Spark Capital Launches Start@Spark Initiative

Mar 25, 2009, 09:15 ET from Spark Capital

Seed Funding Program to Stimulate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

BOSTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Spark Capital, a venture capital firm with investments focusing on the conflux of the media, entertainment and technology industries, today officially launched Start@Spark, a seed funding program designed to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs with proposals aligned with Spark Capital's media and technology conflux strategy will be granted up to $250,000 to quickly accelerate company progress and prepare for an initial formal round of venture funding. Start@Spark will initially offer seed investments for promising early-stage companies in the New York and Boston areas.

"In this economic environment, continued innovation and entrepreneurship are as important as ever," said Todd Dagres, founder and general partner of Spark Capital. "Looking back at previous recessions, some of the greatest technology companies were created and achieved market success during turbulent times. We view Start@Spark as an opportunity to not only buck the trend of investors retreating from new early stage funding but also to capitalize on what may be a perfect storm for the next great technology company to take root."

Start@Spark focuses on the full value chain of media and technology, including content, online services and applications, technology platforms and infrastructure. Also, the program will periodically focus on specific sectors of interest as determined by Spark Capital, such as disruptive innovations surrounding open platforms, education and financial services. Along with venture funding, the chosen entrepreneurs will have direct access to the Spark Capital partners and legal counsel focused on entrepreneurs and early-stage technology companies.

How to Apply

Entrepreneurs interested in the Start@Spark program should apply online to qualify for an in-person presentation with members of the Spark Capital team. Start-ups will be judged on creativity, thought-leadership, wide-reaching but focused ideas and the qualifications of the founding team. Recognizing the importance of time in bringing new ideas to market, Spark ensures a rapid review of all applications, and a streamlined process for applicants invited to present at Spark's offices. For more information and to apply for the Start@Spark program, visit

Spark Capital's Commitment to Innovation

Start@Spark is part of a broader effort by Spark Capital to engage the entrepreneurial community in Boston and New York and to accelerate the pace of innovation throughout the Northeast. Spark Capital also created the Alliance for Open Competition, which is a group of entrepreneurs, investors, and executives dedicated to eliminating non-compete clauses in the interest of spurring innovation and improving the economic competitiveness of the Northeast. More information on the Alliance for Open Competition can be found at

Additionally, Spark Capital provides support for TechStars, a mentorship-driven seed stage program based in Boulder, Colo. with a new Boston-based operation. TechStars is a selective program that offers promising companies up key mentorship and support from leading industry experts and investors. For more information and to apply, visit

About Spark Capital

Spark Capital is a venture fund based in Boston, Mass. with investments focused on the conflux of the media, entertainment and technology industries. Over the last decade, Spark has been instrumental in the development of new markets and market leaders, such as Twitter, Akamai Technologies, thePlatform and Novatel Wireless. The Spark team includes former executives of major entertainment, media, and technology companies, such as IAC, Sony, Time Warner, Blockbuster, Lionsgate, Apple and Microsoft. With this deep experience and $622 million under management, Spark Capital provides world-class entrepreneurs and revolutionary companies with the resources to succeed in today's marketplace. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Spark Capital