When an Investor Ruins Your Life

Investors are pouring money into tech "incubators," hoping to kindle the next Foursquare or Twitter. But there's a cautionary tale in the trend for entrepreneurs, such as the guy who sold his stuff and moved across the continent for nothing.

Designer Jamie Martin and his business partner were awarded $100,000 to fund their social media aggregator — if they moved to Vancouver, Canada from Phoenix and Kansas City to be near Bootup Labs, one of five incubators to which they'd applied. They signed a deal, spent all but $500 of their money moving to Canada.... and within three months were told they'd be getting no money, the funding fell through, save for rent for the three months they'd been there. They returned to the U.S. with two suitcases and "a bank account that's been negative since January."

You can read about it all in Martin's depressing blog entry here; Bootup Labs' response, entitled "I made mistakes," is here. Martin and his partner had to give up their startup, whose domain name they are auctioning. As for Bootup Labs? It's fine, with money to invest and big parties for entrepreneurs to throw.

[Pic: Martin, via his home page.]