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...
05.21.14 | mwithers
If like me, you believe that 3D printing will revolutionize how we create, make and fabricate, don't waste another minute before you check out AstroPrint's Kickstarter campaign. The campaign, which exceeded its goal in less than 24 hours from launch,  will enable 3D printer owners to run, control and monitor their 3D printers wirelessly and remotely on their smartphones and tablets. AstroPrint--a current Betapsring company--is run by the same team that owns and runs proven-to-print marketplace, 3DaGoGo, AstroPrint lets owners run, control and monitor their 3D printers wirelessly and remotely on their smartphones and tablets. At the core of the AstroPrint campaign is the AstroBox, a WiFi-enabled module that connects to the 3D printer. The AstroBox communicates with a mobile device either through the Internet, or through it’s own WiFi network if an Internet connection isn’t...
05.15.14 | mwithers
Difficult to believe, but our Spring 2014 session is only a few weeks from finished. We celebrate the end of each session with a series of events, which we affectionately call Launch Week. Launch Week gives our mentors, investors, partners, alum, and community supporters a chance to see how far the companies have come in 12 short weeks. First up is our Investor Showcase in Boston on June 3. This is a private event for accredited investors. It's also the first time many of the companies in our current cohort will have presented to investors. For more information about this event, contact Melissa at melissa at betaspring.com. Things heat up on June 4, when we host our public Launch Day at Betaspring HQ in Providence. The startups exiting our accelerator will demo what they have accomplished after 12 grueling weeks of work: building their companies, refining their products, and...
05.10.14 | mwithers
Alum Quitbit is killing it on Kickstarter with the first smart lighter and app to track smoking for smokers who want to build new habits.   What is the Quitbit? Quitbit is a smart lighter and app that helps you understand your smoking. Quitbit has a display to provide feedback so you can make smarter decisions. Gradually cut back at your own pace, set custom plans, and personalize when and how the lighter works to help achieve your goals. The Quitbit lights cigarettes using a heating element, similar to car lighters. The electronics count each cigarette that is lit. The display on the Quitbit shows details about your smoking habits, like how many cigarettes you’ve smoked and how long it’s been since your last one. We’ve built some smarts into the Quitbit to keep track of only your smoking. Whether you’re just flicking your lighter or sharing it with friends, the Quitbit ensures...
05.05.14 | mwithers
Congrats to alumni CompNet for their recent win of the Entrepreneur track of Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, clinching a $20,000 cash prize and services valued at $19,250. CompNet has developed an online system that allows businesses to get immediate quotes on workers’ compensation insurance, thereby eliminating the need for an insurance broker.  Competition Co-chair Peggy Farrell, partner in the law of firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, said, “We had an especially strong group of contenders this year, which made the judging more difficult, but it’s a problem we’re happy to have.” CompNet was in good company with grand prize winner Nordic Technology Group, a Providence-based company that is making an intelligent monitoring system that uses 3D-sensing technology to identify and alert caregivers to changes in behavior in people at risk of falling.  ...
04.24.14 | mwithers
In a few hours we'll open our doors to 300+ guests who are gathering to meet and welcome the startups participating in our Spring 2014 accelerator. The house is buzzing as the companies polish their pitch and get ready to dominate the microphone.  This cohort brings the Betaspring portfolio to 90 startups accelerated. Each session is unique, and every founder brings something new to the community. Not every company will make it, but we've found that there's something to be learned in every success and every failure--even if all you learn is that the world doesn't need another social shopping company ;-)  This newest group is a pleasure to have in Providence. Coming from as far away as San Diego, the founders arrived at Betaspring last month rip roaring to go. Startup founders are by definition a little nuts, and this new crew is no exception. We're seeing some interesting...
04.24.14 | mwithers
Since 2013, Betaspring has expanded it's sessions to include a few cool entrepreneurs who shadow the accelerator and add value in unique ways. From first-time entrepreneurs building their initial product to seasoned veterans who like to pay it forward, the Fellows program is an easy way to bring exciting people into the fold while we are in session. For our Spring 2014 session we have two special people with us. It's a pleasure to introduce them: Meet Betaspring Fellow Paul Rolfe. A rising star entrepreneur from Providence, Paul is a Betaspring Fellow and the creator of CapitolBuddy, which helps advocates and lobbyists work smarter at their state capitols by putting legislators in the palm of their hands. Paul has been a great addition to the cohort, offering his help as a self-taught developer and bringing awesome energy to our pitch practices and meetups with mentors. Phillip...
04.10.14 | mwithers
  Join us on April 24 for Betaspring's Spring 2014 Open House at 5:30pm. Meet the Spring 2014 Betaspring companies and catch up with our alums, mentors, and the people & companies driving our entrepreneurial community. There will be snacks, delicious beer and wine, excitement and inspiration aplenty.  These newest arrivals to Betaspring have come to Providence to do in 12 weeks what might take others 12 months. Come welcome them to our community, hear their stories, and enjoy a night out with the startup community.  Open House is free, but we are limited to 300 people and usually end up with a wait list, so register to reserve your spot!  
03.12.14 | mwithers
Researchers from the MIT Sloan School of Management and the University of Richmond  took to the stage yesterday at SXSW to share results of a months-long review of U.S. startup accelerators. The researchers--MIT's Yael Hochberg and University of Richmond's Susan Cohen--combined publicly available information from Crunchbase with information on portfolio performance to evaluate dozens of program across the country. Evaluating factors such as maturity, portfolio performance and follow-on funding, Hochberg and Cohen winnowed down the field to create a list of the U.S.'s top 15 accelerators.  Betaspring was in good company, coming in at #11 on a list that included a mix of superstars in major metros, as well as solid performers from smaller cities.  The research was reported in TechCrunch late yesterday…and I wish it was cool to plagiarize, because TC's Jonathan Shieber...