GSV is a loose affiliation of companies that has best been described as a “modern merchant bank”. They identify, advise, invest in, and accelerate the fastest growing, most dynamic companies in the world… the Stars of Tomorrow. GSV Capital is one of those entities and is a publicly traded venture fund that has invested in companies like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter. GSVlabs is a portfolio company of GSV Capital.
GSVlabs is a global innovation center based in Silicon Valley that accelerates startups and connects corporations to exponential technologies, business models, and entrepreneurs. Its 72,000 square-foot facility houses over 150+ startups and partners. A global innovation platform, GSVlabs works with individuals, startups, and corporate partners to accelerate their growth, and is focused on key technology verticals, including Big Data, Sustainability, Education Technology (EdTech), Entertainment and Mobile. GSVlabs also houses three accelerators including ReBoot Career Accelerator for Women, Core Labs Game Accelerator, and GSVlabs’ Pioneer Accelerator with Google Launchpad.
During tekMountain’s recent trip in Silicon Valley, we got up close and personal with the magic that makes GSVlabs produce successful companies like Neurotrack and Infochimps, recent alumni of GSVlabs, in the hopes of bringing some of that magic back to Wilmington, NC.
First Stop: The Four Pillars of GSV
These four state-of–the-art think tanks form the four pillars of GSV’s success. Director of Startup Development Tara Lookabaugh was our brilliant guide.
- EdTech Innovation Lab. In 2015, GSV took their interest in edtech to the next step by building the Edtech Innovation Lab. This powerhouse of innovation houses over 50 edtech startups and an Educator Speaker Series that features the most brilliant, forward-thinking minds in the world. tekMountain was also happy to meet up with General Manager of the Edtech Innovation Lab at the ASU GSV Summit, Kathy Benemann, whom we had previously met via the New York City edtech scene.
- Sustainability Innovation Lab. GSV Labs is ready to change the world – literally. Their Sustainability Innovation Lab is home to 12 startups. GSV Labs houses and is partnered with Cleantech Open, the largest accelerator of cleantech startups in the world, however the majority of Cleantech Open’s startups are not housed at GSVlabs.
- Entertainment and Mobile. Are you a entertainment, mobile or social startup? Then GSV Labs’ Mobile Innovation Lab is your Mecca. GSV has been integral to the success of startups such as lifx, inmusik, and Wandake.
- Big Data Innovation Lab. Home to GSV Labs’ Silicon Valley Data Academy, GSV Labs’ Big Data Innovation Lab thrives on helping the world’s best data scientists and big data companies. Some companies to keep you are on coming out of Big Data Innovation Lab are Fit3D, Pyze, and WhoKnows.
Second Stop: Big Time (ad)Ventures
Not only does GSV specialize in accelerating startups, they play a key role in helping established businesses scale and improve. While touring the GSV campus, tekMountain got a chance to see GSV’s corporate commitment to ventures like JetBlue Technology Ventures and intel in action.
Third Stop: Fun
If there is one thing that GSV Labs knows how to do as well as to innovate and accelerate businesses, it’s to have fun. Whether it was taking the slide instead of the stairs from floor to floor, or learning how to breakdance, tekMountain was quick to realize that GSV puts the fun in business fundamentals. GSV Labs is also known for hosting a slew of star-studded events, including the Pioneer Summit, which is an annual gathering of an ever-growing community of innovators and Global Silicon Valley founders and investors that are building the industries of tomorrow.
Tekmountain loved visiting GSV Labs. The best part? Confirming what we already knew: that tekMountain is quickly becoming to southeastern North Carolina what GSV Labs is to Silicon Valley. The similarities are extensive: GSV has GSV Capital; tekMountain has recently added Lookout Capital and is looking to bring more opportunities in Angel and VC funding to Wilmington; GSV has a bullpen of up-and-coming companies; tekMountain is building a similarly deep bench. And now tekMountain is bringing the inspiration and intelligence of GSV to Wilmington.
Stay tuned to our blog for tekMountain’s next move towards building a world class incubator in Wilmington.