Fortune | A different kind of incubator

May 23, 2013

Fortune — May 23, 2013 | Ted Greenwald

This is a summary. Read original article in full here.

Like high-schoolers yearning for Harvard, many startups aspire to be accepted to a top accelerator program such as Y Combinator or TechStars. But what if you aim not to build the next Facebook but to solve pressing global problems?

That’s the core criterion for admission to SU Labs. “We’re not going to take a company that might make a nice return but has no value in terms of what we call humanity’s grand challenges,” explains Gabriel Baldinucci, SU Labs’ VP of strategy.

SU Labs is an outgrowth of Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, created in 2009 by X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis and artificial intelligence guru and Google engineering director Ray Kurzweil. The school specializes in teaching how to build businesses in a world where technology is changing at an exponential rate. [...]

Singularity University was founded by Chancellor Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, chairman, in 2009.