelerators?
A TCVN Forum
Incubators and accelerators are real options for entrepreneurs interested in starting and growing their new ventures. With accelerators being the new kid on the block, there seems to be significant confusion about the differences between the two. Entrepreneurs use the terms interchangeably, yet the differences may be profound in structure and what it will mean for the growth path of a venture. At the same time, there are overlaps between the services provided. Do the two models serve different purposes and which one is right for you?
TCVN is proud to bring together this extraordinary panel of individuals who will shed light on the differences between incubators and accelerators and empower entrepreneurs in reaching their goals. Join us for this enlightening event and understand what it means to incubate or accelerate.
Dr. Chamorro currently serves as the Director of the Digital Media Center, an economic development program of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. As Director, Dr. Chamorro oversees the development and implementation of a Business Incubator program, which provides assistance to start-up companies looking to establish themselves in the technology sector. Dr. Chamorro also oversees Career Technical Education programs funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to create career pathways for students from middle school to four-year universities.
Dr. Chamorro holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Business Administration from California State University San Bernardino. Dr. Chamorro is also a mentor of the Puente program, and a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his leadership and commitment to educational issues in the Latino community.
Ray is currently the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at K5 Venture Partners. As an active angel investor with a successful 25 year track record as a king/queen maker, Ray is committed to partnering with entrepreneurs to lead them to success. Working in tandem with these entrepreneurs, Ray loves sharing his passion and knowledge with the next class of game-changers. Ray has extensive experience within the tech startup industry. He was most recently the COO of portfolio companies Vokle, Masher Media, AIPCOM and Everyone.net. At Everyone.net, he helped to secure over $12 million in funding and grew the company into a profitable outsourced email provider. Everyone.net was later sold to ProofPoint Inc. Ray has also served as the Vice President of International at NetManage, a provider of e-business and application integration solutions. In 1985, he co-founded NetSoft, a leader in communications solutions between PCs, mainframes, and AS/400 systems. NetSoft was acquired by NetManage Inc (NETM).
Michael Sawitz is the Founder and CEO of FastStart.studio, a business incubator in Irvine, CA. Additionally, Mr. Sawitz has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amailcenter Franchise Corporation, the franchisor of AIM Mail Centers, since its inception in 1985. He sold the brand in August of 2011. Since July 1979, he has also served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Michael Sawitz, Inc. which operates a sign center division and an equipment and fixtures division. He has been a featured guest on radio talk shows such as Professional Insights, National Public Radio and California Grand Opening. He has been a frequent speaker at various minority business development centers sponsored by the SBA, numerous Franchise Business Network events and twice as featured presentation at the Technology in Franchising National Conferences, and has been the keynote speaker at the PC Synergy Conference. Mr. Sawitz has been featured in nationwide publications such as Franchise Update and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Additionally, he is Entrepreneur in Residence at California State University Fullerton Mihaylo School of Business and Economics. Michael Sawitz has also cofounded and served as the President of the National Alliance of Ship Centers, a non-profit industry association.
Kyle Taylor is the director of operations at Launchpad LA. Founded by Mark Suster of GRP Partners in 2009, Launchpad LA is a startup accelerator designed to help entrepreneurs in Los Angeles obtain the guidance and relationships needed to help take their companies to the next level. Of 33 companies to participate in the program, 27 have received outside funding and 8 have been acquired to date. They offer each accepted company a $100,000 investment, free office space in the heart of Santa Monica (one block from the beach) for four months, and most importantly, access to a massive network of top VCs, angel investors and mentors.
Kyle comes from a technology background where he worked previously as a mechanical engineer. At MSC Software he worked with computer aided design and finite element analysis tools to accurately simulate product response to static and dynamic loading. MSC Software is considered one of the "10 original software companies," developing some of the first structural analysis tools for NASA. At Syska Hennessey Group, Kyle worked with the computational fluid dynamics team to predict building system loads. Kyle received a BS in mechanical engineering from UC Irvine and joined Launchpad LA in January 2012.
JJ Richa is an accomplished technology entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. Mr. Richa is a results-oriented executive who has demonstrated his strategic, proactive, and creative abilities with the successful start-up and launch of several companies including a SaaS/WaaS technology company for the hospitality industry, an online ecommerce portal for exquisite and unique shoppers, and a custom software development company with main concentration on the financial sector. Mr. Richa is a Managing Director at Trenchant Ventures, LLC - a private equity firm with concentration on distressed business acquisition and restructuring. Mr. Richa holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree from California State University Long Beach. Mr. Richa is a private equity investor and is a member of Tech Coast Angels. He serves on the board of for-profit in addition to not-for-profit organizations that help start-ups in accelerating business growth and raising capital.
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Tech Coast Venture Network
TCVN is one of Southern California’s premier technology business networks. Through a wide variety of forums, pitch sessions, workshops, and other networking events, we bring together entrepreneurs and resources from every facet of the technology and startup landscape.