Out of 300 applicants from around the world, 2018 cohort startups include Baby2Body, BeautyLynk, Broadway Roulette, CariClub, COI Energy, CoSign, Goalsetter, Hatch Apps, myLAB Box, and Shoobs, innovating in health, beauty and well-being, entertainment and ticket sales, nonprofit leadership, energy, online retail, family savings and software development
Morgan Stanley will once again take equity positions and use its global reach, content and connections to spur growth and bridge the funding gap between traditional and multicultural / women startup founders
Morgan Stanley announced the second cohort of the Multicultural Innovation Lab, an accelerator program for technology and technology-enabled start-ups in the post‐seed to Series B funding rounds. The program, now in its second year, targets companies with a multicultural or woman founder, co‐founder, CTO or other member of C Suite that is developing innovative solutions across sectors. Doubling its cohort size following a successful inaugural year, with one acquisition attributed to increased visibility from the program, a second company’s acceptance into another prestigious accelerator program, and general increase in investment and media attention, the Lab will make investments in these early stage high growth companies and will support the founders’ growth and development through its ecosystem of internal and external partners.
“The monumental success of the inaugural class proves that the market inefficiency in accessing capital within the start-up scene for women and multicultural entrepreneurs leads to a positive commercial outcome,” said Carla A. Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, and Head of the Multicultural Client Strategy Group, Morgan Stanley. “By specifically catering to top high growth multicultural entrepreneurs, the Multicultural Innovation Lab presents a unique opportunity for disruptive start-ups to increase their visibility, accelerate their business and achieve success.”
The Lab is designed to help drive positive economic outcomes for entrepreneurs of color and women by providing content, visibility, technical support and connectivity with important stakeholders who might be essential in accelerating the growth of their businesses, as well as access to an ecosystem of best in class global partners providing a variety of resources.
The companies, selected out of 300 applications submitted within one month, will be fully immersed in the program working from Morgan Stanley’s global headquarters in Times Square, New York, and receive support by a dedicated team creating tailored experiences to help each company grow. The 6‐month program will begin in April and run through the fall, culminating in the second Multicultural Innovation Lab Showcase and Demo Day in mid-November that will expose companies to potential investors through showcase format presentations.
Understanding that access to capital alone isn’t sufficient; the Lab brings in best-in-class content and connectivity for the entrepreneurs. William Crowder, formerly head of Comcast Ventures’ Catalyst Fund and now Founding Partner at 42 Venture Partners, will be returning as its Entrepreneur-In-Residence. Crowder will serve as a strategic advisor to both the entrepreneurs and the Multicultural Client Strategy team throughout the duration of the Lab to help participating companies address and conquer challenges that will increase performance and progress. Additionally, with input from other partners such as Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, entrepreneurs in the Lab will have unparalleled access to subject matter experts, practitioners and investors all committed to their success.
“The Multicultural Innovation Lab addresses the large funding gap between traditional and multicultural / women startup founders,” said Alice Vilma, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley. “Morgan Stanley’s global reach will provide the capital, connections and curriculum needed for these innovative companies to both grow and scale.”
The companies that have been selected for the 2018 cohort are below:
- Baby2Body is a fully automated personal health and wellbeing coaching app for pregnant women and mothers
- BeautyLynk seamlessly connects women with reputable on demand hair and makeup services, specializing in services for women of color
- Broadway Roulette turns a stressful choice into a fun user experience by pairing consumers with surprise cultural events, beginning with the Broadway theater market
- CariClub uses an enterprise software solution to help employees establish a professional network for social impact, connecting young professionals with nonprofit leadership opportunities
- COI Energy offers an integrated platform for electric utilities to eliminate energy waste, save on energy costs and protect the environment through artificial intelligence
- CoSign provides an API for brands and an app for bloggers and influencers to create, distribute and monetize visual content by making their photos taggable and shoppable
- Goalsetter offers a goals based gifting and savings platform designated for children and funded by the children, their parents, and other friends and family, allowing kids to save for their own short and long term goals
- Hatch Apps is an automated development platform enabling businesses to deploy web, iOS and Android apps, without needing to write a single line of code
- myLAB Box is a direct to consumer platform for at-home health testing and treatment, delivering lab screenings and consultations with unprecedented convenience, privacy and price
- Shoobs is the go-to platform for urban content, culture and nightlife, ultimately creating a full urban events marketplace targeting the millennial generation
Learn more about the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab here.
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