This article was originally written by John Tozzi and appeared in Business Week. New Orleans own Benjamin Reece and his new startup Kinio were featured in the articles, as was LaunchPad Ignition.
Some 500 people have signed up to test Benjamin Reece’s service to help indie filmmakers distribute their movies and merchandise online, a business he began working on six months ago. Reece and his co-founders now hope to get a working version of the software running, with the help of mentors and peers over the next seven weeks in Launch Pad Ignition, a startup accelerator in New Orleans. His company, Kinio, will work alongside five other startups, attend weekly pitch sessions, and network with veteran entrepreneurs and investors. “It’s this huge pot of resources that are just dropped in your lap,” says Reece, 28.
Since the first accelerators, which put small groups of entrepreneurs through intensive training, appeared in the mid-2000s, entrepreneurs and investors in dozens of cities have adopted the model. They’re typically geared toward Internet startups that can build products fast and cheap. David Cohen, co-founder of TechStars accelerators in Boulder, Colo., and three other cities, estimates that there are now 110 programs globally that use similar methods, most less than two years old. Bloomberg Businessweek has found some 50 accelerators altogether seeking more than 500 startups for their programs this year.