CyberHive’s Darin Andersen Outlines Expanded Plans as iHive Debuts
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the nonprofit group Veterans 360 to provide IT training and other skills for veterans who recently mustered out of service.
“We’re selling a lot more than office space,” Andersen said. “The membership fees just cover our costs. We’re positive on everything but events [CyberHive hosts about 40 events a year], and we cover the gap primarily with grants and corporate sponsorships,” which include San Diego Gas & Electric, American Internet Services, and Eset, the security software developer.
So how does Andersen measure his success?
Over the 16 months that the CyberHive has been operating, Andersen said, “I’ve come to believe that the only benchmark for success is whether we can get [resident startups] to Series A funding. Our job is to prepare them for Series A.”
To help reach that goal, Andersen said the CyberHive has partnered with EvoNexus, San Diego’s nonprofit and “no strings attached” incubator for tech startups; CleanTech San Diego; Analytics Ventures; and the Wireless Health Hub, an accelerator established in San Marcos, CA, by the SoCal Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, a nonprofit that operates several 90-day, startup accelerator programs. Among other things, the CyberHive co-produces pitchfests and other events through these partnerships.
While the CyberHive has leased all of its available space, Andersen said the process took nine months.
Andersen also plans to start an accelerator program that would invest $20,000 to $50,000 in seed-stage startups, and provide six workshops and six demo events over a six-month period. He calls it the C6 Accelerator. Three private investors have committed to provide about $1.5 million in capital for up to 20 startups in the program, which is expected to begin later this year.
“We needed to train up a cadre of mentors who weren’t just job seekers, but people who were capabable of getting these companies to the next level,” Andersen said. “Now we’re ready for prime time.”