Nationally ranked startup accelerator Gener8tor has announced which five local companies will receive intensive and individualized coaching as part of the gBeta Indy program launched earlier this year.
The five firms include a company automating emotion recognition for user-experience researchers and a consumer app for organizing, editing, and sharing milestone baby photos.
Gener8tor, which was founded in Wisconsin in 2012, started the gBeta program in Madison in 2015 and expanded it to Indianapolis this spring, kicking off its first class of participants in April.
Fifty-eight companies applied for the fall class—six more than for spring. After gBeta officials conducted a round of interviews they chose the five based on these three primary factors:
1. Team (technical skills, domain expertise, collaboration/teamwork and coachability)
2. Traction (customer validation and feedback, number of customers and revenue)
3. Market opportunity (market size, intellectual property, category design)
“It was hard for us to pick the five, as we had a great pool of applicants,” said Chelsea Linder, director of gBeta Indy.
The local companies that will be a part of the fall class are:
-Encamp, which automates hazardous-material-inventory reporting.
-Little Nugget, which organizes digital photo albums.
-SmileML, which makes software that annotates user emotions in interview videos and aggregates insights into a dashboard.
-The Bee Corp., which applies data analytics to beehives to help growers with pollination.
-ThickStat, which has a natural-language voice platform that delivers actionable business insights in real time.
GBeta is a free accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots. Participants receive coaching plus access to Gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors, Linder said.
The program is designed to help startups gain early customer traction with their product or idea and establish metrics that make them competitive applicants for full-time, equity-based accelerators or seed investments.
There are currently 11 gBeta programs running nationwide.
The five local companies that participated in the spring class—Codelicious, Pinpoint Pharma, Selfless.ly, SnapShyft and Woven—are finding new successes.
Since graduating from gBeta in June, Codelicious closed a seed round of $940,000, Selfless.ly launched its corporate-social-responsibility platform and Woven signed a contract that will double its platform activity. The five companies were connected with more than 30 mentors and pitched more than 30 investor groups.
Earlier this month, the firms represented Indiana at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
Alumni companies from the inaugural gBeta Indy cohort will continue to be involved with gBeta by mentoring and advising the new class, Linder said.
GBeta Indy's fall class will graduate Nov. 5 during LiveBeta “demo day," during which the five companies will deliver five-minute pitches to an audience of mentors, investors and community members.
LiveBeta is free, but those interested in attending are asked to RSVP at https://livebetaindyfall2018.splashthat.com/.