Techstars and Heritage Group Launch Indianapolis Accelerator Program

Techstars, which works to advance early stage startups through 45 accelerator programs across the world, today announced its newest accelerator focused on construction and infrastructure materials.

The accelerator, located in Indianapolis, is being run in partnership with the Heritage Group, an Indiana company specializing in environmental remediation, specialty chemicals, construction materials, and fuel products.

“It’s a great vertical that we haven’t really tapped into,” says David Brown, Techstars co-founder and co-CEO. “There’s a lot of activity and we think we can help companies in the space.”

This is the first time Techstars has launched a program in Indiana, Brown says, but it’s a region the organization is bullish on.

“We love having more programs in the interior of the country,” he says, adding that Techstars accelerators in Detroit and Kansas City have been a big success. “When we launched the mobility accelerator [in Detroit in 2015], it was almost controversial. Now, everyone sees it as an emerging tech hub.”

Brown says the goal of the Heritage Group accelerator is to find and incubate new innovations in material sciences and infrastructure industries. Participants will have access to Heritage Group mentors, and the program will function like Techstars’ incubators with Target and Amazon. “We want to see what’s out there,” he says.

Each year, the Heritage Group Accelerator will select 10 startups from local and global applicants. The startups will then gather in Indianapolis for a three-month program that includes research and development, mentorship, customer discovery, and collaboration at The Center, the Heritage Group’s state-of-the-art facility. The program will culminate in a demo day where participants pitch their businesses to an audience of venture capitalists, corporate innovation officers, and industry experts.

Applications for the first cohort will open in early 2019, with the program expected to get underway in late summer. Each participating startup will receive an equity investment of $120,000 and access to the Techstars network of financial, managerial, and technical experts, Brown says.

“The goal is to provide more support to companies not on the coasts, and to help companies across the ecosystem connect with Heritage Group,” Brown says.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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