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Unlocking Startup Success: An Inside Look at gener8tor’s Support for Early-stage Ventures

In this exclusive interview, Anna Bliss from Intrepid Finance sits down with Davide Dantonio, Program Manager for gBETA at gener8tor, to discuss the unique support and resources this prominent startup accelerator and venture capital firm offers to early-stage startups. Davide shares insights into gener8tor’s accelerator programs, including gALPHA and gBETA, as well as the investment acceleration process. Discover how gener8tor fosters connections, enhances skills, and creates opportunities for startups in the thriving Midwest community.

Anna Bliss: Hi, everyone, it’s Anna Bliss here with Intrepid Finance, and I have the pleasure today to speak with Davide. He’s a program manager for gBETA at gener8tor. So Davide, thank you so much for joining us. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your path to gener8tor? 

Davide Dantonio: First of all, thank you so much for having me here. I’m very pleased to have this chat with you. And, and I’m Davide, I come from Napoli and actually the destiny led me to Indianapolis, so it’s kind of an extension of my city, of origin. And back in Europe I dive deep in business, both in my Italian studies and also in my master study between France, UK, Spain, and, and US. And for me was, was a great journey starting from big corporations and then starting to familiarize with these entrepreneurial journeys, putting myself in entrepreneurs shoes when I was in the, in US college because I saw a pain point in the, in my community with mental health students. And so I was trying to shape project for building a platform for connecting students with the mental health resources at university. And then realized all the challenges, all the struggles, all the lack of knowledge for a young entrepreneur like me, as well as the lack of connections that you have as an entrepreneur on your own. You’re a the whole world. And so that’s why I decided to join a great ecosystem like gener8tor, looking at overlooked founders, overlooked communities, and, and try to make founders be interconnected with this great ecosystem.

Anna Bliss: That is amazing. You’ve done more in your lifetime than I can imagine ever doing. But as someone that was working at gener8tor, you know, it’s a prominent startup accelerator, venture capital firm. Could you provide us with an overview of like the unique support and resources that gener8tor offers to early-stage startups? 

Davide Dantonio:That’s a very complex question because what gener8tor is offering is very comprehensive, and it targets not only businesses but also individuals. And so, I would firstly start from the startup acceleration programs, that are gALPHA, gBETA, and investment accelerations.

So gALTHA is like very, very, very early-stage founders. So gALPHA is training the human. So the airplane pilot. And so it helps this airplane pilot to understand the building blocks of an airplane to explain him or her what is this airplane and how it works. And then, like gBETA, we literally build the plane while it flies, making all these building blocks work together. And then lastly, as investment accelerator, we put fuel in the airplane. And so we make it fly very high, very faster. So belt tight, and yeah, and these companies literally fly. 

So we have common things across these three programs, in particular with gBETA and investment accelerators. The program manager is providing one-to-one meetings with the founders mentoring them in any topic of their interest. And also, we have a standardized path of knowledge sharing. We call it Launch and Learns. And so we share knowledge about financial milestones, market and competition, comparables, revenue model. And then, we have a weekly moment of connection with mentors through breakout rooms. And that’s a moment where the founders really enjoy these random connections, and serendipity happen most of times where there are like follow on conversations with the mentors and the founders that like find the right match in these very quick intros that we make over Zoom and then at the end of the program, we have the connection with investors so we have sometimes in-person connection days sometimes virtual connection days and so all these speed networking moments are very important for founders to, increase their chances of a, of a fruitful and the game-changing conversation. And, and then lastly, other key pillar is like a showcase. Um, so sometimes a market, uh, is having a specific, uh, showcase moment at each night as someone would call it instead, like, for example, in our case in Indiana, we are having some big conferences that are company-wide. And so we have a manufacturing conference, the agricultural conference, and we are gathering lots of corporations, startups, investors in this big moment that are very industry-specific and where all our founders and alumni can pitch. 

And just to wrap up, I know it’s a lot, but other components that are less, slightly less startup focused, we have the skills accelerators, so gener8tors doing some partnerships in some markets with Microsoft and other knowledge providers to be able to accelerate humans’ careers and being skilled, so it’s mainly career support. Then we have like conferences, as I mentioned, they’re organized nationwide about some specific topics. Then we have creative accelerators so targeting music industry, art industry, and it’s a way to like to enhance talent, not just business-related, but also creativity related. And then we have also a big focus on corporations. We know that like the engagement with startup and corporations can create a great moment of interaction and future business, as well as expertise sharing, cross-fertilization. So that’s something that like the company’s whole, likes to promote and get behind. So I love interconnection and intersection with all these components. 

Anna Bliss: That’s a lot. That is awesome that you guys offer all of that from the very beginning to, you know, later on, you know, in the company’s life cycle. But why specifically would a startup want to join gener8tor in Indiana? 

Davide Dantonio: Yeah. So I would say gener8tor Indiana is really a way for founders from all over US to connect, first of all, in a in a small circle of five startups that is focused on a specific topic. So, for example, in my case, I’m managing a Five G technologies that basically is a SaaS B2B B2C platforms that are interconnecting businesses or businesses and people, and then we have an industry 4.0, so increasing manufacturing and productivity. Then we have a institutional mobility, energy stability. So we have a small circle of founders really cross-fertilizing their knowledge and their expertise in some resources in terms of connection and insights on these specific verticals. And then I like to say that we have the West Coast and the East Coast that are really developed, and there is a lot already that was done there. But now there is this new middle coast that is Indiana, that is in hyper-growth because the community’s very connected. We all know the piece of the ecosystem, and everyone is really focused on helping each other. I learned very simply about this Midwestern culture, really focused on helping each other. And probably that could be the competitive edge that could make us grow faster on long term. And…also be at the same level of competition over the West Coast. 

Anna Bliss: I’m so happy that you’ve talked about how the Midwest people like to help each other because I grew up in the Midwest, I’ve stayed around the Midwest, been all around. And so I love that about the culture here.

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