Minnesota’s first tech accelerator hit another milestone today when the inaugural summer class gathered together for their first day of school at CoCo Minneapolis earlier this morning.
Although it was generally expected that Project Skyway’s first group would consist of ten ‘skywalkers’ (pared from 25 original ‘contenders’), it was revealed in mid-June that only eight had actually been chosen to advance at the time.
Founder Cem Erdem maintains that the plan all along was to select “up to ten” startups for the summer class, with the stated goal of “investing in 100 startups over the next five years.” Apparently, the financier didn’t feel compelled enough to back ten out the gate, which is only fair — after all, it’s his hand that’s writing the checks here.
Today, we’ve learned that one of those eight, Health IT startup Qualtrx, has officially dropped-out of Project Skyway for “internal reasons” and it also appears that PayPongo, a mobile payment solution, is in limbo right now after playing hooky on the first day of school.
“We are thrilled to be working from CoCo Minneapolis with the startups that are here,” said Erdem while discussing the recent developments in between breaks. “From this point forward it’s not about Project Skyway, it’s about the skywalkers and their success,” reiterated co founder Casey Allen.
On that note, the following six tech startups showed up on game day to receive capital, mentorship, and technical development resources for the next 12 weeks in anticipation of demoing on the morning of Friday, October 14th. From there, the market will indicate if there’s greater investment opportunity or equivalent value to be found amongst these ventures. What type of ROI will ultimately prevail for Erdem, is of course, the great unknown.
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