Elevate Your Branding with .BLUE
Many interesting businesses are getting on the .BLUE domain! Like the newly formed tech accelerator Elevate Blue LLC – www.elevate.blue. They help entrepreneurs create new high tech businesses. It’s the kind of investment and business support you would expect from tech accelerators in Silicon Valley. Except they are not in Silicon Valley, but 6,200 feet up in the Sierra Mountains (the north shore of Lake Tahoe)!
Why does a tech accelerator choose to be in the Lake Tahoe area? How does their passion for one of the purest, deepest, and bluest lakes in the U.S. differentiate them from other technology incubators/venture studios? And how are they leveraging their “blue” branding to build their business?
We recently chatted with Jameson Stafford, one of the founders of Elevate Blue, to get an insider’s look.
Q&A with Jameson Stafford
What exactly does Elevate Blue do?
We enable technology startups to launch, grow and evolve into self-sustaining entities. Entrepreneurs and engineers pitch us their ideas, or pitch us on the value they can bring to a portfolio company. Once they are selected, they come spend up to six months with us at our office in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area. Here we offer comprehensive support from finance to legal, marketing, and other auxiliary services. This way CEOs and engineers can focus on the core of their business and leave the rest to us.
Lake Tahoe, nature, being blue… These are obviously important attributes to Elevate Blue. How do they differentiate you from other accelerators, especially those in Silicon Valley?
That’s exactly how we differentiate ourselves! Lake Tahoe is more than beautiful. Here you are away from the dog-eat-dog world and you can connect with nature in an environment conducive to productivity and innovation. You can even take a mountain bike ride, ski, or take a spin on a snowmobile during lunch break! Having removed themselves from the Silicon Valley noise, entrepreneurs here can really focus on their product.
In Silicon Valley and other startup hubs, many accelerators and incubators are focused heavily on renting office space in exchange for mentorship. Here we have more flexibility, and offer our companies everything they need to grow and succeed, including technology and management assistance, without consuming their startup capital. What’s even better is the fact that we have a highly concentrated brain trust and rich pool of financial capital in the Lake Tahoe area. A lot of smart, talented people have moved here once they’ve outgrown Silicon Valley, or to enjoy the tax savings as they divest equity positions.
And our story just keeps getting better: while we are away from Silicon Valley/San Francisco, we are still very close, just 2.5 hours away by car – enough for a Tesla to make the trip on a single charge, on autopilot! Trains also run from Tahoe to San Francisco, and Surf Air flies daily routes to two Bay Area airports. We even plan to have our own bus with WiFi – we can take a day trip to the city, attend events, and come back. We are able to attend to most business opportunities in-person, and yet we can enjoy so much more out here on a daily basis.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to Elevate Blue? What will help them get noticed and selected?
Submit your idea using the “contact us” form on our web site. Make it short! And when we call you, be ready with your pitch. Tell us why you want to come here, why “Blue” is for you.
Your brand is about being “blue” and we love it! How important is branding for your business?
We say on our web site: Startups, Elevated. Aim High, Go Blue. Elevate Blue. Because we are high up in the mountains in the blue Lake Tahoe area, and because our mission is to help elevate start-ups to a new level of success, our company name “Elevate Blue” gives us the perfect brand positioning.
I believe branding is extremely important, especially for a new company like ours. It reflects who you are. If you have a mediocre brand, nobody will take you seriously.
We are very excited that you have chosen the web address www.elevate.blue! Can you tell us more about why you chose a .BLUE address?
The .BLUE web address is incredible for us! It gets people’s attention. Many people see our web address and ask: “What is that? Is .BLUE a domain name?” People are curious about it. They recognize it as new, innovative and cutting edge—just like us! And once they understand that it’s real, they see the brilliance of it.
Also, on a practical level, since .BLUE is still a relatively new domain, businesses can get the exact name they want, which is really important for entrepreneurs. I believe .BLUE resonates with many people and is great for a wide variety of businesses.