Bloomington, IN (September 15, 2015) – The Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is welcoming its first cohort of participants for B-Start, a pre-accelerator program for Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College student startups. The program will guide early stage startups through their development with the help of local business and networking services.

Each of the B-Start participants will be paired with a local tech entrepreneur with related expertise who will serve as a mentor. The cohort will also attend workshops in pitch development, customer discovery, funding and the business model canvas.

The first cohort of B-Start participants comes from a wide variety of academic areas. The nine participants in the first round include the following:

  • SoundsGood, a recipe and health database
  • Engine-us, a touch-screen digital electric guitar sound processor
  • Critique, a peer-to-peer feedback tool for education and e-learning
  • Gravity’s Edge, an online platform for martial arts tricking
  • EconomyLoop, a sortable platform for global economic news
  • SteadyWise, a platform for creating mobile patient engagement apps
  • MyStartupU, a network to connect student entrepreneurs and investors
  • CollegeDeedz, a tasking service for subcontracting college students
  • SwapBeat.co, a social commerce platform for buying and selling instrumentals

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a graduation stipend and will have the opportunity to compete for additional cash prizes at a demo day. The initial startup costs have been funded by Cook Group, Inc., Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Engagement, and Ivy Tech Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

“The caliber of the applications we received, the willingness of local entrepreneurs to mentor, and the support from key partners to step forward and get involved in B-Start is inspiring,” said Dana Palazzo, Project Manager at the BEDC. “This inaugural group reinforces the importance of a program like B-Start in our local startup ecosystem.”

B-Start’s kickoff reception introduced the cohort to the mentors and the business community on Monday, September 14th. The program will conclude with a demo day in December.

About B-Start

B-Start is a pre-accelerator program of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) designed for Indiana University and Ivy Tech student technology startups. B-Start participants are at the earliest stage of their business development and are coached through a rigorous comprehensive process of cohort activities and individualized mentorship over the course of the program to build a foundation for accelerating the growth of their startups. For more information, visit www.b-start.org.

About the BEDC

The BEDC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the retention, development and attraction of quality jobs in Monroe County. The BEDC is led by a partnership of private industry leaders, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington. For more information, visit www.comparebloomington.us.

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Media Contact:

Dana Palazzo

Project Manager, BEDC

(812) 335-7346

dpalazzo@comparebloomington.us

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