“YBI, Gener8tor Kick Off gBETA with Six Startups - businessjournaldaily.com” plus 2 more

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“YBI, Gener8tor Kick Off gBETA with Six Startups - businessjournaldaily.com” plus 2 more

YBI, Gener8tor Kick Off gBETA with Six Startups - businessjournaldaily.com

Posted: 23 Jul 2019 08:01 AM PDT

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — With six startup companies in its first cohort, the new gBETA program is underway, connecting early-stage companies with mentors and investors.

The seven-week program runs through Sept. 5 and is the result of a partnership between the Youngstown Business Incubator and Gener8tor, a nationally ranked accelerator based out of Madison and Milwaukee, Wisc. The program began July 18 with a two-day kickoff that featured lessons on creating an executive summary, raising venture capital, and how to make the most of the next seven weeks.

"I am excited to have such talented local entrepreneurs with amazing new technologies to be a part of this program," said Patrick Bailey, gBETA director, in a release. "There is a lot of entrepreneurism here in the rust belt, and I am happy that Gener8tor is tapping into it. Also, I am excited to get down to business!"

The six companies in the first gBETA cohort include:

  • Grale Technologies Inc., Youngstown, whose Industry 4.0 system enables sensors and automates computers to work seamlessly together to quickly gather accurate data.
  • Loginno, an Israeli-based startup that has developed an Internet of Things, or IoT, system to track sensitive packages throughout the entire journey of the shipment.
  • Prophit.ai, which helps prevent companies from overpaying in sales and use tax by using machine learning.
  • Juggerbot 3D, a Youngstown-based company that develops innovative 3D printers for quicker and more intricate 3D prints.
  • Humtown Products, Columbiana, whose real-time earning system technology empowers employees of industrial companies to perform to their highest potential.
  • Thrive Neuromedical, who develops IoT products to support brain development in infants and children.

The free gBETA accelerator is specific to companies and technology related to additive manufacturing, logistics, IoT and Industry 4.0. Over the next seven weeks the companies will receive individualized coaching and mentorship from the gBETA team during weekly one-on-one meetings and a weekly lunch and learn series that is open to the public, featuring topics such as understanding market size, choosing a revenue model and how to pitch investors.

In addition, the companies receive more than $1 million in deals and perks from vendors like IBM Cloud, Rackspace, Amazon, PayPal, Zendesk and Microsoft. The gBETA program will culminate with an exclusive Pitch Night reception where the startups have the opportunity to pitch to an audience of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and community members.

"We're excited to see the results of of the gBETA program," said Barb Ewing, YBI CEO. "We've had many discussions with the Gener8tor team, and combining their network and resources with ours is already proving to be a huge benefit."

The goal of gBETA is to help startup companies create more wealth and jobs locally, which is measured by the amount of funding raised and number of full-time jobs created by gBETA companies. To date, gBETA has worked with 188 companies that have raised $28,218,000 and created 428 jobs.

YBI announced its partnership with Gener8tor in December 2018, saying it would roll out two programs: gBETA and gALPHA. The four-week gALPHA venture creation workshop works with individuals who aren't sure yet if they want to launch a company. These individuals could be industry experts, students studying a specific niche or technologists who are connected with people in their industry. The gALPHA program will be offered in the fall.

The next gBETA cohort will take place in Spring 2020. Interested parties can find more information at GBETAStartups.com.

Pictured: Barb Ewing, YBI CEO addresses the gBETA cohort during the two-day kickoff.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

42 Startups Graduate from Newchip’s Inaugural Accelerator Cohort - Yahoo Finance

Posted: 23 Jul 2019 11:09 AM PDT

Austin, TX, July 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Newchip, an international startup accelerator and one of the top online accelerators in the world, is excited to announce that 42 startups from its Q2 Accelerator cohort successfully completed the 12 week intensive program. "Our companies go through weeks of extensive content in a dynamic, collaborative, and engaging online environment that challenges them not only mentally but physically in the requirements we pushed them to accomplish each week," said Ryan Rafols, CEO of Newchip. 

