San Diego’s Free EvoNexus Tech Incubator Gains Qualcomm Expertise

5/22/12Follow @bvbigelow

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), the San Diego wireless technology giant, says today it is joining forces with EvoNexus, the free tech incubator operated by the nonprofit industry group CommNexus.

The move adds a new dimension of business and technical expertise to EvoNexus, which relies heavily on volunteer tech executives and others to help mentor entrepreneurs enrolled in the program. EvoNexus operates two incubators in San Diego, one is downtown and the other in the University City neighborhood, and provides fully furnished office space, utilities, and other services to startups at no charge.

“A big differentiator for EvoNexus—from an investor’s or entrepreneur’s point of view—is that we are the best deal in the country because we’re completely free, except you have to pay for your parking,” says Kevin Hell, the former DivX CEO who has been overseeing EvoNexus for the past year.

Now EvoNexus will collaborate with Qualcomm Labs to develop a track within EvoNexus called QualcommLabs@EvoNexus.

Qualcomm Labs is expected to serve a role at EvoNexus that is similar to its function within Qualcomm, where it helps to identify and assess new products and market opportunities developed internally through Qualcomm R&D. For example, Qualcomm housed its wireless health initiative in the Qualcomm Labs business unit (known at the time as Qualcomm Labs Services) before moving it into its new Qualcomm Life subsidiary.

Qualcomm Labs also wants to guide startups developing innovative technology in certain areas, such as machine-to-machine communications, into the EvoNexus program. Qualcomm and EvoNexus did not disclose the financial terms of Qualcomm’s participation in the program, if there are any. But startups admitted into the QualcommLabs program will get separate seed funding from Qualcomm Labs as well as free space in an EvoNexus incubator.

Qualcomm did not disclose how much seed funding it plans to … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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