Is there a set amount of time we will have like other incubators?
We allow you to stay for as long as you need (within reason). There is no set program we run you through. Instead we offer you mentors that can help you plan for your specific needs. Since we only benefit if you are successful, our interests should be aligned in building successful ventures.
How many companies do you accept?
We have room for up to 10 companies, but have no specific quota for the actual number in the incubator.
How large are the companies you are looking for?
We look for seed stage companies from 2 to 5 employees. We will also accept teams that are committed to starting a company, but are still working on developing the concept.
How much do you invest and what are your terms?
We don’t invest in the companies up front, but we do reserve the right to invest in the next financing. As consideration for the free office space and mentoring we take a common stock ownership stake in the company.
Do you help us find investors?
Our mutual goal is for each company to have a funding event and/or get to cash flow positive. We have an extensive network of angel and institutional investors who will be anticipating your pitch.
Are there any costs involved?
No, we provide you with free internet access, free office space, and free parking. There is a cafeteria on the campus and we have a fridge for you to store your own food if you like.
How much access will we get to the mentors?
The mentors come and go, but you will be given their contact info in order to ask questions via email or set up meetings. We will have set office hours weekly so everyone can get one on one time. Each company will be assigned one of Menlo’s partners as your primary contact.
What services are provided?
In addition to the advisory services provided by the Menlo Partners as part of the incubator relationship, we will have periodic presentations and office hours with best-in-class service providers for advice on company formation, intellectual property, recruiting, accounting, sales, etc. All of our service partners are encouraged to provide our companies with friends and family pricing.
What kind of companies are you looking for?
We are open to everything. We believe that good teams are what make companies successful, so more than your idea we look to your team for our choices. We do however tend to lean towards technology and web-based start-ups due to their tendency to be leaner.
What kind of access will we have to the office space?
We give you your own access cards as well as a physical key for your office. You are welcome to come and go as you please. There is no requirement that you show up day to day. We will be throwing events and dinners for all the companies and we highly recommend attending all of them.
How are you different than other incubators?
There are a number of models for incubators, from real estate to government sponsored to cohort classes. We believe that all of these are excellent for developing businesses, but there is no one size fits all model. Our goal is to take the best from all of these models in a customized approach for each company.
How do I apply and when can I expect to receive a response?
Please fill out an application here. Our goal is to respond to each application within two weeks to let you know if we are interested in meeting. Like all other investors, it is best to have a personal introduction from someone in our network.
What is your relationship with Menlo College?
Menlo Incubator is a private company and not part of Menlo College. We are located on the beautiful Menlo College campus in Atherton, California. We have a close working relationship with adminstration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. We do require that companies provide an opportunity for one or more student interns to perform substantive work in the incubator businesses. We also donate a portion of our equity gains to the Menlo endowment to help create the next generation of entrepreneurs.