UIC grad launches latest incubator for startups

UIC Alumnus Alexander Goldstein launches Catapult, a new incubator for nurturing and developing new businesses and entrepreneurship in the Chicago area.

A University of Illinois at Chicago graduate is launching a new startup incubator, adding to a growing number of local entrepreneurial bootcamp programs.

Alexander Goldstein, who with his brother, Al, founded online payday lender CashNetUSA and sold the company for $265 million in 2006, is one of 10 investors behind Catapult. While Goldstein declined to disclose the total size of Catapult's funds, he said the pool is enough to last three to five years. Catapult plans to invest around $25,000 in each startup in exchange for an equity stake of 3 to 7 percent. The program will last three months and be held twice a year, with participating companies receiving mentorship and other professionals.

"The goal of the cash investment is to provide enough cash for the companies to be able to stick with ... starting a business long enough for them to raise angel funds or (keep working)," Goldstein said. "Our goal is not necessarily to push everybody to raise money, but to help them do what's appropriate."

Read more about this new addition to a growing number of Chicago startup incubator initiatives at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-u-of-i-grad-launches-latest-incubator-for-startups-20111111,0,5131778.story


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