Sunday, December 23, 2007

Incubators: PnP Tech Center (2/3)

The second incubator that I looked into was Plug and Play Tech Center. They are a bit like the traditional incubator in that they provide office space as their primary benefit. The office space though comes at a price. And the price isn't peanuts. They do offer additional services as your company grows, which somewhat offsets the rent.

PnP charges a flat rate of $500/month for a cube in their fairly large warehouse type space. The cube consists of hookups for electricity/phone/internet. I believe the internet is an additional $30 or so a month - but the phones/electricity are included. They said that up to two people could sit in one cube and they have enough space that they can constantly add cubes as your company expands.

I went on a tour of their Sunnyvale office. They have one other office in Redwood city and are planning to expand even further. They have over 90 startups that they're hosting so I'm sure they are doing something right.

I really liked their space. I was greeted by one of their very friendly BD guys who took me around. The place definitely had the startup vibe. The ground floor was full of cubes that were decorated with a variety of different company logos, school flags, nerf guns, lava lamps, and whatever else you would imagine finding at a startup. There was lots of activity and it seems like its a good environment to foster creativity by interacting with the other companies that are there.

The second floor was more segmented - with areas that were partitioned so the larger companies had a space they could keep somewhat private. Each floor had a bunch of conference rooms you could reserve for meetings, snack areas where they provide coffee, and a pretty sweet cafeteria whose chef is one of the old Google chefs.

In addition to the cool environment, they also have connections to VC's when it comes time for funding. They actually have a VC firm in some space in the upstairs. And they have partnershiups with several others.

Overall, I was rather impressed with the place. I'm still not sold on the price - because I think they end of taking part in your financing rounds down the road - which means if you're successful, they get equity, in addition to your rent.

I think if I hadn't already had office space, I'd definitely consider looking into this place though. It's a good alternative to sitting in your apartment trying to work on a company. I've found that to be a black hole - one that sucks the motivation right out of me.

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