Press Release – Find Ventures and Department of Commerce announce Equitable Innovations Accelerator Cohort

April 7, 2022

The 10 tech startup founders will form the inaugural cohort and receive up to $100K in philanthropic funding.

SEATTLE— After reviewing over a hundred applications, Find Ventures is excited to announce the 10 companies selected to participate in a founder-focused startup accelerator program that will begin in April 2022.

Last year, Find Ventures in partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce, announced its plans to launch a new Equitable Innovations Accelerator to fuel the startup community at the earliest stage of business development. This program aims to make “entrepreneurship for all” a reality by prioritizing entrepreneurs from underserved and historically marginalized communities.

This month the selected 10 new tech startups will begin the program focused on mentorship, philanthropic funding of up to $100,000 in a non-dilutive grant, and programming to help guide founders through their journey. The diverse cohort is comprised of founders throughout Washington state, with 20% of founders identifying as LGBTQ, 45% of founders are based outside of Seattle, 60% of founders being women, 60% of founders are first-time founders, and 70% of the founding team identifying as Black, Middle Eastern, Asian and/or LatinX.

“I’m excited to be a part of the inaugural Equitable Innovations Accelerator cohort because we share a passion for ensuring that people from underrepresented, underestimated communities have access to transformational economic opportunity,” said Intentionalist Founder and CEO, Laura Clise, one of the selected members of the EIA Cohort. “I look forward to learning from and alongside diverse founders as we build our companies and demonstrate the multifaceted return on investment of the Find Ventures first-of-its-kind program.”

We are excited to announce that the following 10 companies will be participating in our inaugural cohort of the Equitable Innovation Accelerator program:

Bio Fiber Industries creates products that reduce carbon impact while improving energy efficiency for homes, humans and the environment at large.

Cirkled In is a young professionals’ network platform, for Gen-Z youth to showcase their holistically achievements, academics and beyond and connecting them with the best-fit colleges and employers, creating win-win. Cirkled In has created a category defining students’ Information Highway connecting recruiters both at colleges and employers to best-fit candidates, reducing their cost of recruitment and creating win-win.

Clearbrief leverages AI to help attorneys and judges find and view the best evidence to support their arguments.

Coltrain is innovating healthcare through a free, simple and secure mobile communication platform focused on team-based collaboration for healthcare professionals anywhere, anytime. Our growth is peer to peer, connecting and harnessing the latest digital resources at the point of care.

GoldenSHERPA Senior Livingcommunities and people looking for availability in senior living find it frustrating and difficult to connect; GoldenSHERPA makes it simple.

Intentionalist makes it easy to explore and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop.

Litesprite, an award winning digital health entertainment firm, has built a therapeutic gaming platform that delivers data insights and improves clinical outcomes. It built the first clinically-validated mental health mobile game with several reimbursement pathways and is the only one recommended by clinics and municipalities nationwide.

Niftmint provides NFT Commerce Infrastructure for brands to mint, sell, and custody NFTs directly on their existing eCommerce platform for themselves and their customers.

Spritz is an all-in-one SaaS platform for home cleaners. We’re a business-in-a-box that leverages technology and 3rd parties to simplify operations and offload back-office, logistics, and admin tasks.

WhyLabs is on a mission to build an interface between AI applications and human operators. The WhyLabs AI Observability platform helps prevent AI failures and enables AI builders to make their systems robust and responsible.

“The success of these first founders is key to dismantling the barriers faced by founders in the Washington tech scene, will support the continued ability of Find Ventures to repeat this program, and will create a new wealth system for the communities of these founders,” said Elizabeth Scallon, Founder and Board Chair of Find Ventures.

This program is directly aligned with the Commerce’s focus and investment in an equitable economic recovery. The accelerator is one of Commerce’s Safe Start projects that are supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

“Washington state’s culture of innovation is on full display in this inaugural cohort of promising tech entrepreneurs. Commerce is proud to support the first-of-its-kind Equitable Innovation Accelerator here, and look forward to seeing these founders blaze the trail for more to come,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown.

Applicants were reviewed and selected by the Equitable Innovations Accelerator Advisory Committee and Department of Commerce staff who considered, among others, four qualifications: Business founders from potential venture-scale tech startups with diverse executive leadership, companies with a minimum viable product or a product representing tech transfers from Washington-based research institutions, companies under $1 million in annual revenue, and companies headquartered in Washington. The Equitable Innovations Accelerator will run through 2022.

To learn more about the program and opportunities to donate, mentor and engage with founders, go to www.findventures.org

About Find Ventures:

Founded in 2020 by Elizabeth Scallon and Justin Brotman, Find Ventures is a first-stage funder that envisions a world where all entrepreneurs have an equitable opportunity in building companies and a confident shot at solving our world’s greatest challenges. Find Ventures believes that by fueling a cohort of founders at the earliest stage with non-dilutive capital, robust resources and industry connections we will uniquely ‘sprout’ a generation of founders. Learn more at www.findventures.org.

About the Washington State Department of Commerce:

Commerce works with local governments, businesses, community-based organizations and tribes to strengthen communities. The department’s diverse portfolio of more than 100 programs and effective public and private partnerships promote sustainable community and economic development to help all Washingtonians thrive. For more information, visit http://www.commerce.wa.gov. For information on locating or expanding a business in Washington, visit choosewashingtonstate.com

Check out our Startups & Founders page to see this year’s cohort.

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