Launchpad LA was founded as a mentorship organization in 2009 by Mark Suster (GRP Partners, bothsidesofthetable.com) with the goal of helping talented local entrepreneurs build relationships, get funded, and grow while remaining in Southern California. From 2009 to 2011, Launchpad LA accepted 23 companies into the mentorship program. Of those 23 companies, 19 received outside funding, and 9 have been acquired to date. Inspired by the growing market opportunity in LA and the success of Classes 1 and 2, the Launchpad LA team decided to raise a fund, open an office, and grow into a full-blown accelerator. They now offer each accepted company a $50,000 investment, free office space in the heart of Santa Monica (one block from the beach) for four months, and, most importantly, access to a massive network of mentors, advisors, and investors.