FAQS

Questions you askGeneral & programs related

What is an innovation district?

Innovation districts enable companies, entrepreneurs, workers, researchers and investors to work across disparate sectors and institutions to commercialize ideas and co-invent and co-produce new discoveries for the market. They foster innovation across industries by concentrating people with different knowledge and expertise in dense urbanized areas; experts in technology, for example, work closely with experts in bioscience, finance, education, and energy. Innovation districts are, in essence, the vanguard of a new “convergence economy” which is galvanizing the growth of more competitive firms and higher quality jobs and spurring expansion in supportive professional and commercial service sectors.

ThinkTank is located within the WeWork co-working space at 8910 University Center Ln, San Diego, CA 92122.

We conducted an exhaustive global search before we chose to place ThinkTank Innovation in San Diego. San Diego was chosen for its strong technology sector, local innovators, green practices, smart public planning and an unparalleled quality of life. Recently, the National Geographic Channel named San Diego as one of its ten “World Smart Cities”.

ThinkTank hosts a variety of programs including a 12-week business incubator, an 18-24 business accelerator, and a 12-week veteran’s incubator. In addition, several of our program sponsors host their own programs at our location including Access Silicon Valley. We are constantly evaluating additional programs to be located at our Innovation Hub.

We offer a variety of benefits to our program participants including: Mentorship, Investment Capital, Office Space, Market Access, Access to Our Networks, Web & Email Hosting, Cloud Computing, VoIP Phone Systems, Prototyping, Intellectual Property Protection, Back Office Services, Access to WeWork’s Offices Worldwide, a Social Networking with Like-Minded Entrepreneurs, Employee Recruiting, Fast Enterprise-Grade Internet, Conference Rooms, Online Member Database, Legal Advice, a Physical Mailbox, all the Coffee You Can Drink, and a Community of Entrepreneurs to Exchange Ideas. See

We do not charge fees or take equity for participants that take part in our programs. In the case of an investment by third-party investors, participating firms will negotiate terms acceptable to them and the investor(s).

ThinkTank Innovation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are funded with a combination of donations from individuals, corporations and select venture capital companies that have an interest in assisting early-stage technology companies with the goal of eventually making in investment in the companies that show the most promise.

Yes. We support several major technology themes in which we have significant experience, and which can be supported by the venture/business/military ecosystem strengths of the area in which we are located. The industries in which we focus include Devices & Instrumentation, Information Technology, and Maritime & Agriculture Technologies.

Each of ThinkTank’s programs have their own admission criteria. In general applicants must be an early-stage company within one of our technology themes and must be focused on commercialization and the idea or technology should have defensible value (e.g., a patent, trade secret, copyright, know-how, etc.) or the potential to obtain it. Click here to learn the admission criteria for each ThinkTank program.

Each program hosted by ThinkTank maintains its own Admission Committee that evaluates each application on a case-by-case basis.

ThinkTank’s Incubator program is a 12-week, intensive, full-time program that is meant for early-stage technology companies that may need help in completing their business plan or market validating their product or service offering. Most incubator participants have yet to reach angel funding or Series A financing rounds. ThinkTank Incubator participants are selected from a range of applicants. The ThinkTank Accelerator program, is an 18 to 24-month program customized to meet the specific needs of each participant. Participants in the Accelerator are later-stage companies that are seeking mentors and other experts to assist them going to market and reaching scale. ThinkTank Accelerator participants must be invited to part in the program.

While the ThinkTank Incubator is a full-time program for entrepreneurs, the TacticalLaunch Incubator is a specialized part-time program for military veterans or soon to be transitioning military personnel. We realize the special challenges faced by veterans when starting a business and we developed TacticalLaunch as a 60-hour introductory program to expose participants to the requirements and challenges of starting a business.

If you are thinking about using the services of an incubator and are still raising Seed or Series A funding, then the ThinkTank Incubator might be right for you.

Our programs provide different levels of intellectual property evaluation and help entrepreneurs in developing strategies to protect their intellectual property including one-on-one interaction with one of the world’s leading IP law firms.

While students are not excluded from applying, admission into the incubator requires that you be a legally formed company with a leadership team able to dedicate time and energy into the business on a full-time basis. It is our experience that college undergraduates do not possess the available time to participate in the Accelerator – while Doctoral candidates may be able to participate and realize benefits from the Program. Feel free to contact us to discuss your particular situation.

We typically target 25-30 companies in each class and we conduct three classes per year.

Each company that is accepted into ThinkTank’s Incubator typically involve from 2 to 5 employee/founders for the Program.

While we won’t explicitly deny you entry into our Incubator, you do need to demonstrate that you possess the ability to make your company a success. Our experience with most technology businesses is that it takes a team combining technical, business, and analytical skills to provide you with the best chances of succeeding. As such, companies with only one employee/founder will have to exhibit exceptional merit to be admitted into the Incubator program.

Yes. We realize that navigating the U.S. Visa and immigration laws are quite complex and complicated and we will do our best to help you obtain legal access to the U.S. for the duration of our programs.

ThinkTank was founded and is sponsored by a Venture Capital company to help them find and evaluate businesses for their portfolio. While we do not guaranty funding for every company that enters our Incubator, we will provide you with the toolsets, mentoring and guidance to allow you to effectively present your business case to our founding sponsor as well as other venture capital firms and angel and strategic investors upon graduation from the program.

Yes. Our programs are designed around a combination of classroom, laboratory and mentoring interaction which requires you to be present in our facility in San Diego. As such, you will need to relocate to San Diego for a minimum of twelve-weeks to participate in our Incubator.

Yes. We realize that navigating the U.S. Visa and immigration laws are quite complex and complicated and we will do our best to help you obtain legal access to the U.S. for the duration of our programs.