Fifteen tech companies will take part in 2020 Tampa Bay Wave’s TechDiversity Accelerator cohort.
Participants include two companies from the Tampa-St. Petersburg area: Care Valet in Tampa and Oracle Health in Safety Harbor, as well as companies from around the United States and Latin America. See the full list of Accelerator companies below.
A public launch event for the 2020 cohort is scheduled for June 23, when Wave, a nonprofit that houses and services technology startups, will host an online national conversation about diversity and inclusion in tech entrepreneurship and the role that diversity programs for startups can make in leveling the playing field for under-represented founders.
Closer look: National conversation
Tampa Bay Wave’s national conversation will be a virtual event, scheduled for June 23rd at 3 p.m. EST and will include includes a panel discussion led by Keith Woods, Chief Diversity Officer for National Public Radio. Notable panelists Anna Mason, Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund at Revolution LLC; LaKendria Robinson, Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, Director Business Connect & Community Outreach; and Dr. Jose Morey, Forbes Technology Council, MIT Solve Mentor, Former Assoc. Chief Health Officer IBM, Space Technology Hall of Fame Admissions Committee, Hyperloop, IDEA Mentor/Judge. More information about this event can be found here.
The conversation takes place amid heightened attention to the lack of economic equity in the community.
“Wave is determined to continue amplifying underrepresented startups,” Linda Olson, president and founder of Tampa Bay Wave, said in a news release. “We’re eager to continue promoting the essentiality of tech startup diversity with the implementation of this inclusive program which will define their talents and propel their innovation.”
It’s the third cohort of the TechDiversity Accelerator, an international program to support early-stage tech companies that are 51 percent owned, controlled, and operated by a minority, woman, veteran, disabled or LGBTQ individuals. The 90-day program allows companies to work in a collaborative, non-competitive environment. The program has a dedicated cohort director and offers one-on-one mentoring with tech founders, sales training, pitch coaching and investor introductions. There’s a Demo Day at the end of the program, giving founders a chance to pitch their companies to investors and business leaders.
This year’s cohort includes six companies with women founders, three with African American founders and four with Asian/Pacific Islander founders.
The Nielsen Foundation, a private foundation funded by data analytics firm Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) has supported the TechDiversity Accelerator since 2018, and this year has taken on special significance.
“COVID-19 has shown the inequalities across our economy, and this program can really make a difference,” said Andrea Bertels, executive director of grantmaking at Nielsen Foundation. “We’re proud to be part of the solution – providing greater opportunity for diverse entrepreneurs to build, grow, and expand their businesses and influence in the tech sector.”
Here are the 15 companies in Tampa Bay Wave’s 2020 TechDiversity Accelerator.
Allotrope Medical is advancing surgical precision using safe electrical stimulation. This technology helps surgeons rapidly identify critical structures such as the ureter with seamless integration into existing surgical instruments and workflow.
- CEO: Dr. Albert Huang MD
- Location: Houston, Texas
AutonomIQ is an AI-based automation platform that enables enterprises to self-generate, self-maintain, and self-heal all automation assets (e.g. intent, flows, scripts and data). Over 600,000 developers and about 35 percent of Fortune 1000 companies already use AutonomIQ for managing their automation assets.
- CEO: Ram Shanmugam
- Location: San Jose, California
CareValet is a digital healthcare platform that includes 24/7, 365 telemedicine access, in-network physician appointment setting and much more to simplify the consumer healthcare experience.
- CEO: Joe Hodges
- Location: Tampa
Cicla is a 3D printing filaments company and developer of novel composite materials for 3D printing, including recycled materials and those with antimicrobial properties. Cicla also produces PLA filaments, the most popular 3D material.
- CEO: Rogers Escalup
- Location: Concepcion, Chile
Eskuad has developed an application that improves productivity and creates reports from in-the-field teams.
- CEO: Max Echeverria
- Location: Santiago, Chile
Fêtefully allows couples and event hosts to economically plan their weddings or events virtually, with a celebrity planner.
- CEO: GiGi McDowell
- Location: Dallas, Texas
Free to Feed
Free to Feed is developing a test strip to detect allergens in breast milk.
- CEO: Dr. Trillitye Paullin PhD
- Location: Boise, Idaho
Friendly is the most accurate, deep learning platform for insurance paperwork digitization, analysis and payment recommendation.
- CEO: Natalia Alexeeva
- Location: San Francisco, California
Home Lending Pal
Home Lending Pal is building the first AI-powered mortgage advisor that simulates underwriting with multiple lenders to determine mortgage approval odds and affordability impact on lifestyle. HLP merges online data from trusted sources to streamline pre-approval, reduce the need to scan paper documents and simplify the home buying process with data-driven workflows, AI and blockchain technology.
- CEO: Bryan Young
- Location: Miami, Florida
It’s By U
It’s By U is ending the cycle of flower waste through farm-direct floral subscriptions.
- CEO: Christine Strzalka
- Location: New York, New York
Oracle Health is developing an insertable cardiac device to monitor heart failure progression and prevent heart failure hospitalization, a $21 billion problem. This device will monitor heart failure progression by analyzing trending changes in heart sounds and heart rhythms (ECG) with a cloud-based pattern recognition (machine learning) for three years. See previous reporting on Oracle Health here.
- CEO: Jaeson Bang
- Location: Safety Harbor
Solo Funds is a mobile and online lending platform that is a new model for peer-to-peer lending. It provides microloans of between $50 and $1,000. Borrowers set their loan amount, terms and repayment date.
- CEO: Khary Cuffe
- Location: Los Angeles, California
TaxTaker equips startups and their accountants with a more accessible way to claim the research and development credit savings they’re entitled to take. With automated software calculating credits and preparing required documentation, startups can quickly capture their annual benefits to boost cash-flow and increase profits.
- CEO: Ari Palmer
- Location: Austin, Texas
Vincere Health is a telehealth platform that enables insurers to pay smokers as an incentive to quit.
- CEO: Shalen De Silva
- Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Winter Innovations, Inc.
Winter Innovations is a medical device startup dedicated to improving patient outcomes by developing simple orthopedic products for often overlooked aspects of surgery.
- CEO: Lia Winter
- Location: Memphis, Tennessee