Schulze School of Entrepreneurship

Five St. Thomas Alumni-Founded Start-ups Selected for Accelerator

gener8tor and University of St. Thomas Welcome Fifth gBETA Cohort

gener8tor and the University of St. Thomas are thrilled to announce the selection of five exceptional start-ups founded by St. Thomas alumni to participate in the gBETA St. Thomas accelerator program. EpiBlock, GrupCard, Omi Live, Touchlink and TradeOut have earned their spots in this highly regarded program facilitated by gener8tor, a national venture capital firm.

gBETA St. Thomas is a transformative, free seven-week accelerator designed to pave the way for start-ups to seize investment opportunities. During the program, these talented founders will receive personalized coaching and gain access to gener8tor's expansive network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.

Selected from a pool of over 40 applications across the St. Thomas student and alumni community, these five companies were hand-picked for their exceptional growth potential and readiness to raise investor funding. Each start-up embodies the spirit of innovation and represents the next generation of entrepreneurial brilliance.

Megan Baniecke
Megan Baniecke

“I am incredibly thrilled to collaborate with these five outstanding St. Thomas alumni-founded start-ups,” said Megan Baniecke ’22, director of the gBETA St. Thomas program. “Their selection is a testament to their immense potential and readiness to attract investors. Through intensive coaching and access to our national network, we aim to empower these start-ups to thrive in the highly competitive start-up ecosystem. I am confident that their participation in gBETA St. Thomas will set them on a path to remarkable success, and I eagerly anticipate witnessing their progress and accomplishments during and beyond the program.”

This dynamic accelerator program is made possible through a strong partnership between gener8tor and the University of St. Thomas’ Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, both committed to fostering innovation and nurturing entrepreneurial talent within the University of St. Thomas community.

Jessica Cooley

“The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship is excited to launch the fifth cohort of gBETA on our campus to support St. Thomas student and alumni entrepreneurs bringing their ideas to reality and launching a business,” said Jessica Cooley, senior director and interim associate dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.

At the end of the gBETA program, the start-up founders will pitch their companies to investors, community partners and the public at a showcase event during Twin Cities Startup Week at 4 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the University of St. Thomas St. Paul campus. RSVP to attend.

Start-up companies and founders interested in learning more about gBETA’s programming and resources or applying to a future program can visit the gener8tor gBETA website, or reach out to Director Megan Baniecke at Those interested in mentoring these companies or getting involved in other ways are also encouraged to connect.

gBETA St. Thomas 2023 Cohort

Epiblock’s patent-pending medical device effectively stops nosebleeds and assists health care providers in safely performing various cosmetic and surgical procedures. The silicone device applies direct pressure to the facial arteries, reducing blood flow to the nasal cavity and surrounding area. Epiblock’s stage 1 prototype has proven to be effective through clinical testing, and will be ready for commercialization in Q4 2023.

Co-founder and President: Asher Anderson

TradeOut enhances the security for online marketplace transactions through the reduction of fraud. TradeOut utilizes easily customizable e-contracts to offer peace of mind to buyers and sellers on marketplaces. TradeOut plans to launch their beta test to a select group of marketplace users by the end of Q2 2023.

Co-founder: Gafar Amuda

GrupCard simplifies the management of group expenses through a user-friendly platform, enabling seamless splitting and payment using virtual shared cards. By streamlining the process, GrupCard reduces the financial burden and promotes transparency within the group, empowering individuals to conveniently handle their own payments while collectively settling expenses in a single transaction. GrupCard is conducting internal beta testing on a completed MVP with a waitlist of 200 customers.

Omi Live is an online marketplace that redefines the shopping experience for eco-conscious buyers through seamlessly integrating live video streaming. Omi Live creates transparency and trust through real-time product reviews, allowing customers to make informed choices while supporting environmentally responsible businesses. To date, Omi Live has hosted two shopping events with eight participating brands and 120+ viewers, resulting in 20% sales conversions.

CEO: Summer Song

TouchLink empowers independent artists to maximize their earnings by offering their music in a new medium. Touchlink tags enable artists to physically distribute, vend, and sell their music at shows, in person, and online to their fan base in exclusive formats. Currently in the prototype development stage, TouchLink is preparing to beta-test with a diverse group of independent musical artists from various genres.