Seed accelerator BetaBlox emerges in KC, set to announce first class soon
Kirk Goza, one of 30 BetaBlox mentors, delivers a presentation at the seed accelerator's offices. Photo from BetaBlox on Facebook.
BetaBlox, a Kansas City-based business entity that has consulted startups since 2008, will soon announce the first three of 10 startups that will make up the inaugural class of its seed accelerator.
Not modeled after any particular existing accelerator, BetaBlox has raised an undisclosed six-figure cash deal with local private investors, wrangled up a list of mentors that's 30 strong and still growing and secured a four-year lease on a space just off 31st and Southwest Boulevard.
"The bulk of the ideation took place years before we even knew what a 'seed accelerator' was," BetaBlox executive team member and lead investor Weston Bergmann (left, photo from BetaBlox on Facebook) said in an email on Saturday. "There are similarities to programs like Y Combinator, but also drastic differences. In fact, we look at other incubators or Y Combinator-like programs as potential next-steps for our clients."
Instead of an application deadline or start date for its six-month program, BetaBlox is accepting applications on a rolling basis, with seven spots still available. Once the program kicks off, the 10 participating companies will have access to office space, mentors, investors – BetaBlox itself does not invest in the companies – consulting services, such as marketing and business development, and a mentor lecture series. Participating companies are required to give BetaBlox a five-percent equity stake.
At the end of the six-month program, BetaBlox will hold an "Investor Day," giving its entrepreneurs the chance to present to a room of investors, journalists and stakeholders. "Investors from all over the country have reserved spots," the BetaBlox website states, "as well as local angel fund and venture capital groups."
Though BetaBlox hasn't specifically stated it's in search of tech startups, its FAQ page lists three qualities that make companies good fits: management team strength, quality and feasibility of idea, and scalability and long-term growth strategy.
When asked about founding BetaBlox, Bergmann replied: "I am not personally founding BetaBlox. I am a small part of a team of private investors interested in startup companies. This was our answer to a lot of questions the group had. Questions such as 'how can we source solid investment opportunities at earlier stages,' or 'how can we increase our investment's chances of success?' "
Bergmann said that 13 individuals own shares in BetaBlox as either silent or mentoring partners, but he did not say whether or not BetaBlox is open to taking on more funding.
"BetaBlox is the result of a small and growing team of investors specifically interested in picking, nurturing and finally liquidating startup companies from the Midwest."
Hat tip to Andrew Tan on the Startup KC Facebook Page.