Frequently Asked Questions
ThinkTank General Questions
TacticalLaunch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit innovation district formed by VentureMoney Management Co., in cooperation with academic institutions, government and corporate sponsors and partners.
Innovation districts enable companies, entrepreneurs, workers, researchers and investors to work across disparate sectors and institutions to commercialize ideas and co-invent and co-produce new discoveries for the market. They foster innovation across industries by concentrating people with different knowledge and expertise in dense urbanized areas; experts in technology, for example, work closely with experts in bioscience, finance, education, and energy. Innovation districts are, in essence, the vanguard of a new “convergence economy” which is galvanizing the growth of more competitive firms and higher quality jobs and spurring expansion in supportive professional and commercial service sectors.
ThinkTank is located within the WeWork co-working space at 8910 University Center Ln, San Diego, CA 92122.
We conducted an exhaustive global search before we chose to place ThinkTank Innovation in San Diego. San Diego was chosen for its strong technology sector, local innovators, green practices, smart public planning and an unparalleled quality of life. Recently, the National Geographic Channel named San Diego as one of its ten “World Smart Cities”.
ThinkTank hosts a variety of programs including a 12-week business incubator, an 18-24 business accelerator, and a 12-week veteran’s incubator. We are constantly evaluating additional programs to be located within our Innovation Hub.
We offer a variety of benefits to our program participants including: Mentorship, introductions to Investment Capital sources, Office Space, Market Access, Access to Our Networks, Web & Email Hosting, Cloud Computing, VoIP Phone Systems, Prototyping, Intellectual Property Protection, Back Office Services, Access to WeWork’s Offices Worldwide, Social Networking with Like-Minded Entrepreneurs, Employee Recruiting, Fast Enterprise-Grade Internet, Conference Rooms, Online Member Database, Legal Advice, a Physical Mailbox, all the Coffee You Can Drink, and a Community of Entrepreneurs to Exchange Ideas.
We do not charge fees or take equity for participants that take part in our programs. In the case of an investment by third-party or affiliated investors, participating firms will negotiate terms acceptable to them and the investor(s).
ThinkTank Innovation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are funded with a combination of donations from individuals, corporations and select venture capital companies that have an interest in assisting early-stage technology companies with the goal of eventually making in investment in the companies that show the most promise.
Yes. We support several major technology themes in which we have significant experience, and which can be supported by the venture/business/military ecosystem strengths of the area in which we are located. The industries in which we focus include Devices & Instrumentation, Information Technology, and Maritime & Agriculture Technologies.
Each of ThinkTank’s programs have their own admission criteria. With the acception of our TacticalLaunch Veteran’s Incubator, applicants in general must be an early-stage company within one of our technology themes and must be focused on commercialization and the idea or technology should have defensible value (e.g., a patent, trade secret, copyright, know-how, etc.) or the potential to obtain it.
Interested companies must apply for admission into each program hosted by ThinkTank. Our programs maintain its own Admission Committee that evaluates each application on a case-by-case basis. Admissions is based on the evaluation of the business idea/concept, the strength and capabilities of the applicant’s management team and the prospects of success of the applicant company.
ThinkTank’s Incubator program is a 12-week, intensive, full-time program that is meant for early-stage technology companies that may need help in completing their business plan or market validating their product or service offering. Most incubator participants have yet to reach angel funding or Series A financing rounds. ThinkTank Incubator participants are selected from a range of applicants. The ThinkTank Accelerator program, is an 18 to 24-month program customized to meet the specific needs of each participant. Participants in the Accelerator are later-stage companies that are seeking mentors and other experts to assist them going to market and reaching scale. ThinkTank Accelerator participants must be invited to part in the program.
If you are thinking about using the services of an incubator and are still raising Seed, Angel or Series A funding, then our Incubator programs might be right for you.
Our programs provide different levels of intellectual property evaluation and help entrepreneurs in developing strategies to protect their intellectual property including one-on-one interaction with one of the world’s leading IP law firms.
We typically target 20-25 companies in each class and we conduct two classes per year.
Each company that is accepted into ThinkTank’s Incubator programs typically involve from 2 to 3 employee/founders for the Program.
