Gener8tor, a decade-old startup accelerator focused on underserved founders across the U.S., is setting its sights on recruiting security tech-focused startups for its newest cybersecurity accelerator program.
Geekdom, a downtown San Antonio coworking community, has partnered with gener8tor to oversee the new startup program. After meeting with over 30 local stakeholders about San Antonio’s needs for a new accelerator, Geekdom CEO Charles Woodin said consensus pointed to launching a new program that would be “vertical-specific.” The gener8tor program will use spaces on the eighth floor of the Rand Building where Geekdom is located.
A member of the Global Accelerator Network, the Madison, Wisconsin-based nationally-ranked program is looking to invest in high-growth startups working on security technology solutions. Troy Vosseller, co-founder and managing director of gener8tor, said the San Antonio program would be open to startups across the U.S.
Each cohort in the new cybersecurity accelerator will have five companies participating in a 12-week program. Each company will receive an investment of $100,000 from gener8ator in exchange for 6% equity and will pitch to gener8tor-vetted investors, Vosseller confirmed.
Starting in 2023, gener8tor will work closely with two cohorts each year with hands-on mentoring during the 12-week accelerator program. gener8tor supports the growth of these startups through its network of experienced mentors, technologists, corporate partners, angel investors, and venture capitalists.
Applications are welcome from startups headquartered anywhere in the world. Teams are expected to relocate to San Antonio for the duration of the program to take full advantage of the cohort-based programming and the strength of the local ecosystem. The gener8tor team will help founders find affordable, short-term housing for the duration of the program.
“The companies we select will live and work here, and when their program ends, our goal is to encourage them to stay here where they can continue to grow in the Alamo City,” Vosseller said.
Interested startups may apply for gener8tor’s first accelerator cohort by July 8. The program starts on August 29 and will run for 12 weeks.
Security technology covers concepts, policies, and components designed to minimize risk, identify vulnerabilities, and inform how and when to respond to potential cyber incidents.
“We’re trying to broaden the definition of a cybersecurity startup,” Amanda Keammerer said. The San Antonio native and security fellow with the Truman National Security Project is the accelerator’s inaugural managing director. “We’re interested in solutions that minimize risk or help with compliance, data privacy, even gaming — it doesn’t have to be focused on threat intelligence or incident response.”
gener8tor is also looking for mentors interested in working with the accelerator’s startups.
“We’re looking for subject matter experts within the cyber industry, someone who understands the customers and their pain points,” said Haley Medved Kendrick, senior managing director of gener8tor’s investment accelerators. “We’re also interested in business leaders who can discuss the finer points of entrepreneurship, technical experts who can discuss specific business topics like taxes, marketing, or legal concerns, and community builders who can introduce our founders to valuable connections.”
San Antonio is a new market for gener8tor, Keammerer said. San Antonio is home to the largest pool of certified cybersecurity experts outside of the nation’s capital region, the U.S. Air Force Cyber headquarters, NSA Texas, a massive private sector presence, and a growing number of cyber startups.
“I think it’s powerful to grow this ecosystem here in San Antonio,” Keammerer said. “The new accelerator program will act as a lightning rod for the growing cyber hub here, amplifying the unique assets we already have as a city.”