Meet the Founders of Our 2020 Accelerator Program
We know we’re biased … but we seriously have the most talented and inspiring members. Even when the world feels a bit dark and scary, we have a deep sense of hope because of the amazing founders we’re surrounded with everyday.
When Covid hit, we weren’t sure how we were going to host our Accelerator program, but we knew it was important to find a way to help these creators that we’ve made it our mission to serve. Digging deep into our spirit of innovation and experimentation, we found a way to do it… and we are so thankful we did. After several months of prep work and over 60 applicant interviews, we launched the 2020 WPB Business Accelerator Program on June 3, 2020.
With support from a grant provided by the City of West Palm Beach, the program kicked off with 20 incredible founders from 14 local businesses. As part of 1909’s commitment to diversity and focus on opportunity for all founders, the 1909 cohort is majority minority: 65% of the participants are members of racial or ethnic minority groups and 55% are women.
The cohort has spent 6 months together in the virtual program, learning the fundamentals of business, building relationships, and transforming their ideas into reality. They were also the first class to use 1909’s proprietary gamification software, which was created to help drive the positive habits and behaviors needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
“The 1909 Accelerator Program has played a huge role in helping me pivot and take my business to the next level. The curriculum is unique in its design to educate through gamification while inspiring new perspectives towards the entrepreneurial journey. I could not be more grateful for the knowledge, community, and motivation I have received through this program. This is something all startups can benefit from.” –Anuella Alexandra
The results from the cohort have been truly inspiring so far and we can’t wait to celebrate this class with a final CO-LAB weekend competition followed by a more formal graduation ceremony and presentation event.
The cohort diverse in people, ideas and industries, with startups ranging from community gardens to real estate apps, maternity athletic wear, hardware devices for those who are speech- and hearing-impaired, and ocean-powered technology—just to name a few!
We are excited to introduce you to this amazing group and their businesses. Reminder – some of these startups are earlier stage than others and their brands/products are still in development stages which is why we’re so excited for our Co-Lab Weekend where we’ll have 30+ talented volunteers rally behind them to bring them to the next level.
Get to know the founders and companies:
Imanyco is a technology for the deaf and hearing impaired. It advocates for communication accessibility and creates a real-time transcription technology called Comunify that supports the deaf and hard of hearing people during an in-person group conversation.
The Comunify App – A live transcription app that is capable of diarizing multiple speakers in the same audio to support people with hearing disabilities during a group conversation.
Founder Saida Florexil is profoundly deaf. She uses American Sign Language and lip-reading to communicate with others. Saida received a Bachelors in Business Administration and Supervision Management from Palm Beach State College and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from Lynn University. She’s passionate about improving communication accessibility, fashion design, education, & helping others.
During our last Co-Lab event, Saida got the support she needed from her team to develop this app that diarizes conversations and brand it in a way that empowers the people in the deaf community.
This technology is a game changer for her and others around the world. http://imanyco.com/
Real Trade is a global real estate platform, with a very disruptive business model of being community owned and curated by real estate professionals. This way Real Trade provides a more trusted community and database for real estate, far superior to platforms like Zillow or Trulia.
*Please note that Real Trade has pivoted its business model to an equity based model and is in development of MVP. Before Real Trade, founder Ryan Poole was a partner at RSI Asset Management. RSI Asset Management is a real estate firm located in Palm Beach County Florida that focuses on working with large hedge funds to help facilitate and service their non-performing loans and REO’s throughout Florida. In that capacity, Ryan has valued, serviced, and sold over $250 million in assets since 2009.
Ryan has already hired three 1909 members to work on Real Trade and wants to grow within our community. During the last Co-Lab event, Ryan’s team made 2 promo videos, an dynamic landing page and worked on the backend connections needed for the MLS.
A Green Community FL
A Green Community is rooted in the belief of humanities fellowship with the earth. We believe that cultivating a relationship between our future generation and nature is the equivalent of a domino effect that can change everything from the way we view food to the way we see and interact with the world.
