These Philly startups nabbed spots in a new Google for Startups-backed accelerator for disabled founders - Philly


These Philly startups nabbed spots in a new Google for Startups-backed accelerator for disabled founders

2Gether International's first tech-specific cohort, supported by Google for Startups, was created specifically for founders with disabilities.

Accessible tech at work.

(Courtesy photo from 2Gether-International)

Update: The term "healthtech" has been removed from the headline for accuracy, and the description of GoCoach has been updated. (10/18/21, 10:55 a.m.)

As of this week, DC-based entrepreneurship nonprofit 2Gether-International has officially launched its first-ever tech-focused cohort for disabled founders, including two from Philly.

Through the 10-week accelerator program, which kicked off earlier this month, participants will be coached on startup best practices, including customer development, product marketing and leadership. They’ll also have access to mentors from Google for Startups. Plus, each startup will be competing in December for seed funding from the cohort.

2Gether reportedly received over 200 applications for the cohort. In order to qualify, participants needed to be a disabled founder working the tech space, and their companies must be in the Series A or pre-revenue stage of funding and have a well-defined pitch or working prototype.

2Gether founder and CEO Diego Mariscal said the founders were selected because they are both leaders in their communities while highlighting disability as a “source of innovation, strength and creativity.” Getting one-on-one mentorship and a community of fellow startup leaders, he said, is crucial in finding success.

“It’s all learning about their own development and in fact, we have found that that is the number one thing that people find the most useful and helpful,” Mariscal told in August. “Because you’re talking about challenging stigmas about disability. So it’s a really powerful component of it.”

Here’s who from Philly nabbed a spot:

  • Kristy McCann, GoCoach — This RealLIST Startups 2020 honoree is a coach marketplace and learning experience platform. The company is remote friendly, though McCann is local.
  • Adam David Jones, Zeer — This personal safety app uses AI to listen for a user’s code word to then contact law enforcement in case of emergency. Jones cofounded the startup after his own experience as the victim of violent crime.

And here’s who else made the cut, from across the US as well as countries including Belgium, Russia, the United Kingdom and South Korea:

  • Hua Wang, SmartBridge, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Samantha Scott, JuneBrain, Rockville, Maryland
  • Elizabeth Tikoyan, Healp, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Gareth Walkom, With VR, Ghent
  • Michael Zalle, Yellow Bird, Phoenix
  • Saida FlorexilImanyco, West Palm Beach
  • Denis Goncharov, NOLI Music, St. Petersburg
  • Toshe Ayo-Ariyo, Uniclude, Los Angeles
  • Arianna Mallozzi, Puffin Innovations, Boston
  • Vanessa Gill, Social Cipher, Los Angeles
  • Sheryl Mattys, Fetchadate, Westfield, Indiana
  • Nikolas Kelly, Sign-Speak, Rochester
  • Beth Kume-Holland, Patchwork Hub, London
  • Kun Ho Kim, Door Labs, Seoul
Companies: GoCoach
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