Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by the NMotion startup accelerator, but was independently produced by Startland News.
The powerhouse mix of global and localized support David Biga received from the NMotion Growth Accelerator was well worth the program’s required exchange of equity, the proptech startup founder detailed.
Particle Space — one of Startland News’ 10 Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2022 — was an inaugural cohort member of the Omaha-based investment-for-equity accelerator. Organized by gener8tor and NMotion, the program targets high-growth startups across Nebraska and those looking to establish a presence in Nebraska.
“You get the gener8tor global nationwide reach of top-tier mentors,” Biga explained. “But then you also get the localized NMotion team, which is really — of course they’re in Nebraska — but very much focused on the Midwest. And I think just having the support in that network to really drive my product market fit and our early stage business forward, that’s a big reason why (I participated in the accelerator).”
NMotion powered by gener8tor doesn’t passively invest in your startup, he added.
“They are up in your business,” he said. “They are with you in the trenches and that is everything.”
NMotion is now accepting applications for the accelerator’s second cohort, said Scott Henderson, managing principal of NMotion, which offers a $100,000 investment for each of the six companies selected, as well as access to more than 100 mentors and the opportunity to pitch to about 50 early-stage investors.
Early bird admissions start Feb. 20 with a deadline of March 5. The 12-week hybrid program is expected to run May 3 through July 28.
Click here to apply to the NMotion Growth Accelerator.
Henderson and his team are looking for industry agnostic startups that are pre-revenue or revenue generating that haven’t received investments yet or are in the early stages, he said. They should also be companies that want hands-on coaching and to leverage the gener8tor national network.
“The approach of gener8tor has always been about white glove, concierge-type cohorts,” Henderson continued. “We’re looking for companies here in the Midwest who want to grow and leverage the strength of the region.”
When Particle Space — which makes it easy to build real estate technology through API (application programing interface) services — started the accelerator, Biga said, the proptech startup had a product and customers, but needed help finding a scalable market. He noted Henderson and Mason Cook, managing director for NMotion, were both drivers who helped him analyze the situation — and weren’t afraid to tell him when something wasn’t good — to help him find that repeatable process.
“It was stressful, to be honest, and it should be that way — people are investing in you,” he added. “I don’t mean stressful in a negative way but a positive push. They had your back and they cared for you. … I think the honest feedback and them pushing you forward, pushing your business forward — walking away — that will be one of my highlights.”
Through the NMotion accelerator, Henderson said, they were able to help Biga focus his efforts and reorganize his team.
“He’s been great about really focusing on growth and making sure that they’re simplifying their message and really focusing on the API aspect of it,” he added. “That was a big takeaway from the program and working with him.”
Biga is currently in Japan — after participating in the Accelerate Aichi by 500 Global — figuring out how to expand the startup within the Asian economic giant, while also still maintaining operations in the United States. He’s hoping to complete Particle Space’s next round of seed funding in the second or third quarter this year.
On top of Particle Space’s success, Henderson noted, two other startups in the inaugural cohort are close to raising funding rounds.
Lincoln-based Tiiga — which creates plant-based products centered around the Baobab superfruit to promote a healthy microbiome and improved overall health — is set to raise $500,000. And Omaha-based Microwash — which is bringing to market a proven, pain-free device that collects nasal specimens for virus testing — is poised to raise a seven-figure round.
In 2023, NMotion is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. On top of the Growth Accelerator, it operates a Venture Studio, which will kick off its fourth cohort in August (the deadline for applications is July 2).
RELATED: Why NMotion gives founders (without a startup) $100K and tells them to forget their assumptions
In those 10 years, Henderson said, NMotion has helped 84 early-stage startups, 23 of which have raised $22 million in follow-on funding and three have successfully exited. The biggest exit was Quantified Ag — which was bought by Merck Animal Health for an undisclosed amount — and the second biggest was Liveby for $15 million.
“We’ve got a very deep taproot here for Nebraska startups, specifically, to energize and connect,” he noted. “It’s much stronger with the startup ecosystem here in (all of) Nebraska — with Omaha and Lincoln — now benefiting from NMotion becoming that one singular place for startup acceleration.”
For those in the Kansas City area who might have more questions about NMotion and its programs, Cook is coming to KC Feb 23 as part of the accelerator’s Spring Roadshow to meet with founders. Appointments can be scheduled online.