Newchip launched its inaugural online accelerator program back in April 2019 with the mission of preparing its participants to launch, scale, and fund their startups. To date, it has partnered with major venture funds and even other top accelerators to help bridge the gap between a market dominated by programs focused on product and market development but little to no focus on CEO professional development.

"I had the honor and opportunity of helping many of these companies throughout the program and can say that I was impressed by the progress and outcomes made in the Accelerator," said Joshua Lawton, Accelerator Director of Newchip. "It's a clear reminder to me, to my team, and to all entrepreneurs, that Newchip is already making an immediate impact in the world of startup education and fundraising. Look forward to some major announcements from our graduates over the next few weeks as they close their rounds!" 

To graduate, startup founders are required to complete not just the curriculum but also pitch hundreds of investors in Newchip's quarterly Investor Startup Showcase, a multi-day, online event for participating startups in the Accelerator program to pitch their companies to prospective investors around the world. Post graduation, Newchip has announced investments into two of its cohort companies: FITT Finder and SK Hops, alongside other major investors, and it will continue to announce investments as rounds close.

Companies from the inaugural (April/May) Newchip Accelerator cohort include:

  • Arieh Solutions (Texas, USA): Arieh Solutions automates the staffing and scheduling of maritime workers and provides real time communication of shift schedules between employees and crewing desks.
  • inCourt (Florida, USA): inCourt is a platform for court colleagues to communicate, share files, exchanges services or money, for the purpose of standing in for each other.
  • FITT Finder (Texas, USA): FITT Finder is a marketplace that helps health and fitness seekers find and book fitness activities and services at their convenience.
  • Corlinc (Washington, USA): Corlinc simplifies the way businesses engage with, market, and sell to their audience online with a simple and affordable marketing tool that targets the 24 million underserved entrepreneurs.
  • Healthcare Now (Texas, USA): Healthcare Now (aka 24 Hour Physicians) provides telemedicine services to patients, collecting all medical records for patients for their use, and building a fully distributed Electronic Health Record that's secure, private, inter-operable, immutable, readable by both people and computers.
  • ZenLeap (Texas, USA): ZenLeap is a talent marketplace that simplifies the way companies find talent by using intelligence to match candidates to positions, not resume to job descriptions.
  • Trouvaille (Arizona, USA): Trouvaille is a full-service, small group travel experience company that offers all-inclusive Signature Travel Experiences in the US and around the world, all-inclusive Trouvaille Day Trips in select US cities, and B2B travel planning and small group travel services. 
  • Valet Storage (Texas, USA): Valet Storage is an on-demand storage service that takes the headache out of storage and provides customers with a dependable, affordable storage solution.
  • ElysIoT (California, USA): ElysIoT is developing a versatile, robust, and cost-effective IoT platform, including personalized interaction powered by AI, to support medication adherence.
  • Rent My Closet (Texas, USA): Rent My Closet is an affordable peer-to-peer platform for renting fashion on-demand.
  • Lapis Sphere Technologies (New York, USA): Lapis Sphere Technologies is the maker of ALIN,  an event-based group up app that consolidates social media connections and also allows individuals to make money by creating events rather than paying to join groups. 
  • Viewst (New York, USA): Viewst is a design tool for advertisers that creates cool ads at scale.
  • SurrogateList (California, USA): SurrogateList matches hopeful parents with the right surrogate using a proprietary match score system.
  • Vendible (Tennessee, USA): Vendible provides secure payments and mobile banking, bridging traditional financial services and digital assets.
  • Pivvt (Utah, USA): Pivvt is working to help people be proactive about managing their careers.
  • OodlesBid (Florida, USA): Oodlesbid is an exciting new game where players compete against the clock to win high-end luxury prizes.
  • Consumer Affinity (Texas, USA): Consumer Affinity provides a nexus of information security services, including credit monitoring, products, and awareness, that educate and protect the customers of financial institutions. 
