Seven young companies using technology to disrupt a broad range of industries make up the first cohort of the Entrepreneurship and Investment Challenge, a new accelerator program from the Tampa Bay Innovation Center in St. Petersburg.
The program, which launches Thursday and continues through Jan. 13, is focused on company founders. They will receive specific training and mentoring in customer discovery, investor-readiness and leadership over the next 90 days.
“Unlike most accelerator programs that focus on preparing the pitch, marketing or raising money, this program incorporates those components with an emphasis on developing the founders into leaders that are market ready,” Ken Evans, accelerator managing director of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, said in a press release.
The seven startups selected for the program are:
- Bulk Nano, a St. Petersburg company focused on advanced composites and nanomaterial manufacturing, founded by Andrew Moench.
- Ehrenberg Industries, a company in Trinity with unique patented dielectrics and energy storage solutions. The president is Scott Ehrenberg.
- ENotaryLog in Tampa has a remote online notarization platform, enabling document notarization, anytime, anywhere. The co-founders are Joseph Bisaillon and James Mitchell, according to LinkedIn.
- Expedite Legal is a Dunedin business that has the first-to-market on-demand platform that instantly connects attorneys, paralegals and firm owners with the legal support services they use every day. Profiled on PitchLyst, Expedite Legal was founded by Eve Barrett.
- GIVVN, based in St. Petersburg, has a technology platform that helps nonprofits collect donations and engage with donors through artificial intelligence. Co-founders Matt Spaulding and Danica Hoppe graduated from Y Combinator Startup School last fall, Spaulding said during a recent appearance at 1 Million Cups St. Petersburg.
- Rubix Solutions is a St. Petersburg company with an advanced tracking solution specializing in highly regulated industries. It’s developing a blockchain platform for the defense industry, said Matt Schuerman, founder and CEO.
- Verapy in Tampa has a HIPAA-compliant physical and occupational therapy platform that turns standard exercises into fun and immersive virtual reality games. Jonathan Truong, who is CEO and chief creative executive, founded Verapy based on his own experiences with physical and occupational therapy.
Accelerator graduates will take part in a Challenge Event the week of Jan. 6 to an audience of investors, community leaders, media and potential business partners and customers.
The Tampa Bay Innovation Center has supported technology entrepreneurs and innovators for more than 16 years. “We are excited to work with the founders in this cohort who are innovating solutions for the future,” said Tonya Elmore, president and CEO of the Innovation Center.
The accelerator was seeded by a grant from the city of St. Petersburg. Program supporters and community partners include Florida Blue, Pinellas County, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, PitchLyst and Seedfunders.