Local tech entrepreneurs looking for guidance and money can turn to Amplify, a company that provides innovators with $50,000 in start-up capital and office space in its 10,000-square-foot building on Windward Avenue in Venice.
Through classes and mentoring, it nurtures a team's business plan until they are ready to pitch their concept to more venture capitalists.
Amplify launched in December 2011 and it is currently mentoring seven entrepreneurial teams, and although none of their ideas have come to fruition, “getting money after they graduate is not going to be a problem,” said Tegan Monique Gaan, community manager of partnerships at Amplify.
One such company is look.io, which is developing an app that allows live, remote support for iPhone users when they are having difficulty navigating through a mobile website or app.
Amplify differs from other seed donors by building relationships with investors throughout each phase of the idea rather than just at the end, according to Jeff Solomon, executive director and co-founder.
Solomon was part of the four-person panel that spoke on Thursday to west side residents about the recent emergence of tech companies in the area.
“We’re invested and incentivized to help them grow,” Solomon said. “And we’re hoping they run off on their own and become bigger members of Venice.”
Another company Amplify funded is Tidepool, which through a psychoanalytic assessment, lets people realize how they fit into the workplace. It bases the results on a series of games involving photographs, colors and graphic, that then leads it to conclude the kind of company culture that best suits the employee and vice versa.
Amplify has over 50 investors and a three-member board of advisors that includes Jim Wiatt, former CEO of William Morris agency.
Entrepreneurs can apply for seed money and be admitted any time.