Fifteen startups from the U.S. and Canada will be part of the Tampa Bay Wave’s 2022 TechDiversity Accelerator program.
Funded by the Nielsen Foundation, the TechDiversity Accelerator program is a 90-day program that works to support and accelerate leadership diversity, equity and inclusion within high-growth, early-stage tech startups.
Through accelerator programming, the companies will receive executive coaching, comprehensive mentoring from industry experts, strategic introductions and preparation for investor meetings — all culminating on Demo Day when the startup founders will pitch to national and international investors.
Among the 15 new TechDiversity cohort companies, there are eight women founders, eight AANHP (Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders) founders, two Black founders, three Latino/Latina founders, two LBGTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) founders and one veteran. Eight of the startups are based in cities outside of Florida, while five are from Florida and two are based in Canada.
Meet the 15 startups in this year’s cohort, according to Tampa Bay Wave’s descriptions:
302 Interactive: The Orlando-based startup is a design platform with a headless architecture to reduce the time and effort of creating interactive 3D content for the metaverse.
BāKIT Box: The Chicago-based startup is a specialty baking kit service aimed at making baking easy and accessible. It offers a changing menu of culturally diverse baking kits and all the pre-measured ingredients delivered to someone’s door.
Coralai: The Seattle-based startup is an AI-driven skincare retail ecosystem built to enable individuals to better understand their skin, set personal skin goals, receive tailored product recommendations and routines, and connect with professionals.
Enlightapp: The Austin, Texas-based startup helps teachers build meaningful engagement and create inclusive learning environments in the classroom.
Finni Health: The Toronto-based startup is building the Shopify for therapy tailored toward helping practitioners build and scale their own at-home autism therapy clinics.
JobGraze: The Tampa-based startup created an online job platform connecting licensed health care professionals and employers.
Krew Social: The St. Petersburg-based startup developed a friend-making app that is focusing on building community within organizations. Numerous studies have shown friendship increases profitability, retention, lease renewals and many other metrics.
LunaJoy Health: The St. Petersburg-based startup serves as a digital care clinic for women to utilize throughout their lifespan: puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, miscarriage and perimenopause. It provides in-network therapy, medication management and coaching.
Maya Ai: The Tampa-based AI platform, formerly known as XiByte, is an ML market intelligence platform for price optimization, helping data teams to discover and uncover opportunities from external influences in the world taking in unstructured data, removing noise and signaling value for pricing.
No Limbits: The Iowa City-based startup has developed a ready-to-wear adaptive apparel brand with the mission of increasing comfort and independence in those who struggle with clothing due to a disability.
O’Peers: The San Francisco-based startup offers burnout and stress prevention programs for remote teams with therapist-directed virtual support groups in which employees discuss their mental health and professional growth.
REES Community: The Winnipeg-based startup offers a simple, secure online platform for reporting sexual harassment, misconduct and assault that can be adapted for use across any decor or industry.
STAKANA: The Seattle-based startup brings AI-powered customer insights to community banks and credit unions by predicting customer behavior.
TechComb: The Tampa-based startup streamlines the process of developing computer vision applications with a plug-and-play software solution to identify and send alert notifications about harmful threats nearing entering schools.
Venteur: The Berkeley, California-based started is an AI-powered benefits marketplace that enables businesses to offer their employees better health insurance for less money.
The cohort, which launched in 2018, is known to be one of the highly successful programs in Tampa Bay, generating exposure and more opportunities for startups.
Past TechDiversity companies have received high-profile features in Axios, Crunchbase and Forbes, and raised large funding rounds (Series A, Series B) in six to 18 months post-accelerator, according to Tampa Bay Wave.
“There is tremendous opportunity to increase founder diversity and funding within high-growth technology startups, and we’re proud to work with the Nielsen Foundation to continue to build this program and strengthen our commitments to advancing diversity and inclusion within the early-stage, startup space,” Tampa Bay Wave founder and CEO Linda Olson said in the announcement.