BELOIT—The startup accelerator gener8tor has announced five companies from the area selected for its Fall 2020 gBETA cohorts.
The startups include: Aktibo Athletics CEO Johann Hayag who creates athletic apparel for eco-conscious consumers; GLW Nicholas Shepherd who makes commercial drone technology; QwikTrips CEO Shanta Lana Hereford who connects individuals with service providers to schedule appointments; Safepro CEO Paul L. Eckert who developed an emergency evacuation system for dangerous events; and Thriveific CEO Jerrick Hakim who created an application for accounting, customer relations, and project management for small business owners.
The gBETA programming is provided by a company called gener8tor which builds startup programs throughout the country.
It’s a sponsor-led program to train, assist and support entrepreneurs. There are more than 20 programs nationally with one in Beloit. Beloit’s gBETA is sponsored by IronTek and Hendricks Commercial Properties with programming free for the entrepreneurs.
The gBETA Beloit Fall 2020 cohort is the eighth program held since the gBETA Beloit program launched in 2017. To date, the gBETA Beloit alumni have raised a combined $8.54 million in growth capital from private investors and created more than 100 jobs.
“The companies selected for our Fall 2020 cohort are building innovative solutions around big problems in our community and economy,” said Mason Cook, gBETA Beloit Director. “gener8tor’s mission is to be the best partner for a community to invest in its best and brightest, and the talented founders leading these five teams align with that mission.”
Each gBETA cohort is kept small to ensure meaningful engagement with the gener8tor team, network and other resources. Participants receive intensive and individualized coaching and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.
The program is designed to help startups 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.
“Irontek is excited to welcome these five local startups to our eighth gBETA Beloit cohort,” said Erin Clausen, Investment Manager at gBETA sponsor Irontek, the Beloit incubator and tech hub. “This program has had an amazing impact in our community over the last four years and we look forward to working with these founders and their teams as we continue to grow innovative businesses here in Beloit.”
The 10 Fall programs kicked off on Thursday, Oct. 1 and the startups will work with the gener8tor team over the course of seven weeks to meet mentors, gain customer traction and pitch to investors. Due to COVID-19, the Fall 2020 programs are all being held virtually.
The gBETA Beloit program is supported by generous sponsors Hendricks Commercial Properties and Irontek. gBETA Beloit is held twice per year, each time with five companies from across all industries and business models. Those interested in learning more can reach out to gBETA Beloit Director Mason Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gbetastartups.com/beloit.
Cook said the next gBETA cohort will be held spring of 2021.