  • Launch Code After School (Texas, USA): Launch Code After School is a program designed to take children from ages 8 to 14 in after school programs that meet 2x a week for 1 hour with classwork that can be completed at home. 
  • TaxTaker (Texas, USA): TaxTaker is a full-service specialty tax credit platform for accounting professionals and tech companies, its product being an automated R&D Tax Credit software.
  • GiftCrowd (New York, USA): GiftCrowd is the simple way to buy group gifts while sharing the cost with others.
  • Ocean Body Balm (Maryland, USA): Ocean Body Balm, is an ancient, all-natural organic skin balm passed down from generation to generation.
  • The Brain Domain (Texas, USA): The Brain Domain is a tutoring firm specializing in addressing the specific needs of each student through 1-1 tutoring, test prep, and college counseling.
  • Solar Screen (Ohio, USA): Solar Screen is a leading on-the-spot sunscreen distribution service aimed at fighting against skin cancer and lowering sunburn rates.                  
  • Creation Crate (Ontario, Canada): Creation Crate is the developer of a subscription-based educational tool created to promote and enhance STEM education through a monthly delivered box that includes a tech project with detailed instructions and materials to assemble an electronic product, enabling customers to learn how to build electronics.
  • My Ink (California, USA): My Ink is developing Scriby, an app that will take witten word and convert it into computerized font which can then be listed on a font marketplace.
  • TurboPass (Texas, USA): Turbopass is a SaaS consumer permissioned income and employment validation solution for car dealers and lenders.
  • Aivia (California, USA): Aivia is bringing investors and investments to a global marketplace using blockchain and digital currency. 
  • Afoodable (Texas, USA): Afoodable is reinventing traditional food waste management by harvesting the nutrients from today's food scraps to create organic fertilizer that grows tomorrow's food, closing the loop, table to farm!
  • MyPottyPass (New York, USA): MyPottyPass is reimagining the way to go, on the go: no more sneaking into restaurants or stores.
  • Shoptaki (New York, USA): Shoptaki is taking the concept of blockchain to the next level in a way that will revolutionize the way people handle data and harness the power of A.I.
  • Home Rehabilitation Network (Maryland, USA): Home Rehabilitation Network is a telemedicine company that provides telerehabilitation and also offers a smart TV app (Medflix-HRN).
  • Tribe Swapp (Colorado, USA): TribeSwapp is a unique and innovative app tailored to budget-conscious families that seek cheaper childcare services by leveraging their community. 
  • LYTT (California, USA): LYTT is disrupting the $2.5B flavored malt beverage segment as the only cocktail that is herbal infused and made with reverse osmosis alcohol and half the sugar. 
  • Oakland TownHawk (California, USA): Oakland TownHawks plays in a league that puts the game above multi-million-dollar contracts.
  • Savi (Texas, USA)
  • CloviTek (Utah, USA): CloviTek is the manufacturer of CloviFi, a wireless hardware device for consumers, seniors, those struggling with hearing loss, and also businesses in public places.
  • Rica Rockelle Enterprise (California, USA): Rica Rockelle Enterprises is an American consumer goods corporation specializing in a wide range of beauty cosmetics and personal care. 
  • Gongago (South Carolina, USA): Gongago makes online advertising quick, easy, and affordable for small to mid-sized businesses through its online business directory.
  • CertificationPoint (Nevada, USA): CertificationPoint is a college student oriented project-based learning employment marketplace which enables service buyers to hire college students, as well as independent mentors to collaborate for business purposes. 
  • Livestock of the World (Oregon, USA): Livestock of the World is an innovative network of websites that help the livestock owners of the world, buy and sell their animals and products. 
  • SK Hops (Texas, USA): SK Hops is devoted to supplying locally grown hops to local craft breweries.

Newchip's Accelerator is revolutionizing the global startup accelerator and fundraising industry by democratizing capital and bringing access to companies outside of major startup hubs. Its programs, including its Seed, Pre-Seed, and Bootcamp, accept new applicants on a rolling basis, graduating more companies than a typical accelerator due to its equity-free and tuition-based nature. Startup founders compare it more to a gauntlet race to the finish, with only the best companies receiving investment. 

