Three years ago, Cox Enterprises brought the Techstars accelerator to Atlanta, launching a local chapter of the global entrepreneurship program.
Since then, the program has launched 30 early-stage startups, encouraged companies to move their offices to Atlanta, seen a long list of successful fundraises, and, earlier this year, its first acquisition.
And today, Cox announced its intent to double down on Techstars Atlanta by bringing a second accelerator program to the city.
The Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator, powered by Techstars, will support for-profit startups addressing social and environmental challenges — health technology, clean tech, social justice issues, and more.
This is Techstars second impact-focused accelerator; the first was launched in Austin last year. An Atlanta-based startup, construction material delivery platform TommyRun, was recruited for that program.
Now, Cox and Techstars aim to keep and grow these entrepreneurs in Atlanta.
It’s part of a business focus that already exists for the family-owned company, says Cox leaders.
“Income inequality, cleaner sources of energy and sustainable food production are just some of the challenges we’re all facing,” said Alex Taylor, president and CEO of Cox Enterprises, in a statement.
“Our company wants to invest in the future, and empower great people to create a better future for the next generation. Investing in startups and accelerators like Techstars helps do that.”
Cox has already begun funding not just internal impact initiatives, but startups tackling these big issues. They participated in the recent substantial seed round of Techstars Atlanta alum PadSplit, a mission-driven company that privatizes and streamlines affordable housing.
The Social Impact accelerator will run in tandem with the current Techstars Atlanta program, with the two accelerators switching off their “in-program” and “off” times. For example, while the existing Techstars Atlanta cohort ends this October with a demo day, Social Impact will begin in January 2020.
The program is structured in the same format as all Techstars accelerators, with a three month-long sprint of mentorship, company building, and investor preparation. It will all culminate in a Demo Day at the end of the program.
Startups for both programs will be based at Techstars Atlanta’s offices at Ponce City Market. A Managing Director for the new accelerator will be announced later this year, after which startup applications will be opened.