RocketSpace has fueled the success of more than 200 companies. Some delighting names are Uber, Leap Motion, Podio, DOMO, Zappos.com, Zaarly, Kabam, Kwarter Inc., Pocket Change and Beatport. Speakers, classes, mentoring, recruiting, financing, HR, community events, education, venture capital and more. Today, RocketSpace is home to more than 130 technology companies and a thriving Corporate Innovation Program. Collectively, RocketSpace members and alumni have raised more than $1.8 billion in funding.
CEO and founder of RocketSpace Duncan Logan started RocketSpace in 2011. Prior to that he owned a company called NationalBLS, a Buyer Listing Service that mirrored the MLS (Multi Listing Service) for residential real estate buyers, sellers and agents to use. However, it failed within its first two years. Like they say, failures are pillars of success- NationalBLS failed, but carved the way for the formation of RocketSpace.
Along with various mentorship programs and resources, RocketSpace also open channels for startups to access capital, talent and customers. There’s a Corporate Innovation Program for the corporate brands. It helps foster relationships between technology startups and leading corporates that includes British Airways, Microsoft, Samsung, GM and many more. A new program has also been launched, called RocketU to introduce developer bootcamps that help entrepreneurs and technology professionals learn cutting-edge coding languages and techniques that will advance them in their careers. RocketU students receive professional career development, job placement support and access to RocketSpace’s alumni network.
RocketSpace receives more than 30 applications per week. They dedicatedly choose the best seed-funded tech startup to be a part of this innovation campus. Global brands in Corporate Innovation Program look out for “what’s next” in technology. RocketSpace gives unique insight on this question specifically.
Startups that are fueled by RocketSpace are provided with a research database of over 16,000 startups, access to startup demo days and option to work from RocketSpace Campus in San Francisco. For startups, the Corporate Innovation Program gives them the opportunity to partner with larger companies on various projects. For example, through the program, Kwarter Inc., a startup that builds gaming applications for use in conjunction with live television to increase user engagement, developed a relationship with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). Kwarter created a Bud Light football app for AB InBev to test, and it was such a success that AB InBev ended up running ads to promote the app during a dozen NFL games.
RocketSpace works towards connecting startups with the right people- the perfect angel investors, Venture Capitalists, and business leaders in the Silicon Valley. Early startups mostly do not have these connections, but through RocketSpace they can have the best connections for their startups.
Founder Duncan thought it won’t be less than 10 years to build this perfect ecosystem for RocketSpace and in many areas, but it happened more faster than he had planned. Like any other business, RocketSpace too faced many challenges. For a one year old company, asking for 100,000 square feet and also asking a traditional real estate business to look at a new opportunity was no less than a challenge. Duncan bootstrapped himself so as to give more personal choices in defining the business model. For this reason he had to say ‘no’ to many opportunities, some of which were right decision in hindsight.
RocketSpace deliberately decided not to invest in the companies or insist on any equity. From day one, the focus has been on attracting the very best startups to build the ecosystem which is paying off. RocketSpace’s Corporate Innovation Program is a real attraction to the startups housed in this innovation campus as is the ability to hang out with the students in the RocketU courses. It is a 10-week “try before you buy” process for the startups and a 10-week working interview for the students.
So, are you new to startup world, and need the right backing to start off? Apply to RocketSpace to get fueled up and take off!