While we won’t explicitly deny you entry into our Incubator, you do need to demonstrate that you possess the ability to make your company a success. Our experience with most businesses is that it takes a team combining technical, business, and analytical skills to provide you with the best chances of succeeding. As such, companies with only one employee/founder will have to exhibit exceptional merit to be admitted into the Incubator program.
ThinkTank was founded and is sponsored by a Venture Capital company to help them find and evaluate businesses for their portfolio. While we do not guaranty funding for every company that enters our Incubator programs, we will provide you with the toolsets, mentoring and guidance to allow you to effectively present your business case to our founding sponsor as well as other venture capital firms and angel and strategic investors upon graduation from the program.
Yes. Our programs are designed around a combination of classroom, laboratory and mentoring interaction which requires you to be present in our facility in San Diego. As such, you will need to relocate to San Diego for a minimum of twelve-weeks to participate in our Incubator.
Tactical Launch Specific Questions
While students are not excluded from applying, admission into the incubator requires that you be a legally formed company, or well-thought-out idea, with a leadership team able to dedicate time and energy into the business to ensure its success. It is our experience that college students do not possess the available time to participate in the Program in a manner where you would realize the full benefits offered. Feel free to contact us to discuss your particular situation.
While the ThinkTank Incubator is a full-time program for entrepreneurs, the TacticalLaunch Incubator is a specialized part-time program for military veterans or soon to be transitioning military personnel. We realize the special challenges faced by veterans when starting a business and we developed TacticalLaunch as a 60-hour introductory program to expose participants to the requirements and challenges of starting a business.
No. While the other programs sponsored by ThinkTank do have an industry specific focus, we designed the TacticalLaunch program to be open to all industry participants.
TacticalLaunch is a program of ThinkTank Innovation, Inc. which is a nonprofit (501(c)(3) organization. As such, we do not charge any fees nor take any equity interest in the TacticalLaunch program participant companies.
All early-stage entrepreneurs with previous military experience that have an idea for a new business and need help getting started to those that have already founded a company and are seeking help to grow their business.
Yes. The program is open to all veterans or soon to be transitioning active duty service members, including Airforce, Army, Coastguard, Marines, Navy, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Navy Reserve. We support military veterans throughout the journey of starting a business: from the idea stage—where members are thinking about what to do post-service—to the growth stage of successful companies looking to hire, raise capital, and expand into new markets.
TacticalLaunch is an educational program to provide you with tools to help you manage your business. The program is affiliated with VentureMoney Management Co., a San Diego based venture capital company that invests in companies around the globe. You will have the opportunity to meet representatives of VentureMoney during your program participation and will be given the opportunity to present your company idea to them. ThinkTank also maintains many relationships with venture capital firms, angel investors and strategic companies that have an interest in funding viable business opportunities.
TacticalLaunch participants will meet once a week over a 12-week period for 3-hours of lecture and laboratory time. In addition, you will be required to meet once every two weeks for two-hour, group mentoring sessions and several times throughout the program for 1-on-1 mentoring sessions. The total time commitment for the program is approximately 60 hours.
TacticalLaunch is located at ThinkTank Innovation, Inc. @ 8910 University Center Ln, San Diego, CA 92122
Our veteran incubator is a broad-based curriculum that should help you answer the following questions related to your business:
- Am I addressing a problem worth solving? What do I do if not?
- How should I structure my business? Why does that matter?
- How do I connect my product to stakeholders through storytelling?
- How do I gain and leverage early adopters?
- Do I need to raise funding? If yes, when and from whom?
- How will I need to iterate my product and prices to fit the market?
Yes. we help our program participants to address the unique issues they face as ex-military founders in founding their own business, including:
The identification and evaluation of your transferable military skills;
- Adjust from military to corporate/civilian speak;
- How to leverage your military contacts, and:
- How to communicate your strengths as a military veteran including precise communication skills, individual accountability, impeccable execution and natural leadership as well as poise, ingenuity, and ability to handle stressful situation.
You and up to 2 other people from your company may attend each session. All attendees must be a veteran, or soon to be transitioning active duty service members.
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