I was very excited a few months ago to hear that a bunch of old friends and colleagues had banded together to form Mucker Labs in Los Angeles. There has been a surge of interesting activity in that region, and there is a wealth of engineering talent in the area.
As with other markets, one of the big gaps in LA is a shortage of very high quality, sophisticated seed stage capital coupled with operating expertise that can really help entrepreneurs at the ground floor. Mucker Labs addresses this gap with some of the best consumer internet operators in the LA region. If you are an entrepreneur considering an accelerator program, this one stands out above the crowd. A couple other reasons why I’m a fan of Mucker Labs:
1. Cool name! Mucker Labs is a throw back to the original hackers who collaborated with Thomas Edison and brought forth many of his famous innovations. It’s probably my favorite new VC/Incubator name in a long time (way better than NextView)
2. Excellent, product-oriented founders. I’ve always been a little skeptical of accelerators run by folks who haven’t been intimately involved in launching and building internet products at both small companies and at scale. The team at Mucker has done both. Erik, Will, and Greg were all colleagues in different parts of Ebay before branching out into leadership roles at Tripadvisor, AT&T, LiveNation, and HauteLook. Yanda is a serial entrepreneur having created iSkoot and ChoiceVendor (the latter recently acquired by LinkedIN). You’ll be hard pressed to find a more versatile team. Plus, they are humble, low-ego, and passionate about helping entrepreneurs solve meaningful problems.
3. Great mentors. I think that’s the biggest differentiator of good accelerators from others. Are there exceptional mentors that “get” what entrepreneurs are trying to build and are they well utilized within the program. The group that has been assembled is terrific. I’m excited to be a part of it!