Come January, Chicago will be home to another niche startup accelerator. Nuevo Labs intends to develop companies that will uniquely and effectively tackle emerging multicultural consumer markets, who have a collective buying power of $2.7 trillion. “The primary focus of the Nuevo Labs startup accelerator is on multicultural consumer markets and the unique and diverse tech-oriented opportunities within this space,” says co-founder and Program Manager Juan Hernandez. As such, the company’s board of directors and advisory board feature an experienced and varied group of people, ranging from Orlando Saez, COO of CityScan, to Tony Wilkins, an investor at Hyde Park Ventures.
“Given the tremendous growth potential within these diverse consumer markets...we see opportunities for startup teams to create disruptive models that can thrive and grow from this space,” says Hernandez. “The Nuevo Labs accelerator provides a platform where we can spotlight the unique business ventures that are arising from these consumer markets.”
Applications for the accelerator will open January 7, 2013, finalists will be notified on March 8, and the ten chosen companies will begin a three-month boot camp on April 1. The first cohort will work out of 1871 and receive $25,000 in seed capital, as well as mentorship from Nuevo Labs’ base of mentors, whose areas of expertise cover financial services, e-commerce & retail, healthcare IT and consumer tech such as mobile, media and gaming.
“The concept for the accelerator started nine months ago when a group of entrepreneurs from Chicago came together and saw a gap in the market and an opportunity to create something new and unique,” Hernandez says. “After analyzing the entrepreneurial landscape, we determined that a startup accelerator would be the best platform to help launch and scale new business ventures that would showcase the tremendous growth potential in these consumer markets.”
Hernandez says participation in the accelerator will grant these startups access and exposure to the rest of Chicago’s startup scene. He is looking for “seed, pre-rev and post-rev teams who have demonstrated traction and market validation for their business models.”
The people behind Nuevo Labs believe in growing a “technology based economy,” considering in particular the way the Internet has transformed the way people consume. To do this, they want to take early entrepreneurs to the next level.
“The goal of the Nuevo Labs program is to help entrepreneurs build great companies,” Hernandez says. “We help improve the probability of success for the teams by optimizing their business model, connecting them with investors and experts in their industry, and providing broad exposure to customers and partners.”