Startup Accelerator for LGBTQ Entrepreneurs Welcomes Second Round of Companies

January 08, 2018

Senior Manager, Media Relations
Nicholas Braude

San Francisco, CA. The StartOut Growth Lab, a groundbreaking startup accelerator to advance companies founded or cofounded by LGBTQ entrepreneurs, welcomes its second cohort this month, including a cryptocurrency trading platform that simplifies and accelerates cross-exchange orders, an artificial intelligence concierge for vacation rentals, a high performance haptic glove for virtual and augmented reality applications, and a mental health platform that uses data-driven matching to increase engagement between sessions.

The Growth Lab is the result of a partnership between global law firm Nixon Peabody LLP and StartOut, the largest nonprofit organization for LGBTQ entrepreneurs. Housed in 2,300 square feet of donated space in Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office, entrepreneurs work one-on-one with Nixon Peabody attorneys, StartOut’s entrepreneurs-in-residence, and other experts, and receive mentoring, education, introductions to capital sources, and an array of networking opportunities.

“We are proud to have created the first-ever diversity-oriented accelerator within a major law firm,” said Thomas Gaynor, managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office and a longtime member of StartOut’s board of advisors. “The first cohort was a tremendous success, and we’re excited to see what this next group of talented, innovative entrepreneurs can do.”

Peter Sisson, the Growth Lab’s entrepreneur-in-residence, said the application process for the second group was demanding, with forty-eight applicants vying for nine spots.

“The new class is quite impressive,” Sisson said. “I’m particularly excited about the broad range of industries and products represented. These companies are applying cutting edge technologies to solve old and new problems in innovative ways.”

The second group consists of the following companies:

  • AreaLive is a wayfinder app that uses context-driven smart maps to help consumers decide where to eat, drink, and play in the moment.
  • Cirrus Identity is the Swiss army knife of cloud-hosted digital identity management solutions that unifies web and consumer single sign-ons (SSOs).
  • CoinRoutes is an exchange-agnostic, network-deployed software service that helps cryptocurrency traders simplify and consolidate market data and provides tools for traders to optimally create orders across exchanges.
  • ConciergeBot is an artificially intelligent virtual concierge for vacation rental hosts and their guests, available on Amazon Echo (Alexa) or via Facebook Messenger and SMS.
  • CultureForce curates unique and memorable experiences for businesses to help them attract and retain the best talent.
  • Pay By Group is a white-label checkout option that integrates with merchant websites to let consumers pay together online like they can in person.
  • Plexus is a high-performance, affordable haptic glove for virtual reality and augmented reality applications offering 50x the performance for one tenth of the cost.
  • Reflect is a mental health platform that reimagines in-person therapy to be more accessible and effective by using data-driven matching to increase engagement between sessions and improve outcomes.
  • Rex Animal Health combines clinical and genomic information on livestock and animals of high commercial value to optimize yield and manage disease for increased biosecurity and sustainability.

The StartOut Growth Lab’s first cohort included LGBTQ-founded companies providing innovation in running high-value networking events, real estate property management solutions to help owners generate consistent rental income, a video analytics platform to help brands discover and promote brand-safe user-generated videos on social media, a social network and app for the LGBT community, and a cybersecurity and insurance platform for cloud-based businesses.

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