Philly makerspace NextFab shook things up on its RAPID accelerator program in February: it would start investing seed funding into startups, in addition to the traditional offer of free office space and mentorship.
The inaugural cohort yielded all healthcare startups, and now the fall class has been announced. It’s a mix of companies: with products in the medical, gaming and consumer spaces:
Here’s the lineup:
- Robocandy: Designing modular arcade cabinets for eSports tournaments and retro gaming enthusiasts.
- EAOS: Developing audio and communication systems for “adventurous lifestyles.” (The company’s first product, a pair of earbuds for bikers, raised $30,000 on Kickstarter.)
- Unruly Studios: Offers an active STEM play experience for kids ages 6–12 to get them moving around and learning to code.
- Kelby: Kelby’s aeroponic, app-controlled cubes aim to “revolutionize farming.”
- POWTI Innovations: Creators of a traumatic injury detection device that instantly calls for help.
— Philly Makers Meetup (@Philly_Makers) October 5, 2017
On Oct. 17, the companies will get together at Quorum for the 14th edition of the Makers Meetup.
Organizer Martin Weinberger, former owner of now-shuttered coworking space Venturef0rth and himself is “Inventor-In-Chief” at tool company Innovation Factory, said an experiment like RAPID is also helping expand the base of “angel-entrepreneurs willing to commit time, early in the process, to helping mentor” early stage startups.
“As the first purely hardware accelerator, NextFab is putting Philadelphia on the map of great cities committed to growing the next generation of manufacturers,” said Weinberger. “My hope is that some of these mentors may then help the companies to attract the critically needed funding to get to the next level.”