New startup incubator: AOL's couches

Young entrepreneur Eric Simons extended AOL's Imagine K12 incubator participation by hiding and sleeping on couches in AOL buildings.

Startups are tough, and some entrepreneurs will do anything for their dream. Simons "squatted at AOL" (c|net) after the Imagine K12 program stopped, but his badge kept working. For two months, Simons avoided nightly security checks (three couch areas weren't checked), ate free food provided for employees, and showered in the gym. All the while, he kept working on his product to help teachers create and share lesson plans.

When caught, AOL didn't turn him over to the police, but did take away his entry card. He still visits the Imagine K12 area using a visitor pass, and his hard work and couch surfing has paid off. He's scored $50,000 in venture funding, and used part of that money for a rental house. There he continues to work on his project, now called ClassConnect.

Go Eric go

I hope things keep looking up for him, someone that determined will go far!

AugustusLongeye on

I don't doubt for a moment that Eric will be successful at what ever he sets out to do, you can't buy that kind of focus.

ChuckMcM on

Atta Boy, give him a job

Bunty waiting for Triple Crown on

As the self-appointed permanent apologist for all things AOL, I declare that what Eric did is totally cool.

jaylevitt on


Wow--I think aol needs to look at their overall security.

brigitte-grisanti on

If anything, they should fire the guard.

Cheeky on

Hey, AOL

It figures that the hardest worker for AOL is the one they have not hired. No wonder they are going under.

solitare_pax on

Lock the bastard up.

ReVeLaTeD on

Judging by the gossip I heard while at AOL, he surely isn't the only person using AOL's offices and food without contributing to AOL, but he's the only one who isn't actually employed by AOL.

cfinke on

Do you think Eric Simons owes AOL a percentage if his company makes it big?

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