Ensemble, a one-stop digital services suite that bills itself as an alternative to the startup incubator model, launches Wednesday.
The outfit comprises five area digital services companies that will aim to provide services to startups that have outgrown the incubator but aren’t yet standing on their own two feet: Red Rocket Ventures (raising capital and business consulting), Ora Interactive (tech development and design), Loud Interactive (SEO), SocialKaty (social media marketing) and Walker Sands (public relations).
Ensemble was formed to fill a void in the marketplace and improve upon other solutions startups have relied on, like incubators, accelerators and universities, says George Deeb, managing partner at Red Rocket Ventures. Deeb will serve as Ensemble’s day-to-day general manager.
Deeb explains that companies using Ensemble’s services receive a 20 percent cash discount if they buy services across the entire group of member companies, and up to 40 percent cash discounts if Ensemble agrees to take an equity position in their businesses.
“Chicago historically has not had service providers take deep discounts in exchange for equity, and we think that is critical for startups on tight budgets. We are willing to put our money where our mouths are,” Deeb says.