"We realized that less than 1,000 companies graduate accelerator programs per year and it really was locking entrepreneurs out in the cold from the knowledge and networks they need to succeed," said Ryan Rafols, CEO of Newchip. "So rather than take the traditional route of 'meet and greet', invest, and then hope they work out during the Accelerator, we decided to open our programs up to more entrepreneurs. However, we only invest in the top graduates."

About Newchip Accelerator:
The Newchip Accelerator is an immersive, equity-free, online accelerator program for Early Stage to Series A startups serious about scaling their businesses to the next level. Participants engage in a comprehensive curriculum of training, 1-1 mentor sessions, Masterminds, and live classes to prepare them to raise investment capital from Angels, VC's, and the crowd. Three components comprise the Newchip Accelerator: Bootcamp, Pre-Seed, and Seed. Startups apply and are accepted into an appropriate Accelerator program based on the stage, traction, and trajectory of their business.

To apply for the Newchip Accelerator, please visit https://launch.newchip.com/

Follow Newchip on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Mr. Armando Vera Carvajal
Newchip Media Relations
Austin, TX USA

Setting A Precedent: Fahim Almas, Founder And CEO, Almas Robotics - Entrepreneur

Posted: 22 Jul 2019 08:30 PM PDT

Emirati entrepreneur Fahim Almas, founder and CEO of Almas Robotics, on making robotics accessible to the average consumer.

9 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Research is a way to bridge the gap between a good idea and a great startup; however, not often do we hear about entrepreneurs rolling up their sleeves and considering the various scenarios for their new business concepts before taking the leap. Yet, the desk of Fahim Almas, founder and CEO, Almas Robotics, a Dubai-based robotics manufacturing startup, was covered with piles of research notes for a very long time. "An important area that many startups overlook in the early stages is doing proper due diligence in order to fully understand the market and what your potential customers are looking for," he says. 

"This process can be a challenging one, as it requires you as an entrepreneur to change your vision and expectations. Educating consumers about your services and products takes time and patience. You cannot expect people to automatically understand the value of what you are offering."

Prior to launching his startup, this 35-year-old Emirati mechatronic and aviation maintenance engineer spent several months gauging people's interest about robotics and the types of products which he envisioned to create. The research led him to conclude that 2019 was going to be a breakthrough year for the robotics industry, not only because general perceptions and attitudes about robots had evolved, but also because the value of the global industrial robotics market itself was expected to more than double to US$97.41 billion by 2026.

"Almas Robotics was something that has been in the back of my mind for years, but it took some time to convince myself to finally break free from the stable corporate world, get out of my comfort zone, and take a leap of faith," Almas says. "While I was very content in my various roles as an aviation engineer and manager, I always yearned to build something completely different and unheard of something that I could call my own and manage on my own terms. 

For me, Almas Robotics is just that; it is not only my first startup, but a product of my passion, and a platform that allows me to make my mark, and share my inventions with others." Having realized that the UAE offered a great deal of support to startups specializing in innovation-focused industries and advanced technologies, such as 3D printing, AI, computer numerical control (CNC), and blockchain, Almas launched Almas Robotics in April 2019, registering it as a Dubai Economy Department company. In the same month, he enrolled in the Hamdan Innovation Incubator, part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME), enjoying a low- cost registration fee, a low-cost shared office, and their unlimited guidance and support.

Today, Almas Robotics has a two-pronged business model. Firstly, it focuses on designing and marketing software and hardware products that utilize state-of-the-art technologies to address industry challenges. One example is his first product M First, a multi-purpose robotic arm, which is designed to lift light objects of any kind and can be used for a variety of things, such as in education and demonstration, or to support with photography, cooking, surgery, engineering, or manufacturing jobs.

Related: UAE's Fun Robotics Wants To Help Build The Region's Next Generation Innovators

Not long after launching the product, Almas reached an agreement with MyMini Factory, a UK-based social platform for 3D printable objects, to sell its M First educational robotic arm, 3D printing design, and the robot program codes internationally through the latter's online portal. "The M First's simple design makes it an ideal teaching tool for the classroom," Almas explains, adding that he is in the process of patenting the technology he used to create M First. "It is extremely easy to use and contains no screws, enabling a safe and hands-on learning experience for children who interact with the robot. At the end of the day, my goal is to show people that anyone can learn about robotics. and create new tools that serve humanity and improve people's lives for the better."

