Originally posted by Chelsea Linder on May 15, 2018
Nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor has expanded to Indianapolis with gBETA, its free accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. gBETA shares an inside look at their first Indiana cohort with TechPoint Index.
gener8tor was founded in 2012 by Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller with the intention of creating a platform to help seed-stage startups connect with experienced mentors, secure early customers and raise seed capital. Since its founding, gener8tor’s 65 portfolio companies have cumulatively raised more than $150 million in follow-on financing and employ more than 1,500 people. gener8tor’s platform has also expanded to serve idea-stage entrepreneurs, early-stage startups, musicians, and corporate innovation executives. Through its expansion to Indianapolis, gener8tor hopes to connect the city to its national network of mentors, corporations and investors.
Announced in January, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and Hendricks Commercial Properties helped bring the program to Indiana. The IEDC offered support for the first phase of the program as gener8tor works to establish a long-term presence in Indiana. Support from Barnes & Thornburg, Gutwein Law, Ice Miller, and additional future partners will help ensure the sustainability and success of the program long-term.
“In Indiana, we’re committed to cultivating our entrepreneurial ecosystem by helping innovators start and scale their businesses, attract new capital and create jobs for Hoosiers,” said IEDC President Elaine Bedel. “We’re excited to continue supporting gBETA Indy, Indiana’s first public accelerator, and its first cohort of companies as they work with gener8tor to take their ideas to the next level.”
gBETA Indy’s Spring 2018 cohort, which kicked off at the end of April, contains five Indiana-based tech companies: Codelicious, Pinpoint Pharma, Selfless.ly, SnapShyft, and Woven. The five participating startups were selected from a pool of 52 applicants, and range from personalized medicine technology to coding curriculum software. “gBETA has been incredibly valuable in preparing our business to make a big impact in Indy. Their team has pushed us towards more rigorous thinking and has already made key introductions to help us grow,” said Wes Winham, Founder of Woven.
Working with only five companies at a time, gBETA’s concierge accelerator model enables the cohort to receive intensive and individualized coaching from the gener8tor team, including gBETA Indy Director Chelsea Linder. “Some of the biggest benefits gener8tor provides,” Chelsea stated, “are one-on-one time with our experienced team, and access to our national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.” gBETA is designed to help startups gain early customer traction on their product or idea, and establish metrics that make them competitive applicants for full-time, equity-based accelerators or seed investment. Christine McDonnell, founder of Codelicious, shared her feedback on the program so far: “The mentoring and introductions provided by gBETA Indy are helping Codelicious quickly and efficiently navigate our path to scale.”
gBETA also prides itself on building a community of entrepreneurs across its portfolio. “It’s a huge honor to be [participating] in gBETA and also spending time with the other cohort companies…They have done a great job of creating a positive, collaborative vibe which has helped push me to move faster,” said Josh Driver, co-founder of Selfless.ly. “All five companies in this cohort are really clicking and it is awesome to cheer each other on and offer support to one another as we go through this accelerator together,” added co-founder Lisa Mitchell.
Throughout the program, there will be opportunities for the broader community to engage. A free weekly lunch and learn, “OpenBETA,” will bring in local industry experts to discuss topics such as fundraising and revenue models. At the end of the program, the five companies will present at “LiveBETA” (Demo Day).