B-Start, a pre-accelerator program for entrepreneurs and early-stage startups in Bloomington, has announced its 2019 cohort. Out of 20 applications, 14 startups were selected to participate in the five-month program.
B-Start is designed for entrepreneurs who want to take their creative business idea through a comprehensive refining process to build a foundation for acceleration. The cohort will participate in a variety of workshops that will help the startup develop their business plan, prepare financial documents, understand fundraising and bootstrapping, and more.
B-Start was originally created to engage Indiana University and Ivy Tech-Bloomington students with Monroe County’s growing entrepreneurial, technology and business ecosystem. After the continued interest and success of B-Start, the program has since opened to all Monroe County residents, with the intention that these individuals will be invested in creating and growing their company in the community they call home.
B-Start has graduated 27 startups through the program since it was launched in 2015.The newest group of participants covers a wide range of industries. The seven startups led by Indiana University students are in bold:
- Blueprint Stats — a sports analytics company that specializes in high school basketball and will provide in-depth statistics, film breakdowns, shot charts and more.
- CashMD — a platform to bring patients and health care providers together by providing transparent pricing, the ability to book an appointment, etc.
- Fair Fitness — a gym that will incentivize members to save money on their membership based on the number of times they work out and frequent the gym.
- Ferryman Fin — a technology company dedicated to creating a suite of applications and services that focus on utilizing Bitcoin and its network
- Fixit — a home renovation/repair application that streamlines the process of finding the right contractor for the right price. Local contractors can also use the platform to better advertise their business.
- Hoosier Films — a multiplatform film distribution company that will include a subscription film-streaming service, digital downloads, live screens at fairs and historic theaters, and a mobile cinema for Hoosier-made films.
- Lefty McGoo — an Instagram-based social enterprise with a focus on creativity fueled charity.
- Diggity Dog Den — a luxurious dog day care and cage-free boarding facility with accessories to make the canine guest — and owner — feel safe and happy.
- Misa Digital — designs and manufactures novel digital instruments that enable musicians to play synthesizers and guitar synthesizers in a new way.
- RadioInstigator — hardware and software that will assess the client’s radio footprint, defend the IT assets against radio threats, etc.
- Rocks — A mobile social platform to find nearby rock-climbing and belaying partners and to connect local climbers with others around the world.
- SPINS — A freemium model music-sharing platform that will allow local artists to advertise their own songs and upcoming concerts, explore the top five songs or “Spins” in the area, and share music with friends.
- The Functional Musician — an online health and wellness business geared toward collegiate musicians with the goal of building a strong, healthy and functional foundation that will help carry their bodies throughout their musical career.
- Titan Learning — a virtual, educational simulation for any profession, removing the traditional lecture-based learning method with an experience-based one.
“I’m excited for the 2019-2020 B-Start cohort,” said Ellyn Sallee, project/development manager of the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. “The startups cover a wide range of industries, from basketball and dog day cares to music, and it will be exciting to see their progress and growth over the next five months.”
Each of the B-Start participants has been paired with a local entrepreneur or business leader who will help guide them through the program. At the end of the five-month cohort, the startups will deliver a five-minute pitch in March to a panel of judges with the chance to win cash prizes to launch their business.
Founding sponsors for B-Start are Cook Group Inc., IU Ventures and The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington. For a full list of mentors and sponsors, visit www.b-start.org.