The pre-accelerator program from the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. has announced nine startups that will participate in its 2018 cohort. B-Start says the 22-week program will culminate in a final pitch competition in March.

This year's program was open to all Bloomington residents, including students from Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College. Each startup will be paired with a local entrepreneur who will serve as a mentor.

"We are now in the fourth year of our B-start program, and are really excited to be working with this cohort," 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 participants in the 2018 cohort include:

  • Blue Hawke Research and Development – company that will provide medical devices and software using robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
  • CultureCard – platform to assess company culture that will assist with recruitment
  • DeCarlo Animation – small animation studio producing family-friendly animated films
  • Haven - a cloud based, SaaS platform to centralize and manage all core functions of a small business in one convenient place
  • Hunger Curbed – platform for food trucks and their customers that will provide real-time food truck locations, menus, and reviews
  • IREM – platform to provide remote system monitoring for solar renewable energy systems across multiple geographic locations.
  • Salux – platform that provides a personalized wellness system to support existing treatments for individuals seeking mental health treatment.
  • Scribfolio - a scribble play activity product that sparks imaginations, fosters creativity and nurtures 21-century skills
  • VisionApp – application and API to address two global ocular health problems and provide behavioral big-data for ocular research.

The Demo Day pitch competition for the 2017 B-Start cohort was won by a startup called BotMaven, a software platform that creates digital communication technology for event marketing and news publications. Earlier this month, B-Start won the Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council.