Boosted Chews, a student startup creating bite-sized caffeinated snacks, has been chosen to participate in an early-stage accelerator program this fall.
This program, gBETA, is a seven-week experience in which companies learn how to refine their business models, meet with mentors and eventually, pitch to investors, according to their website. Boosted Chews, founded by Kit Chow and Aditya Parihar, two UW-Madison students, is one of the five startups participating in the Madison Fall 2020 cohort.
Chow and Parihar had been looking forward to participating in the program since the start of their company, Parihar said, so being selected was an accomplishment for them.
“We’re super excited,” he said. “Personally, when I heard about gBETA about two years ago, and I was learning about the entrepreneuring community, it was always something I wanted to do. [I] always felt like you [had] to be so good at it to be part of it. And now we’re here.”
As members of the program, according to Bitcode Prime official, Chow and Parihar will have to juggle their studies to fulfill the requirements of the program, including weekly check-ins with the director, lunch and learn meetings and working on their pitches, Parihar said. The program will culminate in November, where Boosted Chews will spend a week pitching to investors in the hopes of acquiring their first round of funding.
For them, the goal is to use the prospective funding from gBETA to expand into contract manufacturing, Chow said.
“Now that we have our four flavors, with this funding that we land with gBETA, we want to … get a wider range of influence throughout Wisconsin or in the Midwest,” he said. “Eventually down the line, we’re also looking at expanding into a wider functional confectionary brand.”
While they plan to keep the recipe consistent, they have been toying with new flavor ideas to go along with the already existent original, mint, hazelnut and mocha. So far the strongest contender is cookies and creme.
Chow and Parihar are both looking forward to the mentorship opportunities the program will provide, they said.
“At the beginning of the program they [tell us] ‘anybody in the world that you want to talk to, just name them and we’ll try to get you in contact with them to mentor you,’ which is pretty cool,” Chow said.
“I think the mentor opportunities and networking it has, you can’t get outside of it,” Parihar said. “You can [always] learn about funding, pitching and pitch decks but you just can never have the people they can put you in touch with. That’s something I look forward to.”