Valley Venture Mentors is pleased to announce the 2017 Startup Accelerator cohort. The 36 startups, chosen from more than 200 applicants received from around the world, represent high-quality, early-stage startups across more than eight industries, including technology, beauty, healthcare, transportation, and publishing.
“We are excited by the caliber of ideas and depth of founders’ expertise represented in this year’s cohort,” VVM CEO Liz Roberts said. “We are honored that they are choosing to invest their time in our accelerator and welcome them into the VVM and Western MA community.”
Sixty-five percent of this year’s startups are led by women and 36 percent are led by people of color. International teams from Canada, India and Ghana will also participate.
“Educating startup founders is all about helping them minimize their startup risks. Over the next four months these entrepreneurs and their teams are going to spend time analyzing their products, services, business models and the markets they intend to disrupt,” Paul Silva, VVM chief innovation officer and co-founder, said. “They will learn from successful entrepreneurs – people who have been exactly where these founders are.”
VVM Startup Accelerator participants also develop relationships with funders and are eligible to win up to $50,000 in equity-free cash at the end of the program. The winners will be announced on Thursday, May 25 at an awards ceremony with 600 people in attendance at the MassMutual Center.
VVM’s Visionary Partners include MassMutual, MassDevelopment, The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, MassTech Collaborative and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
Another exciting aspect of this year’s program is VVM’s partnership with Pathlight, a local organization which serves people with intellectual disabilities. Our two organizations put out a national call for entrepreneurs with technology ideas that could increase independence for those with intellectual disabilities. After a rigorous selection process, two startups were selected to participate in the Accelerator: Galactic Smarties and Habit Stackr.
We’re also proud to announce that several of the companies accepted to the 2017 VVM Startup Accelerator are graduates of VVM’s Mentorship program, including AlignMeeting, Bhlue Publishing, FootCare by Nurses, Hot Oven Cookies, Listen2aBook, Lumme, RecordME, Streamliners, TripleTote and Yummy Yammy
2017 VVM Startup Accelerator Cohort:
- AlignMeeting – Business productivity software facilitating best meeting practices to improve team efficiency before, during and long after meetings.
- AuCoDe – AuCoDe (@CompControversy) is the Google Alerts of controversies & crisis situations, providing early detection as a signal for hedge funds.
- Barakat Bundle – Inspired by the Finnish Baby Box, Barakat Bundle is a curated package of life-saving solutions for mothers and newborns in South Asia.
- Bhlue Publishing – Bhlue. A cloud based career development platform for teens & young adults who are struggling to figure out a career direction.
- Bharat Babies – Bharat Babies produces developmentally appropriate children’s books that are inspired by the stories of India and South Asia.
- Connecticut Horse – Bimonthly print and online magazine for horse enthusiasts in Connecticut.
- Emotive Agility Training Center – A consulting company offering training tools and curricula for people with autism to crack the non-verbal code of social interactions.
- Enrichment Express – Providing instructors with the curriculum, materials and logistical support needed to teach engaging enrichment classes to children 5-12 yrs.
- Ernest Pharmaceuticals – Programmed bacteria to eliminate metastatic cancer
- Fields Center – Fields Center provides help for individuals with autism & families. First, specialized treatment center and second a matchmaking service.
- FootCare by Nurses – We are foot wellness experts. Our mission is prevention, our passion is caring. In clinics and at home our nurses take care of feet.
- Galactic Smarties – We make technology that supports independence for people of all ages and abilities.
- GeneRisk – GeneRisk identifies genetic variants of Autism allowing for better understanding of risk and ID targets for more personalized intervention.
- Genoverde Biosciences, Incorporated – Genoverde Biosciences is an agricultural biotech startup focused on improving crop yield for commercial farming through bioengineering.
- Habit Stackr – We help people keep daily routines through brain science and a mobile app.
- Hot Oven Cookies – A handcrafted cookie bakery specializing in the delivery and curbside sales of warm, not-so-classic, gourmet cookies.
- Kwema – Kwema developed the smart bracelet that can call for help to friends & family, authorities and Kwema’s safety communities.
- Listen2aBook – Making Audiobook Production Accessible to Everyone.
- Lumme – Lumme Inc is a UMass-Amherst based startup funded by the National Cancer Institute. We develop smart technology to help people quit smoking.
- M1 Tapes – M1 makes premium, contractor-grade tape measures that help you work smart and save time. With M1, you measure once and it’s always precise.
- MEANS Database – Waste less, feed more. Nonprofit tech devoted to business-friendly food recovery.
- MyBarber – MyBarber provides onsite haircuts at offices, apartment complexes, and co-working spaces.
- NERv Technology – NERv is developing an implantable biochip platform to detect post-operative complications.
- New England Breath Technologies – New England Breath Technologies is developing a pain-free diabetic monitoring device to improve outcomes of patients “One Breath at a Time.”
- Nonspec – We have created a low cost, durable, and adjustable prosthetic system.
- Nutrient Recovery & Upcycling – NRU’s team holds a vision of transforming sewage treatment while successfully working with stakeholders to build innovative technologies.
- Paysa: Changing the way to pay – Developing a fingerprint authorized cashless payment system for stores in rural India with the goal of increasing bank account owners.
- ProjectMQ – We’re the social media app for indie game studios & fans worldwide! Our mission: connect, support, & grow the global indie gaming community.
- RateFrame – Highlight & share the best parts of any video. A viral tool for content monetization.
- RecordME – Studio recording anywhere in the world. We provide hardware, engineers, & distribution so content creators & venues can make more money.
- Streamliners – Streamliners sells aerodynamic devices to the trucking industry, saving $4,000/truck per year in fuel costs, paying for itself in three months.
- Trabapido – An online marketplace that helps individuals and businesses to find and hire service providers (such as plumbers, painters, and tutors, etc)
- TripBuddy – Need a ride to the store? TagAlong with a buddy from campus.
- Tripletote – Manufacture consumer products that help people carry items as they travel, commute, shop, and work.
- ULAHI – Case Briefs, Memos, Motions our community of lawyers can help you draft any legal document you need
- Yummy Yammy – Helps busy people eat better, one deliciously addictive sweet potato at a time. We make it healthy, delicious & fun to veg out.
Startups will participate in the program from January to May at Valley Venture Mentors in downtown Springfield. Prominent leaders in the startup and venture capital fields will lead teams in workshops and panel discussions including, David Verrill, chairman emeritus of the Angel Capital Association, Afiya Ricks, founder of AMR Consulting and Allison Werder, president of MassLive.