Seattle Based Compute.Org to Give $5M in Seed Grants to Tech Startups; Hopes to Create 1,000 New Jobs by 2012Seattle, WA -- June 24, 2010 -- Compute.org, a non-profit foundation based in Seattle, will put its money where its mouth is by giving out substantial seed grants to a wide variety of Internet and software startups. The foundation hopes to reach its target goal of $5 million in financial support by the end of 2010.
I’m really inspired by seeing other people succeed in their businesses,” says Andrew Conru, founder of Compute.org. “I absolutely understand that a relatively small amount of money can create huge results.”
Conru ‘s long history in the tech industry has led to the formation of at least twenty companies, and an acute understanding of the intricacies involved in successful online ventures. As part of Compute.org’s grant program, recipients will also receive direct mentoring and consultation from Conru.
“I’ve been called a serial entrepreneur,” Conru admits. “Being able to share some of that knowledge and experience is as important to me as the financial support.”
While Compute.org promises its grants will have no strings attached, there are some guidelines in place for companies seeking funding. Applicants must show that their motives include a philanthropic element; either through direct charitable giving or as a result of the service they plan to provide.
“There is no reason why a company can’t be for profit, and still be for a cause,” Conru explains. “Helping others through technology is the core of our belief behind this project.”
With venture capitalists shifting their funding to larger and more established companies, Compute.org’s timing could not be better. Economic hardships have slowed the growth of Internet startups, something that Conru hopes to remedy through his organization’s giving.
Grants will be awarded in increments ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
“We want to help companies that get overlooked by typical investors that focus on profit and ROI,” Conru said. “Compute.org is far more interested in startups that are able to provide a social and environmental impact.”
Compute.org will have no ownership in any of the companies chosen to receive funding, nor will they receive any financial gain or equity as a result. The foundation hopes to seed between 50-100 startups, with the goal of at least 1,000 new jobs.
An additional referral incentive is being offered to individuals whose recommendation leads to a project grant. This incentive will be approximately 5% of the funding, up to $2,500.
Conru, a Seattle resident with longtime ties to the Bay Area, founded Compute.org with a $5 million donation from his own pocket. His most recent business, which was sold for $500 million, was started with money earned from a small web development project for a non-profit organization.
“If we can help reduce expenses for a startup that then continues to give back, it’s a win,” he said. “Leveraging idle talent and fostering entrepreneurial growth in a sector I am passionate about is a personal goal, with potentially great results for all.”
Interested parties can learn more about the grant-giving program and apply for funding via http://www.Compute.org.