JumpStart hooks up with Silicon Valley group

Program grads to get residencies aimed at landing capital, building networks

Technology business accelerator Jumpstart Foundry has signed an agreement with a Silicon Valley “reservoir of resources” to have graduates of its Nashville program spend 12 weeks refining their plan and building connections to help them grow.

The arrangement with nestGSV calls for JumpStart to cover the office and living expenses of the teams selected. The staff at nestGSV will guide the entrepreneurs during their stay and make introductions to potential strategic partners and funding sources.

“Growing access to Silicon Valley’s funding and corporate infrastructure adds another meaningful dimension to the Jumpstart Foundry value proposition,” said Jumpstart COO David Ledgerwood. “Our startups can grow their networks in the Valley while benefiting from all that Nashville has to offer them as founders. It’s a win/win.”

JumpStart's 14-week development and launch process has proven to generate good ideas: Graduates have since 2010 raised $8 million in funding. In a statement, JumpStart Managing Director Vic Gatto said the competitiveness of the Jumpstart Foundry program will only rise because of the nestGSV partnership as well as a new application process that puts about $300,000 worth of perks and deals in play.

“We anticipate fewer than 5 percent of applicants will be selected this year,” Gatto said. “These new benefits […] are sure to enhance interest in our program even further. We believe this partnership will add incredible value to our high-potential alumni.”

Linking JumpStart to Silicon Valley via nestGSV could help fill Middle Tennessee’s funding gap, the relative shortage of regional investors that can pump several million dollars into promising concepts that need capital beyond seed-stage and A-round investment. Marketing Nashville’s entrepreneurship boom in the region where venture capital as we know it was born can’t be a bad thing in luring big-money funds to Middle Tennessee.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with different accelerator programs […] so the focus is less about where companies come from and more focused on identifying the best companies by sector,” said nestGSV CEO Kayvan Baroumand. “As opposed to saying that all startups need to move to Silicon Valley, we are encouraging companies' core teams to continue building their companies at home while leveraging key elements of the Silicon Valley ecosystem for fundraising and strategic partnerships.”