Accelerator participant, Anuella Alexandre’s passion for the power of plants and her motivation to heal the world around her by cultivating green spaces, led her to launch A Green Community, an organization designed to educate individuals on the relationship between humans and Mother Earth; empowering them to lead more sustainable lifestyles. By providing consulting services on urban gardening and edible landscaping, Alexandre works to eradicate food deserts and nature deficit disorder, which is defined as the negative moods and behavioral consequences of feeling alienated from the outdoors. She aims to connect people to the produce they’re growing and consuming, thereby helping them improve not only their physical health, but their mental and emotional well-being too. The “fairy plant-mother” also spreads the word through her Insta-blog, Green Goddess Diary.
Chik Monk is a coffee company centered on quality and sustainability. We are 4th generation coffee growers from India and use a sustainability approach that includes the well-being of our workers, the rainforests, wildlife and our compostable packaging.
Chik Monk is directly sourcing specialty coffee from the family farms of Balekola and Balupet Estates (http://www.balupetestate.com/). The history of the farms dates back four generations in the tranquil Western Ghat mountain range of Chikmagalur, India.
Apart from sourcing from high quality sustainable farms, Chik Monk donates a portion of its profit to enhance the well-being of the local community by providing housing, healthcare, access to clean drinking water and schooling aid for the younger children.
Stayfit is a maternity workout shorts and clothing company. By women, for women. Leslie and Lisa are sisters, best friends (despite swearing otherwise our entire childhood), and now very proud business partners. They have both always wanted to start our own businesses, but neither really had a specific idea in mind. That is, until the summer of 2016 when Lisa was pregnant with her first daughter. They live in sunny North Palm Beach, Florida and enjoy walking/running together, but as Lisa’s belly grew, so did the temperature. Lisa was determined to stay fit throughout her pregnancy, but she struggled to find comfortable clothing options suitable for the heat. Leslie just as quickly grew tired of Lisa’s complaining, so they decided to go into business together to create our own shorts and StayFit was born.
NEPTUNYA’s mission is to tap the ocean for clean energy while preserving marine habitats and rewarding anyone who contributes.This project proposes to develop a clean & renewable ocean power harnessing device, capable of tapping on currents, tides, waves, winds and solar energy, coupled with local energy storage on hydrogen tanks
Founder: Rodrigo Griesi was one of the driving forces behind DECORA, a Brazilian & Floridian startup that was acquired by CREATIVE DRIVE, and then by ACCENTURE.
Rodrigo started at DECORA in its early stages, as an angel investor, then became the US Country Manager, bringing DECORA’s services to the US Market.
Before DECORA, Rodrigo built an Innovation Lab in Brazil, right after his first SaaS tech startup was acquired by a major Brazilian ERP player. Rodrigo holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Sao Paulo.
Rodrigo has already tapped into the amazing talent at 1909 to help bring his idea to life and has been accepted as one of the 6 companies in FPL’s 35 mules innovation hub program.
Karnl Moon was founded in order to create a safe space for people to prioritize and reclaim their wellness journeys, especially those in marginalized communities. We believe that wellness is not a luxury, and should be accessible for all. With a focus of art, wellness, and mysticism, our mission takes shape in online and offline workshops, panel discussions, and soon products that assist in personal growth.
Founder Jennifer Lauren Accius is an artist, author, and healer. She is known for her debut book ‘Butterfly In The Reine’ as well as being the visionary behind the kärnl moon collective.
Voiceblasts is a platform for podcasters to build their base and monetize their content.
They provide a voice powered platform that is specifically designed for audio creators to build engaged listener communities that connect people around shared interests and topics. Creators have the ability to charge membership fees and the community can directly support creators.
They’re helping creators harness their true value; bringing similar and like minded people together through this engaging audio medium.
In the coming years, they envision Voiceblasts being the go-to platform for millions of passionate creators and their listener communities.
They believe in the power of community. Beautiful and amazing things happen when passionate people come together. They look forward to creating the platform for this to happen and telling these inspirational stories.
GetSpeekBack removes the hassles associated with employee performance reviews. Measure productivity and promote employee development with real-time insights powered by Slack or Microsoft Teams.
