Heritage Group announces first accelerator class of companies

The Heritage Group on Monday announced the first class of startups for its accelerator, which was launched in August 2018 in partnership with worldwide entrepreneurial mentoring network Techstars.

The 10 chosen companies deal with a diverse range of technologies, including advanced materials, construction, infrastructure, sensors and environmental services, according to Heritage Group officials.

The Heritage Group Accelerator will take place at Heritage Group’s collaboration facility on the northwest side of Indianapolis, called The Center.

The only Indiana-based company selected was Recycled Granite, which is based in Schererville and turns granite waste materials into new products.

The other nine companies in the class:

— Boston-based Alkemy Environmental – Recycles waste materials into structural-grade concrete aggregate;

— Boulder, Colorado-based AquaRealTime – Operates IoT systems to monitor water quality;

— La Jolla, California-based Ateois – Manufactures flexible and ultra-thin printed batteries;

— Calgary-based E.O.I Technologies – Produces an innovative laser-based vibration sensor;

— Estonia-based Gelatex – Manufactures a non-toxic leather-like textile from organic substances;

— Germany-based Mament – Builds magnetic concrete for wireless charging of electric vehicles;

— Stillwater, Oklahoma-based Mito Materials – Manufactures nano-additives for improving composite materials;

— San Luis Obispo, California-based Wildnote – Produces a digital platform for environmental compliance and management;

— Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zilper Trenchless – Manufactures equipment to quickly and cheaply replace underground pipes.

“Each of the startups was selected on the quality of their teams, the strength of what they have built to date, and their fit for leveraging THG’s experience and operations,” said Jonathan Schalliol, director of New Ventures Group at THG, in a written statement.

The first class will run through Dec. 4, when the program will culminate in a Demo Day event, in which the company will make presentation before a group of venture capitalists, corporate leaders, industry experts and members of the Indianapolis entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Each accepted startup will receive an equity investment and access to Techstars global network of financial, managerial and technical experts.

Jointly, THG and Techstars will take between a 6 percent and 9 percent stake in each of the startups.

The accelerator will be funded entirely through THG New Ventures Group. THG officials stressed that there will be no reliance on public or government funds or grants.

The Heritage Group is a local family-run business holding company. THG, a privately held company controlled by the Fehsenfeld family, was founded in 1930 and has about 6,500 employees globally in its portfolio companies, with about half of those working in Indiana. The company has various holdings in environmental services and remediation, specialty chemicals and fuel products, and construction and materials.

THG has a stake in 31 companies, including Calumet Specialty Products, Heritage Environmental Services, Monument Chemical, Milestone Contractors and Asphalt Materials Inc.

The company has mostly kept a low profile, but that began to change last summer when the company started its corporate venture arm—HG Ventures—that company officials say will invest $50 million in companies annually.

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