11 Startups Join DivInc’s Latest Accelerator Program

DivInc Cohort Three, courtesy photo

In 2016, Preston James, Ashley Jennings, and Dana Callender founded DivInc to bring greater entrepreneurial diversity to Austin’s technology industry.

The 12-week accelerator program, based at Capital Factory, has graduated two cohorts so far and made a big impact on providing women and minorities with greater access to mentors, funding, partnerships and the overall inner workings of the local tech industry.

To date, 18 companies and 24 founders have participated in the DivInc program. They’ve collectively raised nearly $600,000, according to a news release.

On Tuesday, DivInc announced 11 new startups, run by eight women and seven men, for its third accelerator program, which begins Sept. 5th.

The numbers are bleak for funding for diverse founders, with “only three percent of VC funding going to women founders and less than two percent going to African American and Latino founders,” according to a news release.

“Just think about the socioeconomic impact an inclusive, innovative tech startup ecosystem will have,” Preston James, co-founder, and CEO of DivInc said in a news release. “With the population shifting to 51 percent people of color by 2040, it’s not only imperative but essential that these demographic groups be major contributors to economic growth in the U.S. Imagine in Austin alone…with a potential backlog of 1,000 tech entrepreneurs of color and women, and if on average, one out of 25 became successful entrepreneurs that creates 100 jobs and $5 million of wealth. That would translate to 4,000 jobs and $200 million in revenue contributed back to the city.”

The third DivInc cohort includes the following:

● Dr. Jennifer Davis and Stephanie Cantú, founders of Data Bot Box (AI and psychology)

● Dion Jones, founder of enautics (B2B SaaS)

● Roman Gonzalez, founder of Gardenio (Marketplace for Gardeners)

● Shambrekia Wise, founder of FuzeU (Education Tech)

● Yogi Patel, founder of iuzeit (Mobile App)

● Wes Riddick and Cristina Rodgers, founders of Maximus Box (Retail Tech)

● Sara Brinton, founder of Penguino Travel (Travel Tech)

● Stephanie Labay, founder of Retreat Place (Travel and Wellness Tech)

● Anna Renery and Dan Driscoll, founders of Sponsorfy (MarketPlace)

● Ashley Behnke, founder of Spot Loc8r (Mobile App)

● Airion Watkins-Clark and Ethan Isaacson, founders of WutzGood Inc. (Mobile App)

At the conclusion of the program on Nov. 30th, the startups will pitch their startups at a Demo Day event.

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