November 16th, 2011
Mike is your friend: University of Oregon alum and former MySpace CEO starts startup incubator
When it comes to Eugene these days, most people think football. But if Oregon alum Mike Jones has his way, successful startups may soon be part of the University of Oregon folklore, as well.
Science, based out of Santa Monica, Calif., is more like Betaworks and Bill Gross’s Idealab than it is Y Combinator or Techstars. Science focuses on three key areas: developing and incubating new business ideas, advising early stage startups and helping “Web 1.0″ companies reinvent themselves for the present.
“After Myspace, I wanted to get back to launching new businesses at the seed stage,” Jones told TechCrunch. “And I didn’t want to do it as an investor.” He says that he realized that a lot of money and time is wasted in early stage startups when setting up the platform and foundation for each startup. Drawing from his experience in LA, he wanted to apply the hits-based movie business that studios use with incubating technologies and startups.
Prior to MySpace, Mike founded Userplane, spent time as an executive at AOL, and—of course—graduated from Oregon.
As Liz Gannes at All Things D highlights, this is part of a growing trend of serial-entrpreneur backed incubators.
Many Web entrepreneurs hoping for a big next act have started a labs company so they can incubate many ideas rather than pick just one—examples include Twitter founder Evan Williams’ Obvious, Digg founder Kevin Rose’s Milk and former Hulu CTO Eric Feng’s Erly. Sure, they’re hedging, but they’re also using their resources to more fully try ideas to see how they work.
(In fact, a similar effort is gaining traction right here in Portland which I’ll cover in the coming weeks.)
No word as to any other Oregon alums involved. Also, no word on whether Ducks get preferential treatment in the program or not.
For more information, visit Science or follow @ScienceInc on Twitter. For more on Jones, follow @mjones on Twitter.