RESEARCH TRIANGLE, NC – The early stage tech company accelerator LaunchBox Digital is pausing its accelerator program in 2011 to move its investment strategy upstream somewhat. Former LaunchBox Executive Director Chris Heivly has returned to The Triangle Startup Factory, where he is raising funds and hopes to put together a new accelerator program by spring 2012.
LaunchBox Digital named among 15 top accelerator programs in the United States by Tech Cocktail. Four of the seven startup firms in its first Triangle class received funding within 3.5 months, Heivly tells us. “The industry average for companies coming out of these accelerators is that 50 percent get funding within six months,” he says.
One of the five LauchBox partners, Matthew Jacobson, tells TechJournal South that when the LaunchBox program started, “There were only a few accelerator programs out there.” Now he says, Duke University and The University of North Carolina are both starting their own accelerator programs and others have started. So we’re evaluating how the accelerator program fits into our overall program.”
LaunchBox is still actively investing in companies and continues to support early stage firms, he says, although it is looking at a slightly later stage, such as firms that have already completed an accelerator program but haven’t received a venture round.
Havily says that he disagreed with LauchBox’s decision to pause the accelerator. “So, I went back to where I was originally, the Triangle Startup Factory,” he says.
“I’m in the midst of putting together funding, which I’d like to wrap up by early fall. By mid-fall, we’ll be ready to roll.” He wants to start the first class of new startups by March 2012.
“We’re excited about it,” he says. “In my role at LaunchBox and prior work I arranged for programming, mentors, and events. I’d like to tweak it all a bit and make it run even better.”