With its inaugural class of startups through the program, Omaha-based accelerator Straight Shot is looking to the future and preparing for round two, which will launch June 2014.
Since the accelerator’s Demo Day in October, five of the program’s seven companies have received funding, and six will remain in Omaha to continue growing their business, according to an email from founding Straight Shot member Faith Larson. When the program began, only three of the companies—CardioSys, Crateful and BuyNow—hailed from Omaha. Larson also noted Cosmic Cart will move from Omaha after securing an equity investment from a major retail brand.
“When we first came up with the idea, we had anticipated that Omahans really wanted to dive in and roll up their sleeves, and that was validated way more than we ever anticipated,” Dundee Venture Capital and Straight Shot founder Mark Hasebroock (right) told Silicon Prairie News.
Hasebroock also added that the accelerator was a good way to get larger, more established businesses involved in the startup community.
“It was able to build a nice bridge between those two,” he said. “While not complete, it was definitely a start.”
For its second class, Straight Shot organizers say they plan to expand the program to 10 or 12 companies. Hasebroock said the program will focus more on one-on-one collaboration between key mentors and companies, rather than hosting as many large, group events. Additionally, Larson, the accelerator’s former managing director, will now serve as Straight Shot’s lead mentor.
Hasebroock also mentioned that a common theme for many Straight Shot companies was the need for talented developers and programmers, adding that some sort of academy or program for continuing tech education may not be far off.
Applications for the accelerator’s second class, set to launch next June, will be available January 2014.
For more information about Straight Shot’s inaugural class, read our past coverage: “Straight Shot’s inaugural class uses demo day to launch forward“
Credits: Mark Hasebroock photo from LinkedIn.