Pennovation picked these 9 early-stage companies for its summer accelerator

The companies include a 3D-printing chocolate machine, feminine care products and an AI service that monitors kids' social media accounts.

The Pennovation Center.

(Courtesy photo)

The Pennovation Center ushered in its 2019 cohort of inventors and entrepreneurs this week for its six-week summer accelerator program, and this year, the startups range from producing feminine care products to virtual pet therapy services.

Pennovation put a call out for local start-ups that were looking to “develop their business strategy and cultivate their network” earlier this spring.

It’ll be the second year for the accelerator: Last year’s class graduated six early-stage ventures, including Simply Good Jars, which was recently tapped for New York-based food innovation accelerator Food-X.

Each company will get a mentor who will help founders with market analysis, positioning and sales strategy. The entrepreneurs will work out of Pennovation’s Greys Ferry coworking space and work through the end of July on tightening their business models and embedding their businesses in the Philly community.

These are the nine companies, chosen from more than 60 applicants; descriptions provided by Pennovation:

  • CòBARE — A feminine care company that provides functional, convenient and sustainable personal care products, including reusable period underwear
  • Cocoa Press — A 3D printer that prints chocolate
  • Kidas — An AI service that monitors kids’ social media to help ward off predators
  • Mel’s Butter Blends — A natural skin care company that’s products focus on hair and skin issues, like eczema and alopecia
  • Murphy Cares — A company that provides digital pet therapy that users can order up when needed
  • SimpleBulb — Developed a low-blue light bulb meant to be used before sleep
  • Squad — A ride-sharing program that runs through Facebook Messenger and focuses on long-distance trips
  • The OrVac — A portable handheld oral aspirator for oral liquid waste evacuation and disposal that helps people with swallowing disorders
  • TrueTone — A skin-tone matching makeup service that will help users buying makeup online buy the right shade

The program, which started Monday, will run through July 25 and end with a pitch day, where companies will pitch to mentors, investors and peers at the Pennovation Center.


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