Luck out of a box: an incubator for new businesses

With a record of canny investments behind him, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Saeed Amidi is trying to capture what he calls the 'lucky karma' of 165 University Avenue in larger premises a few miles away.

Dozens of high tech start-ups run by dazzling young would-be entrepreneurs from many parts of the world can rent cubicle space by the month at what he calls a Plug and Play Center - where everything is ready to begin from day one.

"We're at Plug and Play because of the phenomenal energy here," says Ankit Agarwal, CEO and founder of the indoor mapping service Micello.

Tenants like the intensity of being together with like-minded entrepreneurs. Plug and Play hosts a constant series of events which bring in prospective investors who are always on the prowl for the next big thing in the Valley.

There are links with universities and executive mentors who can give advice and guidance to the new companies.


The opportunities are "awesome", says Agarwal. "Everybody comes here to meet you, as opposed to you having to go everywhere else to meet people."

Plug and Play's aim is to be the essence of Silicon Valley concentrated into several floors of tiny office space - flexible so that as your business grows you can take over more of the cubicles that these high tech businesses seem to thrive in.

"I call it Silicon Valley in a box," says Saeed Amidi.

"But still I have tried to even make it more saturated, more concentrated, so anybody who walks in to Plug and Play has to be working on an innovative idea that would change our lives."

The business ideas are striking at Plug and Play, but it remains to be seen whether it too can become a lucky building for entrepreneurs on the remarkable lines of 165 University Avenue.