Gener8tor Announces Latest Mini-Accelerator Classes, Pitch Event
The companies are split evenly between two programs. One is taking place in Beloit, WI, the first time gBETA has been held in that city. The other program is in Madison, WI. Each of the 10 companies will pitch before a crowd of investors, business leaders, and fellow entrepreneurs at LiveBETA, an event marking the end of the programs, on April 13 in Beloit.
Both of the current classes kicked off on March 3. The products being developed by startups in the program include DNA collection kits, special microphones used during sports broadcasts, and devices aimed at treating sleep disorders.
When the program ends next month, gBETA will have graduated 45 startups across nine classes since launching in 2015. Six of the programs have taken place in Madison, while three other cities (Beloit, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St. Paul) have hosted one class each.
With Gener8tor’s core program, the accelerator and its investment partners put up to $140,000 into startups (in the form of cash and convertible debt), in exchange for a 6 to 7 percent equity stake in them. In contrast, gBETA and gALPHA—a new program starting later this year that Gener8tor has described as a “hackathon and accelerator hybrid”—are both equity-free, but do provide perks to participants.
The inaugural gBETA program in Beloit, which Gener8tor announced last summer, is taking place at Irontek, a coworking space located in the city’s downtown. Irontek is one of two groups sponsoring the program, along with Hendricks Commercial Properties. That organization is led by Diane Hendricks, who is perhaps best known as the co-founder and owner of ABC Supply, a Beloit-based roofing materials company. Forbes recently estimated Hendricks’ net worth to be $3.9 billion, making her one of nine Wisconsin residents on the list of billionaires the magazine compiles each year.
As of 2010, Beloit had a population of about 37,000, making it Wisconsin’s 19th largest city. However, some observers of Wisconsin’s tech scene see potential in Beloit. gBETA director Abby Taubner says there are more employees of venture-backed digital technology startups in Beloit than in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city. That’s thanks in part to companies such as Comply365, a software firm that raised $12 million from investors in 2014 and is headquartered down the street from Irontek.
“The first cohort is off to a great start and it’s been awesome to see the gBETA Beloit companies using the Irontek space and engaging in the local startup community,” says Irontek community manager Erin Clausen in a prepared statement.
Here are descriptions from Gener8tor of the 10 current gBETA participants:
gBETA Spring 2017 Participants (Beloit)
—Classmunity: fundraising management software for K-12 schools.
—GenoPalate: DNA collection kits and biomarkers that analyze genetic data and suggest foods users should eat.
—Klover Products: parabolic microphones and audio/visual accessories for sports broadcasters, security agencies, and other groups.
—Push Daily: mobile fitness application that streams workouts led by “fitness influencers” such as Nnanna Egbujiobi.
—Upper Room Technology: software that makes recommendations on which bonds investors should buy and sell.
gBETA Spring 2017 Participants (Madison)
—ClusterScope: software allowing users to manage online services like Google Analytics and Amazon Web Services by issuing commands in plain English.
—Comfort Apnea: device for sleep apnea patients that uses novel, carbon dioxide-based technology.
—Easy Way to Health: Internet-connected health-monitoring devices, such as a “smart scale” that tracks weight trends, and complementary software for mobile devices.
—Kilter: software allowing gyms to create rewards programs for their members.
—Simbicon: software that provides real-time, virtual tissue simulations for reconstructive plastic surgery.