The pre-accelerator program from the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. has unveiled the participants in its 2017 cohort. Eleven startups will take part in the 22-week B-Start program, which will culminate in a pitch competition in March.
B-Start allows startups to attend workshops in lean business concepts, customer acquisition, fundraising, and marketing, among other topics. Each participant will have a Bloomington entrepreneur to serve as a mentor throughout the program.
"We are now in the third year of our B-start program, and are really excited to have non-students participating this year alongside students," said Anne McCombe, project manager of the BEDC. "Creating new businesses and plugging them in to the startup ecosystem in Bloomington is the goal of the B-Start program and this new cohort looks like one of our strongest yet."
The 2017 cohort includes:
- Adventure Field Guides: Marketplace of trip guides made by a community of outdoor influencers
- Be-u-tiful: Online marketplace that helps review and sell hair care products
- Bot Maven: Software that creates bots for event promotions
- Codemoji: Coding platform for kids using emojis
- Community Carbon Exchange: Platform that facilities the financial exchange of personal carbon offsets between producers and consumers
- Elephants on Mars: Virtual reality arcade to explore immersive VR and develop new technology
- Eqlsr: Blockchain platform to share, curate, collaborate and listen to music
- Nomad Chest: Platform for renting clothing to travelers
- Rent My Window: Auction platform for brick-and-mortar businesses and advertisers
- Sharon: Auction platform for brick-and-mortar businesses and advertisers
- Thumb: Long-distance ride sharing platform for college students
Since its launch in 2015, B-Start has seen 18 startups come through the program. Earlier this year, Zachary Burr won the B-Start Demo Day pitch competition for his on-demand laundry service startup, Tydee.
Burr joined BEDC Vice President Dana Palazzo on Inside INdiana Business Television in February to talk about the program. You can view the interview by clicking the link below: