An accelerator for early-stage companies is extending its footprint to Indiana. gener8tor, which currently operates in six markets in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, will offer its seven-week program to five Indianapolis startups at the end of April. gBETA Indy will include coaching, office space and mentor access, as well as networking opportunities with potential customers, corporate partners and investors.
Indiana Economic Development Corp. Chief Innovation Officer Dave Roberts says the accelerator fills a gap in the state. "This is not a one and done kind of deal at all. We want to see several of these cropping up," he said to Inside INdiana Business. "I really look forward to the day — and I think it’s very soon — that we’re going to see some homegrown accelerators starting. The other thing to keep in mind is that some of those accelerators may need to be or should be sector-specific. (gBETA) is a general accelerator program where any sort of idea is welcomed or encouraged, but we really hope to see some that come up where those key sectors that we see growth in within the state are unlocked."
gener8tor, the lead organization of gBETA currently has a presence in Beloit, Madison, Milwaukee and northeast Wisconsin, as well as Detroit and Minneapolis. He says a true, Indiana-focused accelerator of this kind is needed and would add to a statewide entrepreneurial and innovation scene that includes a growing crop of coworking spaces and multiple incubator programs. "But, we didn’t see this formal accelerator program where you have young companies coming into a formalized program and through that process, then, receiving an investment and a true business partner," Roberts said. He adds there’s anecdotal evidence that some young businesses left the state seeking an accelerator and didn’t return — in come cases even receiving out-of-state investment. This new partnership, Roberts hopes, will spur others to follow suit.
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Roberts says the accelerator fills a gap in the state.