Austin’s Media Tech Incubator Readies for First Group of Startups

Austin—An incubator for startups that are developing a media product is in its final week of accepting applications.

Called Collective, the incubator is focused on startups that are working on innovating the media space, which includes augmented and virtual reality, publishing, news, public relations, video games, music, sound, film, marketing, advertising, radio, and podcasting, the group says. The incubator is a part of the Austin Community Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy organization, and is operated by MediaTech Ventures, a local business that promotes the development of the local media and technology industries.

Like some other incubators, Collective takes a stake of its graduates’ equity: 4 percent. Notably, Collective charges companies $750 to participate in the incubator if they’re one of the 20 that are selected on Jan 21. The money is used for events and materials, and creates an initial filter so that committed people apply, argues Paul O’Brien, co-founder of Media Tech Ventures and the incubator. Sixty startups have applied so far and the program begins Jan. 31.

Companies that are selected will spend 12 weeks in the incubator, working on product ideas and design, business modeling, and fundraising, among other typical startup tasks. The incubator was developed after observing similar industry-focused incubators around Texas, including the healthcare-focused TMCx in Houston and Health Wildcatters in Dallas, O’Brien says.

Other media-specific incubators exist, such as Techstars’ Lift Labs in Philadelphia, YellowLA, which is run by Venice-based Snap (NYSE: [[ticker: SNAP]]), and Toronto-based Ideaboost. Though Austin has many other incubators and accelerators, it lacks a media-centric one, despite being a city known for its music scene, film industry, and as a home to other media resources, O’Brien says. Collective also offers bootcamps and other education and training programs.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at [email protected] Follow @xconholley

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