Beta Boom Aims to Foster Burgeoning and Inclusive Startup Ecosystems in Emerging Tech Regions

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With an aim to democratize and diversify tech innovation throughout the world, Beta Boom helps founders in emerging regions build successful and impactful companies through their accelerator programs.

We are convinced that world-changing innovations can happen anywhere... Our goal is to help as many entrepreneurs in as many emerging regions as possible.

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Venture capitalists, civic leaders, and tech entrepreneurs are waking up to the fact that hugely important and successful tech companies can spring up anywhere in the world--beyond Silicon Valley. The Salt Lake City area alone has birthed at least five unicorns,¹ companies that are valued at more than a billion dollars. Similarly, Chicago has been a hotbed of tech startup activity with the Windy City giving rise to six unicorn companies.² Even the Middle East is becoming a hotbed of tech activity punctuated by the recent acquisition of SOUQ.com for $600M USD.³ There is no denying that the movement has begun, and startup accelerator Beta Boom aims to help build on this trend and propel the democratization of technological innovation throughout the world.

"We are convinced that world-changing innovations can happen anywhere. Moreover, we believe that when innovators are closer to average people, they are more likely to create impactful solutions for the masses," says Sergio Paluch, the founder of Beta Boom. "Most of the world does not need another Juicera or a $700 luxury smart lock.⁴ The majority of people in the world need practical solutions to everyday challenges such as finding work, managing their finances, and working more efficiently, so they can spend more time with their family."

Sergio co-founded Beta Boom with his wife, Kimmy, who studied computer science at Dartmouth and earned her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. As a black woman in tech, Kimmy drives the second part of their accelerator's mission. “We believe that accelerators can be a force for creating more inclusive startup ecosystems,” she says, echoing the thoughts of Michael Seibel of Y Combinator.⁵ “This is imperative in emerging regions that are starting with a clean slate. We think that our work is critical because Beta Boom addresses the initial stages of an innovation pipeline, so if founders from underrepresented groups succeed early on, they can be the foundation for building diverse workforces as these companies mature."

Beta Boom will focus on diversity in their targeted regions by recruiting both diverse founders and mentors. “The accelerator is open to all and we welcome everyone to apply, but we certainly work hard to reach under-represented groups," says Kimmy.

Since its launch, Beta Boom has been working with regions such as Sacramento and Salt Lake City to empower founders in those regions, which have been underserved to this point. And their arrival could not be better timed. Steve Case, the founder of AOL, recently embarked on the Rise of the Rest tour, a well-publicized trek across overlooked tech markets in the United States.⁶ This tour led to the formation of a venture capital fund of the same name with support from noteworthy investors such as Meg Whitman and Eric Schmidt.⁷ Moreover, municipal and state governments throughout the country are entering an economic arms race, building innovation ecosystems as quickly as possible with the spoils of the tech industry going to the winners. From regions such as Sacramento to Nashville, stakeholders from government, non-profit, and tech sectors are increasingly coordinating their efforts to provide the resources that native tech startups need to succeed.

Sergio and Kimmy Paluch have an ambitious vision for the coming decade. "We want Beta Boom to be operating in at least 20 emerging regions in the United States and abroad within ten years,” says Sergio. “Scaling our impact is our top priority. Our goal is to help as many entrepreneurs in as many emerging regions as possible. If we can accomplish that, everybody wins. The consumer wins because they will have better solutions for their problems. The local economies win because they will be able to produce and keep more tech companies. Investors win because they have access to gems waiting to be found outside of Silicon Valley. Finally, with a focus on diversity, society wins because opportunities are equally distributed across economic, racial, and gender divides."

Applications for the first program, being held in the Salt Lake City region from June 11th to August 18th, are now open. Interested startups can apply at betaboom.com/apply. For more information, visit http://www.betaboom.com. If you are interested in bringing Beta Boom to your region or for other inquiries, write hello(at)betaboom(dot)com.

Notes:
1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/business/smallbusiness/tech-start-ups-utah.html
2. https://www.americaninno.com/chicago/a-look-at-chicagos-tech-unicorn-herd/
3. https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/03/amazon-souq-com-completed/
4. https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/8/24/16196140/otto-smart-lock-announced
5. https://www.marketplace.org/2017/11/10/tech/role-accelerators-upping-diversity-tech
6. https://nvite.com/community/riseoftherest
7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2017/12/05/steve-case-raises-150-million-rise-of-the-rest-fund/

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Sergio Paluch
Beta Boom
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