Indianapolis-based startup accelerator gener8tor won the Entrepreneurial Service Excellence Award during TechPoint’s 24th annual Mira Awards gala honoring the best of tech in Indiana.

WATCH VIDEO: Partner Chelsea Linder accepts the Entrepreneurial Service Excellence Award.

Startup accelerator gener8tor grants access to opportunity regardless of race, place, or gender and is particularly focused on shrinking the equity gap for founders who are women of color, whose presence among their peers barely registers. Its core work supports others, but the organization also works to ensure its own team and actions encourage and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I.) 

The programming stands apart from other organizations designed to support founders in three key areas, and its approach is paying off for Hoosier founders: the accelerator has helped to attract more than $121 million in funding for Indiana alumni to date, along with the creation or retention of 579 jobs in Indiana.  

Last year, in addition to exhaustive programming for dozens of founders, gener8tor also hosted the OnRamp Manufacturing 2022 Conference at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The one-and-a-half-day conference focused on connecting innovative manufacturing entrepreneurs from across Indiana and the U.S. with global industry leaders and prominent investment firms. More than 30 representatives from investment and manufacturing firms connected with more than 40 emerging manufacturing startups during the conference. Three gBETA Indiana cohorts presented their pitches to kick off the conference. The following day, gener8tor hosted nearly 300 conference attendees and facilitated 170 meetings between startups and investors. 

The accelerator’s intentional approach, innovative programming and internal adherence to its mission earned it the 2023 TechPoint Mira Entrepreneurial Service Excellence Award. 

Launched in 2018, gBETA programming is free (no fees and no equity) to participating founders. The cohort size is intentionally small – limited to about 5 companies – to enable a concierge experience with individualized programming and content. Its leaders continue to think innovatively on how to provide support to a more diverse group of founders. 

The gBETA pre-accelerators run multiple times annually in markets across the U.S. for seven-weeks. Participating companies receive individualized coaching and mentorship on company growth and investor readiness, weekly “Lunch & Learns” and “Mentor Swarms”, investor and accelerator pitches, more than $1 million in deals and perks from vendors like HubSpot and Microsoft, and ongoing post-program support through gener8tor community involvement and offerings.

In 2022, gBETA Indiana offered seven cohorts for both traditional startup founders and Indiana Small Business owners. gBETA Autonomous Vehicles, Industry 4.0, 5G, Energy & Sustainability, and AgBioScience recruited 30 startups nationally to participate in Indianapolis-based programming and connect founders with the vast resources Indiana has to offer in these industries.  

gBETA Bloomington/Columbus recruited five startups from the Southern Indiana region and brought more than 75 investors, mentors, and community partners to Columbus for pitch night. The gBETA team also collaborated with the ISDBC and six Indiana based marketing experts to offer gBETA Digital Marketing for Small Businesses. The virtual program served 10 Indiana small businesses with high potential for growth representing nine different counties from all corners of the state, and served more than 50 additional small businesses through publicly offered Lunch & Learns covering digital marketing topics. 2022 cohorts joined past gBETA Indiana graduates to make 115 alumni, who gBETA staff continue to support on a monthly basis. 

Connectivity within the Indiana entrepreneurial ecosystem is key to individual startup success, and gener8tor collaborates with a Who’s Who listing of statewide entrepreneurial support organizations, mentors and investors with specific efforts in regions of the state that may be overlooked by other entrepreneurial service providers. The organization has built relationships with more than 300 mentors, investors and partners from all corners of the state, ensuring that the support founders need is always just a phone call away. 

In 2022, gener8tor supported 30 startups and 10 Indiana small businesses, including Kupros, Traduality, Socian Technologies, and Cute as a Cupcake. Grantcycle and PeakMind were further supported through investment with gener8tor accelerators as gBETA alumni. gener8tor Indiana provides ongoing support to 115 startups. 

At least 210 meetings between mentors, investors and startups were facilitated between the seven gBETA Indiana 2022 cohorts and Indiana’s most active venture capital leaders.  

The organization doesn’t limit its support within state lines but leverages its national resources and networks to advance entrepreneurial growth in Indiana. Snapshyft, Documentor, Qualifi, GrantCycle, and PeakMind, for example, secured additional investment from gener8tor accelerators, chosen from a pool of competitive applicants nationwide. gBETA Indiana alumni are also welcomed into a national community of gener8tor alumni, mentors, and investors facilitated by dedicated community and alumni managers whose generosity and expertise have moved the needle for Indiana based companies. 

To further immerse its team on the importance of its mission, gener8tor hosts days of service, guest speakers, and educational webinar series on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts. Last year, gener8tor employees volunteered for 382 hours and donated more than $19,000 to Indiana DE&I efforts 

As a company, gener8tor has an employee resource group called ‘Call to Action (C2A)’. C2A comes together to have important conversations and push various projects and initiatives to ensure its actions are diverse, equitable and inclusive for all. Call to Action has monthly meetings between the employee leads, biweekly meetings between C2A leads and gener8tor’s leadership, ongoing conversations with DEI leaders and organizations and the facilitation of company-wide workshops and employee training. 

See All Award Winners from the 2023 Mira Awards Gala.

TechPoint, the nonprofit, industry-led growth initiative for Indiana’s digital innovation economy, honored the state’s top successes and innovations during the 24th annual Mira Awards gala with presenting sponsors UKG, Salesforce and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

A total of 18 award winners and honorees were chosen from the 141 outstanding people, companies and products that were selected as nominees for their achievements during the 2022 calendar year.

Fifty-two independent, volunteer judges spent more than 850 total hours evaluating applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting this year’s winners. Judges included an impressive roster of company founders, CEOs and presidents, CTOs, CIOs, engineers and other industry professionals.

TechPoint’s Mira Awards are named after the first of the brilliant variable stars to be discovered—the Mira Star. It is also the Latin root meaning “worthy of admiration, wonderful, marvelous.” The awards represent the best of tech in Indiana each year.