San Diego’s Free EvoNexus Tech Incubator Gains Qualcomm Expertise

5/22/12Follow @bvbigelow

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its own internal projects, says Liz Gasser, a senior director of strategic marketing at Qualcomm Internet Services. But Gasser adds that Qualcomm “started looking at the idea of external incubation” as a way to “broaden our horizons.” In talking with Hell and Moore, she says, “We decided there actually was something quite special we could do here.”

With other tech incubators, Gasser says startups are typically enrolled for only three to six months. That might work well for Web 2.0 startups or mobile app developers, but semiconductor startups and companies developing wireless technologies usually require a longer incubation period—“so providing up to two years at no cost is a huge advantage,” Gasser says.

EvoNexus has enough space for a total of roughly 30 startups, depending on the size of each company, and currently houses 22. Many of those were admitted under a “foundry” program at EvoNexus that provides free office space, mentoring, and related services for just six months. While a handful of those foundry companies would qualify for a long-term “forge” program that can last as long as two years, most will graduate from the incubator—so vacancies are expected to regularly become available.

Since CommNexus founded EvoNexus in 2009, the incubator has graduated six companies and helped its fledgling companies raise a total of $82 million in startup funding.

Startups interested in the QualcommLabs@EvoNexus program are invited to apply by July 3 through the EvoNexus website.

While all tech entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply, the team screening applications are particularly interested in proposals in four areas:

—Connected objects and machine-to-machine communications.

—Low cost backhaul solutions in wireless networks.

—Wireless health and education platforms.

—Sustainability and green technologies for portable devices.

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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