Comcast will dedicate part of its new nine-story office tower going up next to the Atlanta Braves stadium to a new start-up accelerator program called “The Farm.”
Toby Krout, executive director of Boomtown, a startup accelerator in Boulder, Colorado, is launching the program with Comcast early next year.
“In baseball, ‘the farm’ is where young players are developed for the major league,” Krout said. “Because we're located immediately next to the Braves, we thought it would be a fun metaphor for 'developing' young entrepreneurs.”
The accelerator will host about 10 startups in its three-month accelerator program. Half of the spots are expected to be reserved for metro Atlanta startups.
Comcast expects to invest $200 million over the next 20 years and the startups will receive $20,000 each.
The company is looking primarily for startups working on products that might benefit Comcast in areas such as mobility and communications.
Krout said Boomtown works closely with startups in a “mom and pop,” customized approach.
“You see a really massive expansion across the planet of accelerators in new geographies and new verticals but you don’t see a lot of new business models. Typically the third wave comes in and they innovate on the model itself,” Krout said. “Boomtown is a third-wave accelerator and we’re also creating a corporate accelerator here with Comcast, but it’s a custom approach that fits well into Atlanta. We don’t assume that what works well in Boulder or Miami or the Valley can be optimal here in Georgia.”
Krout said the third wave moves beyond the investor-focused model and involves more hand-holding. Boomtown said its startups in Boulder have an 83 percent survival rate, and 72 percent are generating revenues.
The new building will also offer free access to office space and a hardware lab equipped with 3-D printers, laser cutters and workbenches to Atlanta-area startups working on Internet of Things, connectivity and media products.