The second part of Almas Robotics' business model is a direct result of the extensive research he had conducted before starting up the business. Almas surveyed a large sample of UAE nationals to analyze whether people had let go of their fears of robots and accepted them as some of the main drivers of innovation, only to realize that 72% of respondents were keen for their children to learn about robotics and programming, while 91% stressed the importance of building such future-ready skills

Realizing this market need, he began organizing four-hour evening workshops designed specifically to familiarize young children with the basics of robotics in a fun and engaging way. "The only way to fully understand robotics is to familiarize yourself with the various parts and their functions," Almas explains. "Once you have the basics, you can then start learning about the programming process, which is more complicated and time consuming. The most rewarding part of it all is getting the chance to see the results of your efforts, and test out the robotic functions."

"As with any new solutions or technology, there is a lot of trial and error and tweaks along the way, but the end result is always something that you will be proud of." However, there is a business related importance of learning robotics as well. "Due to growing interest and demand, the robotics industry is slowly shifting, and companies are looking to simplify robotics and make it accessible to the average consumer," Almas says.

"Before that transition can happen, people must be educated and trained on the basics. This is a key area of focus for me, and I hope that through the workshop series, I can show how robotics can simplify business and add value to our everyday lives." To reach this stage of his business, Almas has decided not to seek investor support, but to grow the business organically with AED150,000 of personal investment.

"I felt that it was important to first understand what Almas Robotics could become, before I could even consider selling stakes, or handing over control to an outsider." Taking part in the Hamdan Innovation Incubator has been beneficial in forging valuable partnerships with other startups and industry stakeholders, he says, and reverts to the topic of seeking external investors too early with a word of caution for other founders. 

Related: Connectivity Solutions To Boost Your Business

"It can be challenging to find a balance between securing much needed funding, and ensuring that you retain most of the control of the business decisions," Almas says. "A lot of startups are thrilled that investors are taking notice of their business, and quickly agree to venture capital funding, only to realize later that they cannot keep up with the expectations, or often they end up losing the essence of what made them unique, exciting, and marketable in the first place."

Another important decision was to outsource a big part of Almas Robotics' operations, with the enterprise relying on five freelancers. "I opted to work with third-party companies that were highly experienced in the field of robotics. This type of specialty is not easy to find here in the UAE, so this decision served the business well, as it reduced our risks, and gave us an opportunity to learn about other markets, and grow the business without investing in a large team in Dubai." 

Once the business develops, Almas says building a reliable team will become his first priority. "With any startup, making the transition from a young business to an established one comes with common challenges, such as redefining the roles within your team," he says. 

"In the early stages, every member of your team is wearing many different hats, but once you begin to have a steady flow of business and customers, it is important that you invest capital in the areas that are most crucial to the business' success and growth. Sometimes, this means entrusting someone more experienced than yourself to handle a specific part of the business." 

In conclusion, we touch upon who he looks up to, and Almas enthusiastically explains that his vision for Almas Robotics is bold, hoping for it to become a test bed for the UAE's most cutting-edge technologies, and a platform that continues to launch new and innovative inventions that can change the world, "much like Elon Musk has done with Tesla, SpaceX and Hyperloop, or what the UAE is doing with its mission to Mars." He adds, "In a few years' time, I would like to get the business to a point where its name becomes synonymous with innovation technology. At that stage, I would aim to have a wide range of patents and products intended for various types of industries and uses." 

In terms of advice for his peers, Almas says aspiring entrepreneurs need to be honest with themselves about why they want to launch a business. "The 'why' part of that question is extremely important, as it sets a precedent for everything else that comes afterwards," he says. "There is a fine line between having the confidence you need to succeed, and being too set
in your own ways. As an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone, and listen to your team and customers in order to understand what your business needs, and adjust your approach and business model as needed." 

Related: Entrepreneurs Reshaping The Future


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