New startup incubator: AOL's couches

By , ITworld |  Software, AOL, Eric Simons

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.

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