Startups

These 7 Philly-area startups are getting big cash infusions from accelerators this summer

The Bucks Built fund is investing $25,000 into five startups, and two local founders are receiving $100,000 from Northwestern Mutual and gener8tor's Black Founder Accelerator.

Cody Eddings (left) and Tiffanie Stanard of the 2022 Black Founder Accelerator.

(Courtesy photos)

A handful of Philly-area startups are the recipients of investments, thanks to two capital-involved accelerators and funds.

Bucks Built

The Bucks Built Startup Fund, in its third round, this summer deployed $125,000 to five early-stage startups. Funded by the Bucks County Industrial Development Authority (IDA),  the startups will also receive a year’s worth of advising, resources, connections and programming from the Bucks Built team, IDA and the broader Startup Bucks community focused on enabling growth and securing follow-on funding.

The startups chosen for $25,000 investments are:

  • AccuTennis — A startup that uses computer vision to monetize data for racquet sports
  • BioVeras — A startup that collects and verifies clinical trial data using blockchain technology for quicker launch of life-saving treatments
  • Saint Rocco’s Treats — A company that fosters transparency in the dog treats and food industry
  • THRIVV — A science-based company that focuses on hair growth and post-procedure skincare
  • Xenoil — A startup that mitigates carbon footprints by re-manufacturing plastics for 3D printing

Seven other startups were chosen by Bucks Startup to receive $5,000 grants from Penn Community Bank. Those include AWSM Sauce, Dr. Brownies, Eternally, Forge, Measure Studio, Sage SEO and Vital Start.

“In only the second year of the Bucks Built Startup Fund, we are already seeing the impact these investments are having to the growth of the startup community within Bucks County,” said Stephen Marzullo, chairman of the board of directors for IDA, in a statement. “We hope that through continued funding and support in this innovative program, Bucks County will become the premier destination for new and cutting edge startups to call their home.”

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Black Founder Accelerator

And two Philly founders will join the second cohort of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual and gener8tor’s Black Founder Accelerator, an initiative to target resources and financing to “promising” Black entrepreneurs around the country. Cody Eddings, cofounder of SnapRefund, and Tiffanie Stanard, founder of Stimulus, each receive $100,000 through the 12-week business training program.

The program is mostly virtual with a few in-person events including a kickoff in Milwaukee, the Insurtech Connect Conference in Las Vegas in the fall, and a public pitch night in December with both cohorts of five companies that were accepted.

The SnapRefund and Stimulus leaders will be meeting mentors and investors across different industries, and get an executive mentor matched to them based on their strategic goals. gener8tor also make intros to prospective customers, investors and mentors on a wish list that each company submits at the beginning of the program.

[Editor’s note: Read more about the gener8tor program via Technical.ly’s This Week in Milwaukee Rising series.]

Eddings said he reached out to a financial advisor at Northwestern last year with a goal of landing them as a client for SnapRefund’s life insurance claim payments. That financial advisor connected him to Moiz Dawoodbhai, the assistant director of strategic investing at Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, and the team applied to the accelerator from there.

SnapRefund aims get first-hand insights into the claims payment process and the pain points for a company at the scale of Northwestern Mutual, Eddings said. His team also plans to to expand their roster of businesses to equip with its instant payment processing technology.

“One of our major goals in the program is to sign a payment processing deal with a dental carrier, MGA, or TPA, to solve the crippling friction people face today around fee-for-service dental treatment that requires them to pay out of pocket for their visit’s entire cost and then wait weeks to be reimbursed for the portion owed to them by their dental insurance carrier,” the cofounder said.

SnapRefund’s cofounders Anis Taylor (left) and Cody Eddings. (Courtesy photo)

Stanard, who hopes to focus on the evolution of partnerships with companies that have a shared mission of building better relationships with their suppliers, said she found out about the program from an investor and friend who went through its previous cohort. She’s excited about gener8tor and Northwestern’s teams’ “concierge approach” in working with just five startups at a time.

“During our time with them in Milwaukee during the kick-off week, it was showcased that Stimulus fits the strategic goals of Northwestern Mutual, as we make the purchasing process more transparent to help various stakeholders collaborate to achieve their corporate goals, such as improving diverse purchasing,” Stanard said.

Stanard and Eddings represent Philadelphia in the accelerator, which has three other startups from Atlanta, Boulder and Lexington, Tennessee in the areas of fintech, insurtech, digital health and data analytics.

“We are both honored and eager to welcome this year’s Black Founder Accelerator startups into our portfolio,” said Precious Drew, senior managing director of the accelerator, in a statement. “This partnership with Northwestern Mutual directly supports Black founders nationally by providing important resources, mentorship and funding these innovative entrepreneurs might otherwise not have had access to. We look forward to seeing how they continue to develop their unique solutions.”

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