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VanquishAP drops out of tech accelerator Project Skyway

Posted by: under Minnesota entrepreneurs, Minnesota innovation, Minnesota technology Updated: August 23, 2011 - 5:50 PM

Cem Erdem, founder of new tech accelerator Project Skyway, said he fully expected some participants wouldn’t make it through the three-month program that started in August.

The tech accelerator named eight companies it would mentor and help finance. Before the accelerator began, one business quit, followed by a second company that left the program on the first day. On Tuesday, Erdem said a third business, VanquishAP, dropped out.

VanquishAP, which is developing property management software, said it had a disagreement with Project Skyway officials on its future business plan. Project Skyway wanted the company to focus on selling the software, but two of VanquishAP’s three founders disagreed, said Kyle Jordahl, CEO of VanquishAP.

Jordahl said he and co-founder John Ziemann wanted to continue to broker and manage properties under VanquishAP and use the software in its business.

“They had their ideas of where they wanted us to go and we weren’t able to fulfill that,” Jordahl said. “It wasn’t fair on either side to keep pushing on something that wasn’t going to work.”

Erdem said Project Skyway is set up to support tech entrepreneurs, not property management companies.

“We don’t have much to offer to them,” Erdem said.

Erdem said he expected some companies to drop out or change form under Project Skyway because half of start-ups fail in the first year.

Project Skyway gives $6,000 per founder, mentorship, space and additional services in exchange for 9 percent in founders shares during the course of the three-month program.

Erdem said VanquishAP’s space in the program was filled by a start-up called CribFrog. No money was invested in VanquishAP, he said.

CribFrog was founded by Alex Reilly, a former co-founder of VanquishAP, who disagreed with the group’s decision. The start-up is developing a social network that allows property managers to send notifications to tenants and allows tenants to better communicate with their neighbors.

“Project Skyway has been a great experience thus far and it has got a huge potential to add a lot of value, not only on a business level, but a personal level, Reilly said.

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