Gener8tor Announces Latest Mini-Accelerator Class, Pitch Event

gBETA, a free, six-week program for “pre-seed” startups affiliated with colleges and universities in Wisconsin, unveiled its newest class Tuesday. The group draws from several industries, including biotech, wearables, and software.

The class, the second in gBETA’s brief history, kicked off Oct. 17 and will culminate with a pitch event in Madison, WI, on Dec. 8. The first gBETA class launched in July and wrapped up in August.

gBETA is run by Gener8tor, a Wisconsin startup accelerator whose core 12-week program alternates between Madison and Milwaukee. Startups in that program, which are typically more mature than those in gBETA, receive cash up-front from Gener8tor and its investment partners, in exchange for equity. gBETA participants, by contrast, don’t have to give up any ownership stakes, but also don’t receive any money. (Disclosure: Gener8tor is a supporter of Xconomy in Wisconsin, but our coverage is determined independently by our editors.)

Earlier this month, Gener8tor announced a partnership between gBETA and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which manages intellectual property for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As part of the agreement, the financial terms of which were not publicly disclosed, Gener8tor established a more formal framework for gBETA. Each year, it will enroll three groups of five companies, with a goal that one third of the startups have technology licensed by the foundation.

Here are brief descriptions of companies in the latest class:

23Vivi is a virtual storefront for limited edition fine art. An artist can post a “run” of 23 works of art he or she created. 23Vivi uses encryption technology and certificates of authenticity to ensure users don’t have artwork stolen or purchase fakes. The company does not yet appear to have a public website, but QuHarrison Terry lists himself as a founder on his LinkedIn profile.

Emonix H2O is developing an Internet-connected device that can measure water hardness—the amount of dissolved minerals present in the water—and add salt to a water softener as needed, rather than at fixed intervals using a timer. According to the startup’s website, most water softeners are not configured correctly, often resulting in hard water or excessive salt consumption.

Exis helps software developers establish a secure line of communication between their mobile and Web applications and servers in the cloud (so-called “network code”). The process for providing network code today is repetitive and error-prone, according to the company’s AngelList page. Exis also hosts cloud-based services like user authentication, which means that developers can get by with only knowing a single programming language.

Seiva Technologies is developing a wearable sensor system that can provide athletes with real-time kinesiological data, such as range of motion and the angle at which a joint is bent. The startup has been on a hot streak: in June, it was one of two winners at the Launch Milwaukee hackathon and was picked for the inaugural WERCBench Labs Accelerator; in May, it was one of four winners in Marquette University’s business plan competition; and previously, it was chosen for the Madworks accelerator in Madison and The Commons student startup accelerator in Milwaukee.

Visual Bioscience provides eye researchers with cells derived from pig eyes, which the company says function similarly to human eye cells. It claims its cell products allow studies to be reproduced more easily and help turn research into therapies more quickly.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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