GetSpeedBack is a platform that enables businesses to conduct simple, continuous employee performance reviews throughout the year rather than on annual or biannual cycles – saving thousands of dollars in the process and promoting faster employee development.
Matt Meadows, Founder of GetSpeedBack, previously worked in startups and marketing agencies.
“Outside of work I am an avid fan of the Florida Panthers and other local sports teams. My hobbies include a constant yearning for travel, photographing everything from animals to landscapes, and playing Ultimate Frisbee with local pickup groups whenever I can.” –Matt
A coaching community to revolutionize your mornings, reclaim your sanity, and support your Vision. They help you design life-altering morning routines and rituals to support the way you live, lead, and work.
“Hey there, I’m Tiffany Lanier, Clarity Strategist, Facilitator, Inspirational Keynote Speaker and Founder of this awesome community–The Morning Shift Co.
Two years ago I launched a digital course called The Morning Shift . The course (and philosophy) was birthed out of a complicated pregnancy and postpartum depression. It was birthed out of the struggle to find my voice in my business and in my leadership. It was birthed out of dedication to doing the hard inner *clarity* work, asking myself the tough questions, crying, and painfully growing while overcoming some of the toughest transitions in my life – which ironically, were all happening at the same damn time. You know how the saying goes… when it rains, it _______ (yup).” –Tiffany Lanier, Founder
Beginning Beginners helps baby boomers gain confidence with technology by getting them the results they want, to build stronger connections with their friends and families.
Being the son of two Brazilian immigrants, I’ve always been pushed to explore whatever career option I wanted. For me, that meant tech. From working at an Apple store to helping develop iOS apps for major telecom companies to writing about technology. My journey into Beginning Beginners came soon after being fired while on vacation.
I started Beginning Beginners when I realized that more and more baby boomers are left behind in the ever-changing technology landscape. Without proper learning resources, many are forced to grapple with the challenges that tech brings.
Beginning Beginners helps boomers through these difficulties using research-based learning, hands-on training, and a community experience.
Matry is building the future of design tooling, starting with a next-generation editor that seamlessly blends code with design.
“My name is Daniel and I’m an artist and software developer from Memphis, TN. I’ve always been interested in the boundary between design and engineering, and my passion is finding the best way to translate between both worlds. My hope is that I can help bridge the gap between the two professions, so I’m creating Matry, the very first programming language created specifically for designers.” –Daniel Vaughn, Founder
Parodeed is an app that manages and aggregates the multiple sources of communication we use daily
“I am native of Ireland, and a 16 year resident of the USA. Professionally, I am a civil engineer that transitioned into the software development industry and have over 20 years of experience in full stack development. From telecoms to finance, I have worked full-time and contract work in multiple industries developing software for their needs both in Ireland and the USA.I enjoy regular exercise and live an active lifestyle with road biking being a particular interest. I also love live music and seek out new venues and artists regularly.
I started Parodeed as a parent struggling to communicate with a teenager, there were a lot of opportunities to improve upon the standard messaging apps in p2p communication (direct messaging). Visual imagery weighed heavy but was restricted to memes generally, I thought “why can’t we do that to our own private conversations?”
I built it to help other people who may find themselves in the same place as I was, it also is a lot of fun for anyone who has an interest in comics or who likes to sketch and wants to share their talents.” –Shana Gallagher, Founder
A one-stop shop for fitness, nutrition, and recovery resources. Our goal at Hopperfit is to help you HOP into a better life, so we offer a wide range of services from fitness, to prepared meals, to massage therapy, to help achieve your goals.
“I’m a Father, Engineer, and an Entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people to be healthy and happy, spreading love, networking and working in teams. I started HopperFit with the hopes of creating a community where I could acquire fitness services from multiple gyms. Since the start my company has evolved to be much more than that. It’s now a place where many small businesses come to grow and consumers define their own fitness lifestyles.” –Dionel Sylvester, Founder
HopperFit (AKA the Sharks) was the winning team at the first 1909 Co-Lab Day back in August of 2020.10