Two Philadelphia-based startups are participating in the prominent Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator this summer for its second summer of virtual sessions running from June through August.
Therapeutics company SFA Therapeutics, Inc. and AI-based customer-facing calls startup q&ai joined the summer 2021 batch. This summer session includes 152 companies from five continents, and startups offering services in industries such as software, education, consumer healthcare and fintech.
Y Combinator operates on a cohort model that concentrates resources around selected startups while helping to refine their funding pitch. It also makes its network available, and features the companies in a demo day with investors. Last summer, SaaS startup Reflect, cofounded by Curalate alumni Todd McNeal and Fitz Nowlan, joined the program and went on shortly after to raise a $1.8 million seed round.
SFA Therapeutics was founded in 2016 and is the maker of therapeutically tailored oral drugs that regulate the immune system from bacterial metabolites. The company focuses on autoimmune diseases and cancers that originate from chronic inflammation. Its four-person team made up of Ira Spector, Mark Feitelson, Alla Arzumanyan and James Kirwin is based out of the Jenkintown area.
2021-founded q&ai monitors video calls like Zoom, and uses artificial intelligence to extract knowledge and give a summary of your team’s understanding, gaps and growth. The company touts that its product can give managers a heads up about particular gaps and allow them to make sure teams are hitting goals.
The startup was founded by Michael Staunton, Bhairav Mehta and Adithya Ramanathan.
“Harnessing the power of the best in machine learning, q&ai helps sales organizations understand what their associates do and don’t understand,” wrote Staunton, a former Capital One software engineer, in a recent LinkedIn post.
The companies will have the chance to present a one-minute pitch during Demo Days on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. YC alumni include many of the biggest names in tech of the last decade, such as Stripe, Airbnb, Reddit, Dropbox and Instacart. Applications for the winter 2022 cohort are open now.