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This article was published on August 9, 2011

Meet the new San Francisco accelerator aimed exclusively at social media startups

Meet the new San Francisco accelerator aimed exclusively at social media startups
Sherilynn Macale
Story by

Sherilynn Macale

Sherilynn "Cheri" Macale is based in San Francisco, CA. You'll probably find her tucked away in her apartment blogging, playing video games, Sherilynn "Cheri" Macale is based in San Francisco, CA. You'll probably find her tucked away in her apartment blogging, playing video games, or immersing herself in geek culture. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+

For any hungry startup, the opportunity to saturate itself in a creative environment with successful and like-minded peers seems hard to ignore. PeopleBrowsr Labs, located on 474 Bryant St in San Francisco, is a new accelerator that not only provides office space for early stage social media startups, but also offers niche workshops to steer ventures in the right direction.

If the name sounds familiar, it should. PeopleBrowsr itself has been around since 2007 and has since transformed into a high-tech social analytics company with a specialized team focused on marketing, providing data mining, analytics, brand engagement and campaign services to global brands and Advertising/PR agencies.

The idea with People Browsr labs however is to provide a space where social startups can receive strong and consistent advice from influential speaker discussions, while also creating and building valuable connections via networking events and personal introductions… but don’t call it co-working on steroids.

“There isn’t really anything like this that exists to connect ad agencies and brands to social startups…

Big holding companies and brands are looking to invest in early stage startups that can help them with their social media internally. We are looking to fill that gap and that need.”

– Marketing and Communications for PeopleBrowsr Labs, Jennifer Charlton

At $600 a month per seat, PeopleBrowsr is offering the following:

  • Desk space at 474 Bryant St
  • Access to the PeopleBrowsr API
  • $1000 in Infrastructure credit / Month for 12 months from SoftLayer
  • Advice on Pitching, Product, and UI / UX from Pereira & O’Dell (AdAge’s Small Agency of the Year for 2010)
  • And other perks

According to Curator of PeopleBrowsr Labs, Travis Wallis, PeopleBrowsr is looking to meet three specific needs:

  1. The need for a physical space just for social media startups.
  2. A community where people looking for what’s happening next can hold intelligent discussions and consistently discover what’s new in social media.
  3. And a place for weekly meet ups for brands, agencies, social analytics and wild cards.

Pereira & O’Dell, AdAge’s 2010 “Small Agency of the Year”, has also joined PeopleBrowsr as an exclusive partner. With their new podCONNECT division focused on social media consultancy, they will be providing mentorship, pitch help, strategy, and UI/UX design to PeopleBrowsr startups.

“This is a powerful partnership for us. We spend a great deal of time working within the social media startup community to ensure that our clients are at the forefront of the space. PeopleBrowsr Labs offers us a meaningful way to choose between providers and tools, and work with companies who are in early-stage growth. When we apply new technologies to solve our clients’ needs, as we did with our recent Intel/Toshiba “INSIDE” campaign, we’re truly building solutions that didn’t exist before.”

– Director of Distribution and Strategy at Pereira & O’Dell, now Founder of podCONNECT, Joshua Brandau

SoftLayer Technologies, a self described “Cloud, Dedicated, and Managed hosting services provider focused on giving customers total control of their outsourced IT solution” has also partnered with PeopleBrowsr. For every new startup that joins the space, SoftLayer Technologies is providing $1,000 in infrastructure credit per month.

Vice President of Community Development for SoftLayer, Paul Ford, provides his take on the new Silicon Valley accelerator. “PeopleBrowsr Labs and SoftLayer are a perfect fit. We are passionate about emerging companies and have the best platform for social media. Our range of services presents the right size solution for any startup as it begins. And we provide a foundation like no other for scaling operations in the short and long terms, including cloud and dedicated services integrated into a seamless environment with just one management system. No one else truly offers what we do.”

PeopleBrowsr remains silent about future partners, but will supposedly be revealing these relationships over the next few months.

Among early social media startups to join PeopleBrowsr Labs is ThoughtLeadr, a startup focused on providing “tools to identify, analyze, and engage the most influential members in any social network.”

“Our experience with PeopleBrowsr Labs has been nothing short of phenomenal. The office space is modern and perfectly located in SOMA. Through the hard work securing sponsorships, our legal and data costs have been slashed dramatically. But more importantly than that has been how abundantly and quickly valuable introductions have been made. By surrounding ourselves with very smart, like-minded individuals, we’ve cut our ramp-up time dramatically. I would highly recommend PeopleBrowsr Labs to any social media-focused startup.”

– CEO of ThoughtLeadr, Ken Hoinsky

In an exclusive interview with The Next Web, Hoinski provides a more in depth look at his experience with PeopleBrowsr Labs.

“[PeopleBrowsr] was able to make an introduction to a law firm specializing in all of the things that an early stage startup would need, which meant one less thing to worry about. With a startup company, there are a million things you have to get done in order to be successful. They can be distractions. As opposed to having to navigate these things ourselves, it was just taken care of for us, which was great!

We also received introductions to larger agencies and customer’s brands that we wouldn’t necessarily have been able to get access to as quickly if we had proceeded on our own. We received feedback on what the market is actually like and what customers are actually looking for so we could figure out and identify what exactly our product would become just by virtue of those types of introductions.

Being able to get a reality check for what the market is actually like in the social media space has been an invaluable resource.”

While one can certainly see the potential in PeopleBrowsr, its main challenge currently seems to be in user acquisition. With word now spreading about the company’s new social media space, it is exciting to imagine the possibilities and anticipate how this will affect this particular niche in Silicon Valley.

PeopleBrowsr evaluates applicants on their ability to provide a more effective and innovative social media presence for existing and future brands, as well as their forecast for success.

For any startup looking to apply immediately, you can apply now at, or reach out for more information by contacting [email protected]

Do you have any predictions for PeopleBrowsr Labs? How do you think this will affect social media in Silicon Valley? Are niche targeted accelerators and incubators the future for the early stage start-up? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.