entrepreneurship

Betaspring holds open house, introduces new participants

COURTESY BETASPRING/CAROLYN BUBEL
BETASPRING FOUNDER ALAN TEAR addresses the crowd at the startup accelerator's Open House Thursday. More than 300 people showed up to see the group's new home in the Knowledge District and to hear elevator pitches from the current class of 16 startups in the program.
Betaspring, the three-year-old startup accelerator program, held an open house Thursday, with more than 300 attendees, including its latest class of program participants.
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Posted 3/9/12

PROVIDENCE – Startup incubator Betaspring celebrated its latest class and its new home Thursday evening with an open house event that drew more than 300 people. In addition to the 16 new teams – which started in Betaspring’s 12-week program on Feb. 6 – the event attracted Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo and R.I. Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Keith W. Stokes.

The move into the newly rehabilitated space on the third floor of the Russell Irons building at 95 Chestnut St. in the city’s Knowledge District allows Betaspring to take on more than double the number of companies in its accelerator program, as well as offer office space for 10 weeks after participants have completed the program. Teams that choose to remain in Providence for 12 months after completing the program are eligible for a $50,000 equity investment from the city of Providence.

In its three years, the Betaspring mentoring and entrepreneurship program has launched 28 companies and supported almost 100 entrepreneurs. Graduates of the program have created more than 50 full-time jobs and raised more than $10 million in funding.

Teams from across the country – and one from Tel Aviv - are participating in the spring session (there will be one that starts in the fall as well), with the goal that participating teams will become a fundable and viable company by the end of the 12 weeks.

The new class consists of 16 teams with 41 founders and employees, including:

  • AgileQR, software developer to help political leaders connect with constituents

  • Autoshag, a service that allows consumers to buy cars at dealer auctions for savings off retail

  • Care Thread, developer of a health care real-time communications platform

  • GBooking, an online tool for search, comparison and booking of service providers

  • JumpOffCampus, a service that improves off-campus housing functions from all perspectives

  • Kay McGowan: A Curated World, an online retailer of goods from international destinations

  • LessonWriter, a tool that uses media content to create classroom lesson plans

  • Moveable Code, a developer of mobile products for play

  • Prepmatic, creator of standardized test preparation tools

  • RecoVend, an online service to improve and lower costs of university purchasing

  • Socialping, developer of real-time Twitter analytics among other tools for business

  • Splitwise, a tool to help groups, down to roommates, calculate cost-sharing arrangements

  • Sproutel, creator of interactive toys to help children deal with chronic illness

  • Thryve, tool to help people better track their diet and well-being

  • Thumbs Up, a platform to let viewers rate and see how others rate television programs in real time

  • TwoBolt, creators of a tool that lets businesses create and manage marketing campaigns

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