RealTime IT News

Internet Incubator Launches in Florida

Cenetec in Boca Raton this week launched the first in a series of e-technology "accelerators, fast-track incubators planned around the state of Florida.

Founded by Internet Web hosting pioneer Scott Adams and Bill Hager, an executive in database and information companies, Cenetec already has raised $5 million in its first round of financing and said it expects to raise additional funds later.

The initial 25,000-square-foot facility at Blue Lake Corporate Center in Boca Raton will be followed by a Miami center in the second quarter of 2000, the company said.

The company said its intensive development concept -- nurturing entrepreneurs for six- months rather than the typical two to three years -- is designed to move high potential, early stage firms to market "at the speed of the Internet," according to Adams, who helped build Hiway Technologies into a large hosting company over a three-year period, then sold it to Verio Inc. in early 1999.

Cenetec stands for Center of e-Technology. The company's premise is that any company that takes two years to fully launch will be marketing obsolete products and technologies.

Cenetec will accelerate selected companies' transformation into revenue-producing ventures by committing resources and proven Internet talent during a start-up's most critical stage. "Think of it as an incubator on steroids," said Hager.

Cenetec will initially select eight companies to take occupancy beginning in March, 2000. When fully operational by this summer, the incubator will house 25 companies in each incoming class.

In return for negotiated equity participation, a Cenetec company will benefit from a panel of veteran technology and business pros, a hands-on braintrust to speed each entrepreneurs' progress along a disciplined incubation "track." Cenetec-sponsored companies receive turnkey office space, electronic infrastructure, shared business services staff, technology tools and assistance in such areas as human resources.

Companies also can tap Cenetec's pool of venture capital-like funds for needs during the incubator period including their own staffing and resources. At the end of the incubation period, Cenetec companies will "leave the nest" ready to access Cenetec's venture capital connections for second stage funding, said Hager.