Startup accelerator seeks locations to expand statewide

Wisconsin-based Gener8tor, an accelerator that helps startups boost revenue and grow jobs, has announced it will expand its gBeta program statewide after testing the waters in Indianapolis.

The gBeta program is meant for early-stage companies that are preparing for initial rounds of funding. A gBeta pilot launched in Indianapolis in the spring of 2018 and lasted one year. The test run consisted of three cohorts—essentially three groups or classes—with five companies in a cohort. Each cohort’s session lasts seven weeks.

In total, 15 Indianapolis startups completed gBeta programming and have raised more than $3.4 million and created 76 jobs. Gener8tor said it is ready to run programs in other Indiana communities.

“We have seen just amazing results from the companies going through the gBeta Indy program to date,” Gener8tor partner Abby Taubner said.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of jobs created, a lot of money raised and that’s exactly the goal of gBeta—to help create more wealth and jobs locally. We’re just really intrigued by all of the talent inside Indiana and we are excited to tap into that more and be able to service more entrepreneurs across the state.”

Gener8tor was founded in 2012 and now has 81 alumni companies that have raised more than $200 million.

Gener8tor runs a number of programs in addition to gBeta, including an equity-based accelerator program in which Gener8tor invests in companies in exchange for an ownership stake.

However, early stage companies don’t give up equity or pay fees to participate in gBeta.

In the gBeta program, Gener8tor focuses on helping companies grow their businesses and gain customer traction, while introducing the entrepreneurs to mentors. At the conclusion of the program, the startups pitch to investors and other accelerators.

Gener8tor plans to identify two to three locations outside Indianapolis to set up gBeta programs and is looking for communities that might be interested. The program will offer both industry-agnostic and industry-specific programming.

 “We’re really looking for companies that have the potential to grow quickly in large markets,” Taubner said. “So, ultimately [we’re] trying to zero in on companies that have the potential to be venture backable.”

GBeta offers individualized coaching to entrepreneurs and access to Gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.

The program’s Indianapolis director, Chelsea Linder, will lead Gener8tor’s expansion across Indiana, and will host another cohort in Indianapolis this fall.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the gBeta opportunity to companies who were unable to participate in the Indy program because they weren’t located in central Indiana,” Linder said in a written statement.

Indianapolis-based Encamp, which offers software-as-a-service that helps companies manage environmental data, took part in the first Indianapolis cohort of gBeta in the fall of 2018.

Co-founder and CEO Luke Jacobs said about a month after finishing gBeta, Encamp raised $1.1 million in venture funding. He said funding came from the Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund and local angel investors.

 “I think probably the most valuable thing for us was really just getting connected immediately into this larger network in the city, working with a lot of potential pilot customers or potential investors, working with the other startup founders who have a lot of insights that they can share,” Jacobs said.

The directors of gBeta act as lead mentors and connects entrepreneurs with experts from their city or other cities in the gBeta network.

Taubner said if Indiana continues to respond well, one day Gener8tor could bring its other programs to the Hoosier state.

Taubner said gBeta’s Indianapolis fall 2019 program is accepting applications through Sept. 15. The additional program locations will be revealed in the coming months.

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