The hotly anticipated Techstars Kansas City 2020 accelerator class features startups enabling greater transparency and access in healthcare, the food supply, and justice for all, said Lesa Mitchell.
Two of the ventures are based in St. Louis.
“We’re also welcoming companies with new platforms and new business models that will attract and facilitate broader talent pools and improve productivity for both technology companies and Main Street businesses,” said Mitchell, managing director for Techstars KC, which returns today after a hiatus in 2019.
Because of social distancing limitations, the accelerator is beginning with remote programming with hopes of cohort members eventually coming to Kansas City in August to complete the program at Techstars’ space within the Regnier Institute at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“We will look for opportunities to do some community convening during that time,” Mitchell said, noting the initial remote start will allow a wider array of mentors to assist the companies than would be possible in person.
Click here to see a full list of 2020 mentors for the intensive, 90-day program, which also includes seed funding and access to Techstars’ global network of alumni.
The diverse, internationally-sourced, 10-member class draws from as far east as Ireland and as far west as Los Angeles and Portland — and six other cities in between — she added. They include:
- Cherry Blossom Intimates, Glenarden, Maryland — Changing what post-mastectomy shopping looks and feels like, creating beautiful lingerie shopping experiences for all women, and using innovation and inclusion to be impactful across the globe.
- Courtroom5, Durham, North Carolina — Offers an end-to-end legal toolbox that helps people represent themselves in court.
- MusicBuk, Atlanta — Connects world class music instructors with students virtually.
- MuukTest, Raleigh, North Carolina — The first and only QA Acceleration Platform, we help companies ship fast with full, automated test coverage.
- OjaExpress, Chicago — A digital marketplace for discovering and shopping for ethnic groceries.
- Petabolix, St. Louis — Provides pet parents and professionals with advanced nutritional assessments and personalized diet recommendations.
- Pocket Mentor, Portland — Advice and connections for code school students to land their first jobs in tech.
- Performetry.ai, Dublin, Ireland — Intranet with live behavioural data, sentiment analysis and predictive recommendations for leadership and Human Resources.
- Provider Pool, St. Louis — An online labor marketplace connecting healthcare organizations to nursing professionals for on-demand staffing needs.
- West Tenth, Ventura County, California — Bringing you crafted services and custom goods from the home-based businesses in your neighborhood.
“We will support these founders focusing on building a strong foundation that will allow accelerated growth,” Mitchell said. “Techstars founders and mentors know the power of the network that enabled their own growth and are #GiveFirst in supporting these founders over the next 13 weeks. We look forward to sharing the stories of these founders and how they will be positively impacting our world in the years to come.”
The 2020 class features an array of diverse founders, she noted. Among the more familiar names: MusicBuk, which was among five edtech startups to win $50,000 and a trip to pitch at SXSW — canceled in March because of COVID-19 — as a finalist in Opportunity Hub’s Kansas City-based OHUB.KC minority accelerator.
Along with fresh companies, the rebooted Techstars KC accelerator comes with new faces from within its campus host. Former UMKC Enactus president Salem Habte is now serving as marketing associate after leading media and events for the Fountain City Fintech accelerator and the Regnier Institute; and Adam Larson, an undergraduate UMKC business student who has worked with the E-Scholars program at the Regnier Institute, serves as operations associate.
Click here to learn more about the Techstars Kansas City team, which also includes Rachel Morris, program manager, and Arynn Larson, design associate.