LA-Based Start-Up Accelerator Amplify Opens for Business

Until very recently, Los Angeles had what some people said was a stunning lack of early stage start-up accelerator programs, especially compared to other places in the world like Silicon Valley and New York.

It does not have that problem anymore.

Amplify, which is to be based in a large, historic Venice Beach building, announced Wednesday its plans to incubate and accelerate Los Angeles' tech talent.

Amplify's investors include Mark Burnett, producer of the US versions of "The Apprentice" and "Survivor"; Brian Grazer, the "J. Edgar" and "24" producer; and Jarl Mohn of E! Entertainment and MTV. Plus, lots of more traditional tech investor types -- like Accel Partners, BV Capital, Greycroft Partners, Rustic Canyon and Tomorrow Ventures -- added to a total of $4.5 million to invest in new companies.

Amplify founder and leader Paul Bricault said he actually tried to start something similar way back in 1999 when he was at William Morris. More than a decade later, he is finally making it happen, having spent part of the last year visiting other start-up accelerators and learning from what they are doing.

"LA is so dramatically underserved," Bricault said.

Well, it used to be quite underserved. Today, other newish Los Angeles accelerators include MuckerLabs, StartEngine, upStartLA, Science and Launchpad LA.

Amplify is taking less of a strict class and curriculum approach than some other accelerators and instead accepting new companies on a rolling basis. Perks for participants include as much as $50,000 in funding and a three-year hiatus on city taxes.

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