By Bianca De Rose
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, LMGPR is surrounded by tech, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. Whether they are scrappy startups or world-renowned companies, Silicon Valley continues to thrive. One of the starting points for many of the next generation of Silicon Valley success stories is San Jose State University, the school “Powering Silicon Valley.” Three driven, young entrepreneurs and San Jose State University alums, Rand Owens, Saif Akhtar and Emeka Nwadibia are proof of this. They’ve founded Spartups – a one-stop resource center for entrepreneurs.
Started as a meet-up group in September 2012, Spartups became an incubator in January 2013 launching their first incubator batch on July 11, 2013. Similar to most startups, Spartups sees their greatest challenge as learning how to do things – they face the same challenges that young startups do.
“There was no map or plan that we could copy,” says Rand, Spartups’ Director of Business Development. “It was trial and error; lucky for us we were able to make a lot of the right moves early on.”
“As entrepreneurs ourselves, it’s exciting to be creating a forum for fellow alumni to launch their businesses,” says Saif, Director of Operations. “We are bringing together blue chip mentors and partners to accelerate Spartups.”
Spartups has grown into an incubator program and has formed partnerships with San Jose State University and notable technology companies like Rackspace Hosting, Microsoft Bizspark, Twilio, and Relay Foundation. The full list of mentors can be found on AngelList.
Spartups is also mentored by LMGPR’s very own Donna Loughlin Michaels, known as the “PR She Devil” of Silicon Valley and has worked with 100s of startups in her career including five successful IPOs. Donna will provide Spartups with public relations and marketing strategies during their boot camp process. Addtionally, the agency will host startup mixers at their Silicon Valley location. Through this mentorship LMGPR is excited to be connected with smart and savvy entrepreneurs coming out of San Jose State University, as well as helping them network with the movers and shakers of the Silicon Valley and beyond.
To learn more about Rand, Saif, and Emerka check out their story on their blog.