Inside gBETA Indy’s Spring 2019 cohort
After a successful first year in operation, gBETA Indy is continuing its accelerator program with five new companies in its Spring 2019 cohort. Run by nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor, gBETA is a free accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. The program is capped at five teams and requires no fees and no equity.
Previous participants found success quickly: the ten alumni of the gBETA Indy program have raised over $2.5 million in follow-on financing, attended four equity-based accelerators, and have grown to employ 60 full-time employees. Fall 2018 graduate Encamp raised a seed round of $1.15 million, and SmileML is currently attending the Techstars Air Force accelerator in Boston.
The spring cohort represents a diverse mix of Indiana’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, with companies from Lafayette, Indianapolis, Carmel, and Bloomington—80 percent of which are led by minority and female founders. “This spring’s gBETA cohort is truly diverse, with founders from all over central Indiana, representing industries from life sciences to consumer goods,” said Chelsea Linder, director of gBETA Indy. “I think this cohort will definitely be able to achieve similar success to the previous two, and I can’t wait to see the results!”
The five companies have already spent several weeks in the program, connecting more closely to the local tech ecosystem. Participants receive intensive and individualized coaching as well as access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors. “When we were first introduced to Chelsea and the gBETA team, we had no idea what we were getting ready to become a part of,” said Sherri Sego, co-founder and COO of Café Baby. “We’re two weeks into our 7-week journey, and the contacts, mentors, and networking opportunities have been endless. We have lots of new things in the works, and we’re so excited to see what the future holds for Café Baby!”
Echoing the experiences of entrepreneurs who have already gone through the program, Karyosoft’s founder and CEO Rajesh Perianayagam finds the networks gBETA unlocks to be incredibly valuable. “Of all the learnings through gBETA, for me personally, networking stands out as it is an essential component in entrepreneurship,” he said. “Through gBETA, I get prepared and connected with several mentors, customers, investors, founders and more. Their genuine and open advice are helpful to think the unthinkable for Karyosoft.”
Even for entrepreneurs who’ve been involved in the tech scene for a while, gBETA can open new avenues of support. “I’ve personally been involved with the Indy tech community for a few years now, but through the program we’ve been able to meet so many new investors, mentors, and potential customers that have helped us shape the business prior to launch,” said Darrian Mikkell, co-founder and CEO of Qualifi. “Chelsea and the team have really pushed us and held us accountable on things that will help us to be successful.”
The conclusion of the 7-week program is LiveBETA, a demo day where the five participant companies pitch to an audience of mentors, investors and community members. This cohort’s LiveBETA event will be held on April 22. The public is welcome to attend LiveBETA as well as several OpenBETA events also hosted by Linder.
The companies participating in the Spring 2019 cohort are:
Café Baby empowers health-conscious parents by providing a convenient, long lasting range of fresh handmade baby food and lactation products. These mom and baby friendly foods are fresh-frozen for long term shelf stability and easy access. Cafe Baby has generated $80K in lifetime revenue through e-commerce and in-person sales.
Contact: Jeannie Marugo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cloudseal’s software product helps engineers run more consistent and accurate tests on their code. Based on academic research from Indiana University and the University of Pennsylvania, this tool reduces software development costs inside the enterprise, and improves security for cloud-hosted services. Cloudseal’s patent-pending technology has recently received $275K in NSF SBIR grant funding.
Contact: Ryan Newton | email@example.com
Karyosoft empowers non-technical microbiome scientists by aggregating genomics data in real time. Karyosoft accelerates time to market, improves genomics data integrity, and decreases cost for data driven ag-biotech innovations. Karyosoft’s patent-pending technology is supported by $40K in NSF I-Corps grant funding.
Contact: Rajesh Perianayagam | firstname.lastname@example.org
Plan Forward enables independent dental practices to scale their business by creating a membership plan for uninsured patients. Plan Forward’s HIPAA-compliant platform manages member participation and billing, allowing providers more time to focus on patient care. Since launching in November 2018, Plan Forward has secured eleven contracts, servicing 330 patients.
Contact: Megan Lohman | email@example.com
Qualifi empowers recruiters to create meaningful, engaging experiences for candidates while automating phone screening interviews. Qualifi’s frictionless, on-demand screening platform saves both recruiters and candidates time while maintaining a human touch. Qualifi is currently in private beta with 10 enterprise customers and is scheduled to publicly launch in Q2 2019.
Contact: Darrian Mikell | firstname.lastname@example.org