By Barry Givens, Managing Director of Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator Powered by Techstars
First and foremost, I hope that everyone is staying safe, wearing masks, and social distancing as we push through this deadly pandemic. The year 2020 presented us with many challenges from a global health crisis to an economic downturn to social injustice taking the lives of Black people across this country. In these moments, we can not afford to sit on our hands, and we must be intentional about solving these problems. So, in October 2020 I shifted the focus of our 2021 program to exclusively work with, and invest in, companies tackling social injustice and systemic racism head on.
We received hundreds of applications from founders across the country taking innovative approaches to create scalable impact across the social injustice and inequality landscape - areas that have been ignored far too long. Over the 4-week period after we announced our program focus shift, I heard formal pitches from nearly 100 companies. The quality of these founders and their companies gives me confidence that we can make this country a more equitable and inclusive place to live. But we must do our part to support these companies that have been ignored and underfunded.
We hope that our class will be a shining example of the opportunities that exist within the social justice vertical and how to support the diverse founders that are tackling these issues. Companies will join us from the usual hotspots like Atlanta, San Francisco, LA and New York, but we will also welcome companies to this year’s class from Tempe, Birmingham, and Fort Wayne.
Over the next three months, I have two specific goals for our program:
Provide our 10 companies access and visibility typically not afforded to companies solving these types of problems
Serve as motivation to the rest of the VC community to stand up and use our resources and expertise to make real a difference
We will accomplish this by providing the companies with mentorship, marketing support, access to customers and support from our strong Techstars and Cox Enterprises networks. I would like to thank our mentors, sponsors and partners in advance for their generous support. Special thanks to the Cox Enterprises team for their genuine commitment to making a positive impact in our community and the lives of the Techstars founders they have supported over the last five years.
Now, I present to you the Cox Enterprises Social Impact Accelerator powered by Techstars class of 2021!
Acclinate is a trusted digital health company educating and engaging diverse individuals to make informed decisions about genomic research and clinical trial participation.
Co:census focuses on getting deep community insights through public engagement and makes gathering and analyzing qualitative data easy and inclusive with multilingual text surveys & AI-driven reports.
COMMUNITYx is a coalition-building platform that connects likeminded changemakers locally and globally. Unlike other social networks that prioritize attributes like popularity and “attractiveness” in their algorithms, CommunityX shines the light on social good.
EMPOWRD creates personalized and guided civic engagement experiences that inspire, inform, and enable civic participation in a way that is uniquely impactful for each individual member.
Govrn makes politics simple, transparent, and effective for people who want democracy to just work.
JusticeText is strengthening the ability of public defenders to analyze crucial video and audio data with their new evidence management software.
Helping out people in real time by providing them 5 eyewitnesses, laws, and the ability toof alert loved ones in real time.
MINWO is uncovering and amplifying the needs of Black businesses by matching them with organizations that have set specific missions to support and develop Black businesses and their founders.
Everyone has implicit biases, and there's no way to eliminate them. This is why STRE.ME's implicit bias management platform equips individuals to create positively-intentioned interactions that promote equitable outcomes.
Unpacking is the #1 online learning platform for social impact. We use real talk and interactive gaming to build culturally competent teams.