Monster and Eons Founder Jeff Taylor Starts Incubator as Protest to Startups Fleeing Boston
Monster.com and Eons.com founder Jeff Taylor thinks entrepreneurs are bluffing when they cite Boston’s harsh winter weather as the reason for fleeing the city for operations elsewhere, such as California’s Silicon Valley.
“The real objection is that it’s hard to get discovered in Boston, and that our resource-rich community feels like it’s locked behind closed doors,” he says. In January, to help open more of those doors, Taylor quietly launched a startup incubator out of his Charlestown Navy Yard offices. He named the incubator Deep Snow. “I thought to go right in the face of that objection,” he says, explaining the name.
Taylor charges entrepreneurs $200 a month for their own designated desks at his open workspace, and between $250 and $350 a desk in closed-door offices. The incubator, which Taylor refers to as “scrappy entrepreneurial space,” also features a conference room seating 16 that entrepreneurs can rent for $75 an hour. Internet access and shared kitchen space are also included in the price.
“I call it a bare bones incubator,” he says of Deep Snow, which lives on the fourth floor of the updated warehouse-style building that houses two of Taylor’s other businesses, online community site Eons and dating site Meetcha.com, both targeted at the baby boomer age group. His third company, an online obituary database called Tributes.com, is located in another neighborhood of Boston.
Taylor, who works out of the first floor, said he plans to swing by the Deep Snow space every few days for casual consulting with the startups, and will help introduce founders to venture capitalists and other members of the community with resources. He’s also using his connections at area business schools to match Deep Snow startups with interns.
“I wanted to do my part to help keep local IP in this town and create some jobs,” Taylor says. Deep Snow currently houses two companies, RetireLife, a web directory targeting those taking care of elderly parents, and a PR firm that Taylor couldn’t yet reveal the name of.
“I moved into this incubator to surround myself with other startups and to get a new set of blood to bounce ideas off of,” said RetireLife founder Megan Shea, who previously worked out of Babson College’s incubator space. Shea’s website, which launched to a Massachusetts audience last May and opened last month as a national elderly care directory, targets the same baby boomer group as Taylor’s businesses.
“He gives you a couple of ideas in a few minutes and leaves you chewing on them for a few hours,” she says of Taylor’s on-the-fly consulting approach at the incubator. Taylor does not have an equity stake in RetireLife, though, Shea said.
Taylor is working on getting a few new high-tech startups at Deep Snow and is slated to have about six companies in the space by the end of March. He isn’t involved in investment discussions with any of the tenants, though, he said. The goal is to get 20 startups this year into the incubator, which has about 10,000 square feet, he says. Space at Deep Snow will be doled out on a first-come, first-serve basis, and interested companies can contact Eons CFO Matt Fuller.
We’ve also updated our X Lists list of technology coworking spaces to include to include Deep Snow.