Hollywood and Silicon Valley types have joined forces on Amplify, a mentor-driven startup accelerator and entrepreneurial campus backed by a $4.5 million fund. The entertainment side includes Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice, the Apprentice franchise), Brian Grazer (J. Edgar, 24, Best Picture Oscar for A Beautiful Mind) and Jarl Mohn (MTV/VHI, founder of E! Entertainment), creative voices whose track records mean their phone calls always get answered. Paul Bricault (Greycroft Partners, William Morris Agency) and Richard Wolpert (Accel, Real Networks, Disney), who know both worlds, are leading Amplify’s management team.
Among the tech-ier venture capitalists and angel investors are: Accel Partners, BV Capital, Greycroft Partners, Rustic Canyon, Tomorrow Ventures, Tim Draper, Gordon Crawford, Vivi Nevo, Paige Craig, Diego Berdakin and Tom McInerney.
Physically demonstrating its commitment to what some are calling Silicon Beach (no “e” on silicon, please), Amplify is based in Venice, Calif., less than a half-mile from the Pacific Ocean and even closer to Google’s new facilities. Both have chosen well-known buildings by architectural stars, too: Amplify’s (pictured) was designed by Steven Ehrlich, while Google’s is the work of Frank Gehry.
“Digital entrepreneurship is really starting to blossom in Venice with the likes of Amplify and Google,” said Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. “As a high-tech incubator, Amplify will help nurture a new generation of businesses, creating more jobs and more opportunity right here in Los Angeles.”
Amplify will provide its portfolio companies with four months of intense collaboration in addition to foundational support and services that include: up to $50k in seed capital and the opportunity for follow-on support; dedicated office space with access to community workshops and events; hands-on, weekly mentor meetings with seasoned entrepreneurs; and in an interesting perk, a three-year hiatus on city taxes.
“The convergence of tech and entertainment is finally happening in Los Angeles, and I couldn’t be more excited to help Amplify bring these worlds together,” said Mark Burnett.
The complete list of Amplify investors is: Accel Partners; Tomorrow Ventures; Rustic Canyon; Greycroft; Gordon Crawford; Tim Draper; Coke; AOL; Jarl Mohn; Anthem; Howard Rowen; Susan Gretchko ; Mark Burnett; Brian Grazer; Robert Jadon; Rob Glaser; Andrew Wright; Paige Craig; Diego Berdakin; Barry Porter; Jim Wiatt; Aviv Nivo; Jeff Lipp; Tom McInerney; Vivi Nivo; Todd Morely; Scott Seigler; Dennis Miller; Alan Mnuchin; Michael Lewis; Mark Surfas; BV Capital; Allison Pescosolido/Winthorpe; Emilo Diez Barrosa; Rick Merrill; Rick Barry; Jeff Kearl; Jan Beuttner; Siemer; Donald Rosen; Richard Wolpert; David Carter; Paul Bricault; and Hank Vigil.