Crossposted from the Herald-Times
Tuesday night, nationally ranked pre-accelerator gBETA held its graduation and pitch night for five startups from Bloomington and Columbus.
A pre-accelerator program helps startups flesh out their business concepts to move forward quickly. Unlike other accelerators, gBETA doesn’t require startups to pay fees or trade equity to participate. Entry to the program is competitive, and each cohort is kept small—just five startups at a time—to ensure meaningful engagement and deep learning. Participants gain early customer traction on their product or idea and establish metrics that can make them competitive applicants for full-time, equity-based accelerators or seed investment. They receive intensive and individualized coaching and access to gBETA’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.
The program kicked off on Thursday, March 4, and the startups worked with the gBETA team over seven weeks to meet mentors, gain customer traction, and pitch to investors. Due to COVID, this spring’s program was held virtually.
Participating companies received:
- Individualized coaching and mentorship from the gBETA team during weekly, one-on-one meetings
- One-on-one meetings with 25+ mentors, including serial entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, and investors
- Weekly Lunch & Learn series on topics relevant to startups ,including understanding market size, choosing a revenue model, and pitching to investors.
- Pitch Night and celebration reception with an audience of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and community members
- Connections to the gBETA community, including its alumni
- $1M + in deals and perks from vendors like IBM Cloud, Rackspace, Amazon, PayPal, Zendesk and Microsoft
This is the inaugural gBETA program dedicated to startups from the Bloomington-Columbus area and the fourth expansion of gBETA in Indiana within the past year. Previously, local startups joined cohorts in other cities. They found enough success (one company sold to Facebook), we wanted a dedicated cohort for them. The expansion to Bloomington-Columbus was sponsored by Velocities, The Mill’s $2.5mm partnership with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Elevate Ventures. The new program is industry and vertical agnostic and open to companies operating within the Velocities region.
The five startups who graduated this week are:
- Atlas Solutions (Bloomington) – funding management software that enables end-to-end, industry-agnostic management of the grant and contracting cycle (see related post)
- garb2ART (Columbus) – handmade bath and body products
- NineBx (Columbus) – a mobile app to sync schedules, share to-dos, communicate safely and access sensitive family information
- Reezy (Bloomington) – a receipt management platform for home contractors to organize expenses
- Wave Therapeutics (Nashville) – therapeutic devices and software to help prevent bedsores and blood clots for mobility-impaired patients
Since coming to Indiana in 2018, gBETA has helped create positive outcomes for its 50 alumni, who have raised $35.4mm in follow-on financing and created 275 jobs. In addition to being sponsored by Velocities, gBETA Bloomington-Columbus is supported by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Barnes & Thornburg, and Gutwein Law.
Bloomington-Columbus gBETA is held every 9 months, with five companies accepted per cohort to ensure a high level of individualized attention. Startups interested in applying for the fall cohort should contact gBETA Indiana Director Sarah Aubrey.
Learn more about gBETA.