Longtime food and biotech investor and entrepreneur Ron Shigeta is rolling out a new virtual accelerator called iAccelerate.tech.
Shigeta established himself as a food tech pioneer as a cofounder of one of the very first future food and ag accelerators in IndieBio, where he helped some of today’s biggest names in future food such as Geltor and Upside Foods (then Memphis Meats) get off the ground. Since that time, Shigeta helped launch plant-based pet food company Wild Earth and more recently has been acting as an independent investor and advisor to various biotech and food tech startups.
From Shigeta’s Linkedin post announcing the move:
It’s a big day! I’m rolling out my advisory work as a virtual accelerator and I’d like to invite my network and their friends to join us!
Building at IndieBio has created a $4B+ portfolio. in the past 2 years TurtleTree, Inner Cosmos, SolarBioTech, Orbillion Bio (YC W21) , BloodQ, Inc, Juicy Marbles, Finless Foods (and some who are not out in public yet) has taken things to a new level for me and the #BioTech Startup world.
With iAccelerate, Shigeta is essentially taking his consultancy and investing work and formalizing it.
“I worked to find what I thought would be a next-generation accelerator structure,” Shigeta told me over Linkedin. “It’s a very small operation – 5-10 companies a year with lots of attention to detail.”
According to Shigeta, his new accelerator will take in 1-2% in equity for each company, a significantly smaller share than a traditional accelerator like TechStars that typically takes roughly 5% of a company.
As part of the launch of iAccelerate, Shigeta is also launching an investor syndicate.
“My latest stage in the evolution is to offer some investments on AngelList,” said Shigeta. “The Syndicate just lets investors elect to take the deals they like and offers the terms that the VC sees.”
While Shigeta has made a name for himself helping biotech-focused startups get up and running, his new accelerator shows he will look beyond the future food space. One of the first companies in the accelerator is Bite Ninja, a startup from Memphis that helps staff quick service drive-thrus with remote workers via telepresence.
“I really like to work with companies who are are just wrestling with an outrageous idea and we work together sometimes for months just to get it together to present and show MVP,” said Shigeta.