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Lycos Launches Incubator

Lycos Inc. expanded its investment services Wednesday by launching an incubator designed to help infant companies get off the ground.

LycosLabs will provide funding, office space and infrastructure to new businesses that relate well to the Lycos (LCOS) network, the firm said. The portal will also offer visibility, distribution and branding from the Lycos name. The incubator will be located in the Boston area.

The company will promote 12 businesses per year with concepts in core areas of technology, content, commerce and community. LycosLabs will remain independent of Lycos Ventures, the company's venture capital arm.

Helping firms that are just starting out has proven to be an all-around positive situation, said Jeff Crown, vice president and general manager of LycosLabs. He said that Lycos can provide the support that new companies need to thrive.

"In addition to exposing a new business to a team of consultants, LycosLabs immerses the entrepreneur in the real world of an operating Internet powerhouse, an environment where the work force has gone through the complicated process of starting and rapidly growing an Internet company," he said.

The success of its venture capital business led the company to form an incubator, according to Bob Davis, Lycos president and chief executive officer.

"We have had tremendous success with Lycos Ventures and other corporate investments, and as a result have seen the remarkable potential for earlier-stage involvement in new businesses where we could not only realize a great return on our investment, but also provide a source of innovative new ideas for the Lycos Network," Davis said.

"The Internet incubator space has grown dramatically recently, but LycosLabs is positioned to take a leadership role by offering entrepreneurs such a wealth of experience in this young industry."

Lycos follows the launch of an incubator by companies such as Internet Capital Group, VerticalNet and Softbank.



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