10.17.14 | mwithers
We are looking for a high energy project manager who knows how to get a lot of things done (and done well). This position is public facing with opportunities to interact with startups, investors, mentors, corporate partners, students and other folks who orbit around entrepreneurial communities. From events to keeping our coworking community humming, our projects range from quick and easy to big opportunities that take time--and creativity--to build out.  Requirements: Passionate and knowledgeable about the regional and national startup scene and interested in learning more. Strong organizational and communication skills essential. A process-oriented and tools-savvy approach to problem solving, and the ability to work both solo and as a team, is a must. Some evenings and weekends required. 3-5 years experience in a relevant role expected. Interested? Send resume, cover letter, and...
10.17.14 | mwithers
After accelerating 90 companies, we have seen just about everything, from unexpected victories to painful losses, magnificent pivots to total strikeouts. Consumer behaviors and market trends change like the wind. The qualities and benchmarks investors look for before writing a check are always shifting. Meanwhile, startup knowledge and tools keep getting better and more accessible.  Despite all this flux, here’s one thing that hasn’t changed: Building a startup is a grind. Sure, one in a thousand ventures gets discovered its infancy and bought for a zillion bucks. But the rest slog it out for months, often years, before anything resembling a big payoff happens. And the stuff between starting and winning can be pretty grueling.   I was recently asked by Verizon to help put toegther a series of blogs for early stage founders. We asked some of our mentors and friends to...
09.16.14 | mwithers
Betaspring is excited to be among those speaking, mentoring and judging at this year’s TechCocktail Celebrate conference in Downtown Vegas on October 6-7. This two-day conference brings together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, startup founders, creative technologists, designers, investors, community builders, and media to learn, inspire and be inspired, collaborate, and grow - and celebrate together. The payoff for attendees? To learn and collaborate with others who are turning their communities into startup cities, and building ideas into successful companies. Betaspring will be represented by Melissa Withers and Allan Tear, who will be talking about building startup communities, as well as mentoring startups and sharing a little bit of what they’ve learned after accelerating 90 companies. The line-up looks boss, with folks like Tony Hsieh (Zappos), David Cohen (TechStars), Akhil...
09.09.14 | mwithers
This spring, Betaspring reached an important milestone with the completion of our third fund, bringing our tally to 90 companies accelerated since 2009. This fall offers us an ideal time to take stock of what we’ve learned, and support our most promising alumni companies as they tackle the “make or break” moments that define startup success.   How did five years go by so fast? Flashback to the summer of 2009. Betaspring set out to test a new model for helping startups go farther faster. The model was the “startup accelerator,” and in 2009, virtually no one had heard of it.  The birth of startup accelerators was driven by a fundamental shift in how new companies were launched. Before the Web reached global critical mass, technology and access to customers were HUGE barriers to launching a new venture, making new company creation prohibitively expensive. Around 2005, those...
09.09.14 | mwithers
One of the best things about operating a startup accelerator is tracking our alumni. This month, we crossed the $40M in follow-on funding milestone! But beyond fundraising, it's a true pleasure to see our alumni succeed, both in big and small ways. From growing their teams to reaching new sales and user acquisition goals, very few things are sweeter than startups success.  Earlier this summer, Sproutel, launched an Indiegogo campaign to bring their next run of Jerry the Bear robots to as many kids with Type 1 diabetes as possible. The campaign surpassed its first goal within a few days and given it’s importance, Indiegogo extended the campaign.  There’s still time to help. Splashscore offers an influencer activation engine that helps large consumer brands find and activate their most influential customers. Splashscore is on an incredible growth trajectory and is already...
08.21.14 | mwithers
Considering an accelerator for your startup? NuLabel CEO—and Betaspring alum—Max Winograd’s most recent column in Inc Magazine tried to simplify the question with a set questions that every founder should ask herself before joining an accelerator. “An invitation to a startup accelerator presents several positive opportunities for young companies and particularly young entrepreneurs: a stamp of credibility; access to a plugged-in network of mentors and eager angel investors; seed capital; intense strategic, team, and product development support; and colocation alongside dozens of similar-stage businesses experiencing the same highs and lows that come with a newborn startup baby.” But before you jump in, founders should ask themselves some important questions. Sure, you need to weigh the value your company will get in exchange for the equity. But, questions should go deeper than that....
07.28.14 | mwithers
Join us at Betaspring  on Tuesday, July 29 at 3pm for a conversation with entrepreneur and investor Wiley Cerilli.   Wiley Cerilli is a Venture Partner at First Round Capital. Prior to First Round, Wiley was on the executive team of Constant Contact, where he served as Vice President of SinglePlatform, the company he started and led as CEO until it was acquired in 2012.   SinglePlatform was initially funded by First Round, and quickly went on to be named one of the Top 10 and 25 "Companies to Watch" by Business Insider, The Next Web and Website Magazine. Wiley has been named as a "Top 25 CEO" in New York, and "Top 10 People to Watch" by Crains.   The conversation with Wiley will be followed by a beer hour. Free, but register here.    
07.08.14 | scaress
With as many as 15,000 children diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the U.S. each year, Sproutel has set an ambitious goal to help all kids affected by T1D. With Jerry the Bear, an interactive teddy bear aimed at helping kids “master their medical procedures, from counting carbs to monitoring their blood sugar levels - all through play,” the Sproutel team is set to do just that. You can help this amazing startup make history by getting Jerry into the arms or every kid who gets diagnosed with T1D. To achieve this goal, Sproutel has created 29 iterations of the prototype, tested with 350 families, set up a scalable supply chain, and shipped their first production run, reaching 2% of children newly diagnosed with T1D last year. Now that they’ve laid the groundwork, Sproutel is raising $20,000 to cover the minimum order quantity for their next production run. You can help but supporting...
06.04.14 | mwithers
  Time flies when you're working your ass off! Huge congrats to the companies exiting Betaspring's Spring 2014 accelerator session. Yesterday, the companies debuted in Boston at an investor showcase and tonight we will celebrate the companies with a massive Launch Day celebration in Providence.  Here's the lineup of companies that will present tonight: AstroPrintAstroPrint’s platform lets 3D printer owners run, control, and monitor their 3D printers wirelessly and remotely on their smartphones and tablets.  AstroPrint's intuitive software bridges the gap between these highly technical machines and the non-technical people interacting with them.   By integrating with printer manufacturers, AstroPrint rides the manufacturers adoption curve and owns the 3D printing user experience. BaseRailsBaseRails is an on-demand, video learning platform for building web...
05.22.14 | mwithers
Every month, thousands of kids across the country wait anxiously for their Surprise Ride to arrive. I know--my seven-year-old son goes bananas when he sees the telltale orange box waiting for him on the kitchen table. That's because he knows what's inside: a super fun kit filled with everything he needs to take an adventure. It's been a year since alum Surprise Ride exited Betaspring and cofounders Donna and Rosy Khalife have been BUSY! Aside from closing a round and appearing on ABC's Shark Tank, the dynamic duo has made a series of smart choices to drive growth and open new channels for getting thousands of new customers. The newest partnership driving this growth is one with Hidden Valley (yes, that Hidden Valley) and country music star Sara Evans to design a limited edition activity box that gives busy moms a break and gives kids some mealtime fun. Hidden Valley is matching...