Halsey Minor and 12 Angry Entrepreneurs

This is, indirectly, such a fascinating, cautionary, and ironic story about how difficult it is to do early-stage investing (read: incubation) that I’d suggest people read the whole thing:

The high-profile investors in the infamous and short-lived incubator 12 Entrepreneuring are witnessing the end of a chapter.

According to documents obtained by PE Week, nearly all of the assets of Grand Central Communications-one of three companies launched by 12 Entrepreneuring-are about to go to the highest bidder. The minimum acceptable “all cash” bid for the assets? A mere $250,000.

That’s a fraction of the $50 million Grand Central had raised over three rounds from the likes of Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, Tim O’Reilly, founder and president of O’Reilly & Associates, and Richard Bergmann, CEO of SymphonyRPM.

Mind you, one of the assets of Grand Central is a service called Swivel, of which I’ve been a beta user. It’s nice, and I’m guessing that it’s the whole pinata in the 12E auction.


  1. Michael Robinson says:

    This is sort of related to a question that’s been sort of niggling at me recently.
    Can anyone identify a successful[*] Web 2.0-ish (say, since Friendster) project that wasn’t created by itch-scratchers? That is to say, the initial conception and implementation were done by people primarily interested in servicing their personal needs?
    Or to put it another way, has anyone who started out with the initial primary objective to cash in actual done so?
    [*] Pick any reasonably non-controversial metric of success.