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).
Indy gBETA Spring 2018 Cohort
Codelicious builds confidence in educators and students in the classroom by providing instant access to computer science curriculum for grades 3-8 that any educator can teach. Codelicious’ full-semester, comprehensive skills-building, and teacher-led curriculum ensures that teachers are always connected with the most current technology. Since launching their curriculum-as-a-service model in January of 2017, Codelicious has secured paying clients with contracts valued at over $100,000.
Pinpoint Pharma harnesses inkjet printing technology to create personalized medicine printers and prefilled medicine cartridges for use by compounding and clinical pharmacists. A leader in small-scale personalized medicine technology, Pinpoint Pharma provides pharmaceutical products on-demand for individual customers, and custom production capability for existing pharmacies. Pinpoint Pharma is a NSF SBIR Phase I grant recipient, and has collected feedback from 150 potential customers.
Selfless.ly’s online platform connects corporations, their employees, and non-profits to help people do good more easily, efficiently, and effectively. Using Selfless.ly, businesses of all sizes can create, maintain, and track a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, while non-profit organizations can post volunteer opportunities, receive donations, and more. An Indianapolis-based Certified B Corp pending, Selfless.ly launched its beta version on May 1, 2018, with 10 active and 15 committed non-profit users and is actively onboarding for-profit customers in Indianapolis.
SnapShyft’s gig-staffing platform instantly connects food and beverage, and hospitality (F&B) venues with reliable, qualified workers when they are short-staffed. SnapShyft provides on-demand and advanced shift coverage at a 90 percent success rate, making it the most effective solution to handling understaffed instances. Since January 2018, SnapShyft has filled 265 shifts in Indianapolis and generated $30,000 in revenue.
Woven’s evidence-based developer hiring platform finds diamonds in the rough, removes poor fits early, and wins hiring managers time to focus on the human side of hiring. Woven makes screening software engineers smooth and predictable through tailored engineering scenarios and rigorous analysis. Woven allows candidates to demonstrate their technical, problem-solving, and collaborative aptitudes in about an hour. Since going live, Woven has helped six companies evaluate candidates, brought in over $22,000 in revenue and achieved over 30 percent growth month-over-month.
gBETA is a program of nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor. gBETA is a free accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity. gBETA currently operates nine programs: Beloit, Cincy, Detroit, Indy, Madison, Medtech, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Northeast Wisconsin. gBETA graduates have collectively raised more than $5.5M since 2015, and 50% have either gone on to participate in a full-time, equity-based accelerator or raise a seed round of at least $50K within one year of their participation in gBETA. For more statistics, visit gbetaaccelerator.com/statistics.
gener8tor is a nationally ranked accelerator that invests in high-growth startups. Three times a year gener8tor invests up to $140K in each of five startups who receive a concierge experience during its 12-week accelerator program. gener8tor supports the growth of these startups through its network of experienced mentors, technologists, corporate partners, angel investors and venture capitalists.
To date, gener8tor’s 65 alumni have cumulatively raised more than $150M in follow-on financing. Of these 65 alumni, 57 percent have raised more than $1M in follow-on financing or been acquired.
gener8tor invests in high-growth startups, including software, IT, web, SaaS, life science, medtech, e-commerce and hardware. Accepted startups receive up to $140K and 12 weeks of mentorship-driven programming. gener8tor is a proud member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) and is sponsored by American Family Insurance. gener8tor is a GOLD-tier accelerator in the U.S. as ranked by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.