As of this week, entrepreneurship nonprofit 2Gether-International has officially launched its first-ever tech-focused cohort for disabled founders.
The 10-week accelerator program, which kicked off earlier this month, is designed to help the entrepreneurs grow their companies. 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 in the startup world.
“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 Technical.ly in August. “Because you’re talking about challenging stigmas about disability. So it’s a really powerful component of it.”
Here’s who from DC nabbed a spot:
- Hua Wang, SmartBridge — The Alexandria, Virginia company offers an online platform that connects cancer patients and oncologists. Its goal is to provide a second opinion to improve overall health outcomes.
- Samantha Scott, JuneBrain — The Rockville, Maryland startup created a wearable, home monitoring device for MS patients. Scott hopes it can help out with early detection of attacks as well as data for treatment.
- Elizabeth Tikoyan, Healp — The Fairfax, Virginia company uses a swiping-style app for patients with the same health conditions to speak to each other one-on-one and ask questions about treatments.
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:
- Gareth Walkom, With VR, Ghent
- Michael Zalle, Yellow Bird, Phoenix
- Saida Florexil, Imanyco, West Palm Beach
- Denis Goncharov, NOLI Music, St. Petersburg
- Toshe Ayo-Ariyo, Uniclude, Los Angeles
- Adam David Jones, Zeer, Philadelphia
- Arianna Mallozzi, Puffin Innovations, Boston
- Vanessa Gill, Social Cipher, Los Angeles
- Sheryl Mattys, Fetchadate, Westfield, Indiana
- Nikolas Kelly, Sign-Speak, Rochester
- Kristy McCann, GoCoach, Philadelphia
- Beth Kume-Holland, Patchwork Hub, London
- Kun Ho Kim, Door Labs, Seoul