With its fifth cohort of early-stage firms, the Sprint Accelerator scoured the globe for a brood of ag, food and tech startups that aim to leverage area corporate partnerships.
The Crossroads Arts District-based accelerator announced on Monday nine new startups that will participate in its 90-day, mentor-driven program. The accelerator pairs startups with wireless carrier Sprint and agriculture behemoth Dairy Farmers of America to drive corporate partnership opportunities and to help the corporations incorporate new innovations.
The startups participating in the program play to Sprint’s and DFA’s strengths, said Doug Dresslaer, managing director of the Sprint Accelerator.
“We’ve been very fortunate to bring in the best founders we can find and that’s definitely the case with our 2018 cohort. Our founders are smart, driven and looking to grow,” Dresslar said. “I’m always excited to get to work with a new group of entrepreneurs. They have an energy that I wish I could bottle. I’m particularly excited because this class moves us into new areas to learn about and help with. From blockchain and IoT to actual food products we definitely don’t lack in variety with our 2018 group.”
In June, the revamped Sprint Accelerator graduated its first cohort of startups since parting ways with Boulder-based Techstars, with which it conducted three years of programming. That group garnered several benefits for the area, as it helped prompt the relocation of Miami-based TradeLanes to Kansas City and yielded several corporate partnerships.
2017’s program also proved to be helpful for DFA, said Kevin Strathman, senior vice president of finance at DFA.
“We’ve found tremendous value in this program and leveraging innovation that’s happening with startup companies in the ag tech space,” Strathman said in a release. “For year 2, we’re focused not only on building partnerships that can help solve problems and benefit our members on their farms, but it’s exciting to add dairy food startups into the mix. We’re looking forward to working with these companies to help grow their businesses and ultimately drive consumer demand for dairy.”
The program will likely again produce exciting results, Dresslar said.
“The nine companies coming into the program are excited to get to work on projects with their corporate sponsors,” Dresslar said. “I’m certain that by the end of the program, we’ll have great results to share at demo day.”
Learn more about each of the companies below.
IoT Vertical Participants
• Keybot, St. Louis, Missouri — Founded in 2016, Keybot helps landlords automate rental properties with proprietary keypad locks that gives or removes access to renters.
• Luxe Concierge, Kansas City, Missouri — Luxe’s app allows apartment residents to book housekeeping, cleaning or pet services.
• Sofihub, Melbourne, Australia — Sofihub uses artificial intelligence to give worried family members peace of mind about their aging loved ones. Sofihub gives reminders, provides helpful information and can contact family if it detects unusual behavior.
AgTech Vertical Participants
• Pharm Robotics, San Francisco, California — Pharm Robotics helps administer vaccines and medicines to dairy cattle.
• Ripe Technologies, San Francisco, California — Ripe taps blockchain technology to create transparency throughout the food chain.
• SomaDetect, Fredericton, Canada — Founded in 2014, SomaDetect is focused on revolutionizing dairy production by providing dairy farmers with useful data on their cattle.
Dairy Food Product Vertical Participants
• Cheddies, San Antonio, Texas — Cheddies created a savory, crunchy and nutritious cheese cracker with 10g of protein, 12g of carbs, no artificial flavors or colors and 0g of sugar.
• MoPro, Birmingham, Michigan — MoPro provides a protein-packed Greek yogurt, which is completely gluten and nut free.
• Too Cool Chix, New York, New York — Too Cool Chix creates all-natural, organic ice cream sandwiches with such names as “I Dream in Chocolate” and “The Beauty Bar.”