Techstars announced today the launch of the Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator program, a partnership between the Atlanta-based entities that aims to drive community impact by leveraging innovative startups. Announced in June 2019, it’s the second such impact-focused accelerator program from the Cox/Techstars partnership initiative, and the first to specifically focus on for-profit startups addressing social and environmental challenges.
According to Techstars Atlanta, the program will provide mentorship from subject matter experts, experienced entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and others, as well as funding access “for new companies focused on environmental sustainability and social entrepreneurship,” culminating in a Demo Day event on April 29th, 2020.
Barry Givens, managing director of the program, said in a statement that he is “thrilled” to announce this inaugural class. “Over the next three months,” he said, “our goal is to support and grow the 10 incredible companies selected to help them succeed and make a positive impact.”
The selection process for the program attracted a notably diverse set of companies, with almost 65 percent of applicants having minority founding teams. Applicants also originated from six continents, 29 countries, 23 states, and 45 cities in the U.S., with both female founders and people of color separately representing 40 percent of candidates.
Techstars says these applicants are focused on addressing “society’s most pressing issues,” such as healthcare access, financial literacy, college readiness, workplace diversity, and STEM education for underserved students.
The 10 companies that will participate in the 3-month cohort include the following:
ACT House, a Tallahassee, Florida-based incubation facility which “combines affordable housing and innovation amenities in a co-living model to accelerate the creation of minority-owned ventures.”
EnMass Energy, a Durham-based startup that “provides a platform for development and fuel procurement for waste-to-energy projects across the globe.”
Forefront, a Boston-based messaging platform that “helps employers attract qualified talent from underrepresented communities for in-demand roles,” including African-American and LatinX college students.
“When our team formed in July 2019, we hit the ground running in search of companies making a positive impact on underrepresented groups, underserved communities, and environmental sustainability,” Givens said. “We kicked off this week and are looking forward to three months of awesomeness.”
More details on the Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator program are available at Techstars.com.