Accelerators / Venture capital

Venture accelerator from Bronze Valley returns to Delaware with 5 new startups

It's all thanks to a Wilmington-raised fund manager. The companies in the second cohort range from AI to greentech to edtech.

A Bronze Valley entrepreneur making a startup pitch in Birmingham. (Courtesy Bronze Valley)
Another set of promising Delaware startups are getting a boost from an Alabama nonprofit founded by one of Wilmington’s own.

Birmingham-based venture capital firm Bronze Valley first brought its Venture Lab to Delaware last year as it moved to serve the Mid-Atlantic region, powered through a partnership with gener8tor, the national startup accelerator program with over 250 community-focused programs.

The first cohort included local startups Rush Roto and Toivoa; infra ai, a DC-founded startup that relocated to Wilmington, as well as startups Sika and The Difference. Their August 2023 demo day at CSC Station in Wilmington was a big success, showing how a single program like this can draw founders and others to the Delaware startup ecosystem.

The cofounder of Bronze Valley, a VC firm, CDFI and venture lab, Neill Wright, is the former owner of Alabama-based Tuskegee Bank who has Delaware ties: He grew up in Wilmington and graduated from the Sanford School in Hockessin, while his father ran Beneficial National Bank in Wilmington.

For the second cohort in a row, the Delaware Bronze Valley Venture Lab, which aims to accelerate startups by underrepresented founders, will be run by Darren Stephenson, a Brandywine High School graduate who became interested in VC funding as a student at Morehouse College.

“These startups are truly remarkable, displaying remarkable energy, enthusiasm, and a strong determination to make a significant impact right from the beginning,” Stephenson said.

Two of the companies are currently based in Delaware, one in Pennsylvania, and two, Stephenson told, are in the process of relocating to Delaware.

The members of the Bronze Valley Venture Lab accelerator cohort are established, growing and by the end of the accelerator should be ready to launch potentially multimillion dollar funding rounds. The program focuses on collaboration, mentorship and growth support, as well as the development of a polished pitch that will be unveiled to the community on demo day.

The five startups selected for the second cohort are:

  • Divergent Core xIntegrate (XI): A Delaware-based platform that merges Building Management Systems (BMSP) and IT operations, created by Gary Goodman
  • Kuaay: A Bensalem, PA-based digital retail platform to simplify online sales for dealers and marketplaces, spearheaded by Yousif M
  • UNISCRAP: A Delaware-based Environmental Public Benefit Corporation that works to reduce waste and invests in renewable energy projects, led by Panas Kollas
  • Words Liive: Edtech app, aimed that aims to end the literacy crisis with music-based learning tools like their Opus App, founded by Sage Salvo
  • Zoombeeto: A food ordering app that uses Al to help users decide what they want, co-created by Justin Lee and Raheema Robinson


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