R.I. is positioned to be hub for startups in Northeast

Seeking to encourage innovation that can spur job growth, President Barack Obama announced earlier this year that TechStars Network would join his Startup America Partnership. A collection of companies that help startups get off the ground, the network hopes to gather 5,000 experienced business leaders and investors to mentor 6,000 promising, young entrepreneurs. More

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R.I. is positioned to be hub for startups in Northeast

PHOTO COURTESY BETASPRING
SPRING TIME: Betaspring Managing Partner Allan Tear says that Rhode Island’s geography and talent pool have created a favorable environment for startups.
Posted 2/28/11

Seeking to encourage innovation that can spur job growth, President Barack Obama announced earlier this year that TechStars Network would join his Startup America Partnership. A collection of companies that help startups get off the ground, the network hopes to gather 5,000 experienced business leaders and investors to mentor 6,000 promising, young entrepreneurs.

The network has tapped Providence-based Betaspring as one of the incubators to help America reach that goal. Betaspring’s managing partner, Allan Tear, recently spoke with Providence Business News about the network and innovation in Rhode Island.

PBN: How did Betaspring become involved with the Startup America Partnership?

TEAR: Betaspring is a charter member of the TechStars Network. The TechStars Network is a group of 17 startup accelerators around the country and the globe that use mentorship as the primary means of accelerating the success of startups that participate in the programs. …

As Tech Stars was putting this network together and they were inviting the initial group of members to form the network, the White House caught wind of it. The White House said this fits really well into this initiative that we’re doing called the Startup America Partnership and we would love to have a network of accelerators that are all sharing best practices and that have a demonstrated record of success.

PBN: What got you involved with the TechStars Network?

TEAR: Startup accelerators are a relatively new phenomenon. They started about five years ago in recognition that the way in which successful startups were being created was changing. The barrier to entry was no longer access to capital or years of domain expertise. It really was access to knowledge and networks. … So accelerators are a recent response to that changing landscape and they’ve been very successful. … But we were all using similar approaches, so we realized fairly early on that we wanted to be in touch with the other accelerators, the ones that were doing exceptionally well, to share best practices with them and to create relationships.

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