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Meet the disruptors in the metaverse to digital health space

Veronica Brezina

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Tampa Bay Wave's TechDiversity 2022 Accelerator participants. Image provided.

Startups focusing on helping people create digital clinics to changing corporate culture pitched their products during Tampa Bay Wave’s annual TechDiversity Accelerator program’s demo day.  

It’s a 90-day program that works to support and accelerate leadership diversity, equity and inclusion within high-growth, early-stage tech startups.

Through the accelerator programming, the companies received executive coaching, comprehensive mentoring from industry experts, strategic introductions to ultimately pitch to investors on demo day, which was held at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. 

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.  

Here’s what to know about the startups: 

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. Founder Robert Torres said the platform is a toolkit for real-time 3D development. The issue designers are facing today is that games can be hard and expensive to create, and are built in a monolithic structure. The startup’s solution allows the platform to become standardized where developers can publish the product across iOS, PC to Android to VR. By 2027, Torres said they expect to reach 1 million users and generate revenue through a subscription model. 

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. The startup has over 16,000 email subscribers, and over 1,500 kits have been sold. 

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. CEO Sean Harrington said the global skincare market is worth $10 billion. Coralai’s technology can scan someone’s skin and make recommendations. The tech is web-based versus app-based, as Coralai wants to own its data. The company is three weeks old and has signed eight dermatologists. 

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. The startup is described as the fastest way to start an ABA clinic. It launched in New Mexico and Texas and is described as the only tech-led platform that provides the software for people to launch digital clinics – and it also helps with automated billing. Finni Health takes a portion of each insurer’s bill. 

JobGraze: The Tampa-based startup created an online job platform connecting licensed health care professionals and employers. The startup, founded by Alexis Nguyen and her niece, is four months old and is looking at launching the platform next February. By 2023, the startup projects it will earn $2.2 million in revenue and by 2024, it would reach $12.7 million in revenue.

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. Founder and CEO Mike Chahinan said the app was created to “help unite the nation and the world” and can be applied anywhere, but has a special focus on universities, employers and groups that share a common interest. He said the team is working with the top three coworking companies and will be launching at the University of Tampa next week. 

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. The startup states that 41 million women suffer from mental health illnesses and over half of them don’t receive treatment. The founders are backed by the Y Combinator and recently closed a seed round. It’s raised over $192,000 in revenue and is shifting to include a business-to-business model in scaling through insurers. LunaJoy is putting tablets in OB-GYN offices to take assessments of patients, which also unburdens the doctors. 

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. Maya Ai, which is founded by three brothers, said data is siloed in domains and requires humans to extract that data, costing companies $4 million a year on average. Maya Ai is currently patenting its technology.  

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. Founder Erica Cole, an amputee, designed the ready-to-wear clothing herself, describing how those with prosthetics have limited flexibility and therefore created clothing with hidden zippers and reinforced patches. She was featured on the ABC’s Shark Tank show and received a deal from investors Mark Cuban and Emma Grede. She has inked a deal with Walmart and is in talks with other major retailers. 

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. The company has 500 members and is founded by TechStarters alumni. It’s looking to connect with companies that have 50-500 employees. 

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. Founder Mary Lobson said despite the Me Too movement, sexual harassment reports have not changed and there are costs associated with claims such as litigation, ongoing investigations, payouts and settlements. The company has 28 customers and is expanding into the U.S. from Canada, and is mostly utilized in higher education institutions and sports organizations.

STAKANA: The Seattle-based startup brings AI-powered customer insights to community banks and credit unions by predicting customer behavior. The team consists of retail industry veterans. The platform can analyze which customers are likely to open and close accounts, among other insights. The startup is working with Coastal Community Bank. 

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 entering schools. Founder Jonathan Kretz said the idea formed because he and other concerned fathers have anxiety when dropping off their kids at school. 

Venteur: The Berkeley, California-based startup is an AI-powered benefits marketplace that enables businesses to offer their employees better health insurance for less money. Founder Stacy Edgar said the program saves employers 20-30% on costs and is is in the process of working with a midsize company that’s saving $7 million a year. The program sets a budget for employers and employees to have the freedom of selecting their plan, which can be tailored to their needs. 

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