Kelsey Davis ’19 (Newhouse) and ‘G 20 (Whitman) and Brendan O’Keefe ’20, co-founders of CLLCTVE, graduated from Syracuse and headed to the prestigious and highly competitive Techstars Los Angeles Accelerator program this summer. The student startup earned distinction as part of the Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars program, and is now scaling its digital platform connecting college creatives with brands targeting Gen-Z. The team moved to LA this summer, while still maintaining a strong relationship with the Syracuse community.
Ten ventures were selected for the Techstars LA 2020 program which kicked off in mid-July. “While we received hundreds of applications from across the world and chose these companies while socially distanced, we have stuck with our commitment to invest in and support the best companies in the greater LA region,” said Anna Barber, managing director ofTechstars Los Angeles Accelerator. Nine of the 10 companies in this year’s program are headquartered in Los Angeles, with the final company joining us from New York.”
This makes it even more notable for CLLCTVE to be selected for the Techstars LA program.
“For this year’s class we selected 10 resilient companies that can grow in an economic downturn and thrive in a world where social distancing remains the reality,” added Barber. “We chose teams that have grit, curiosity, a learning mindset and a deep commitment to positive impact by way of a bold vision. The enduring motif of Techstars LA is that personal growth drives company growth — and all of this year’s founders have shown the willingness to rise to the occasion that 2020 has presented by embracing growth and change.”
The ten teams are tackling teletherapy for intersectional communities, cancer care coordination, remote evaluation of ADHD and learning differences, breast milk testing to optimize infant nutrition, an esports analytics platform, a leading marketplace for podcasting services, a marketplace for college creatives to connect with brands, the leading fashion and beauty marketplace by Latinx, for Latinx, a AI-powered insights platform for remote communication at work and a centralized data platform for real estate operators.
“The Techstars LA 2020 selected class also represents our ongoing commitment to investing in diverse teams, with nine of the companies including women, Black or Latinx founders, six in the CEO seat,” noted Barber. “This year, we have seven mixed gender founding teams, which is pretty unusual, and we are looking forward to seeing how this affects the class dynamic. Research shows that mixed gender teams perform better overall when compared to all-male teams specifically.”
The Techstars LA Class of 2020 includes:
- Ayana Therapy, which provides online therapy for minorities with an emphasis on intersectionality;
- CLLCTVE, a platform connecting college creatives with brands targeting Gen-Z consumers;
- JoyHub, an enterprise software platform that integrates multifamily operator systems into a single, centralized data platform;
- Lactation Lab, which provides breast milk analysis and personalized recommendations for mothers to optimize their child’s health and nutrition;
- Pod People, a full-service podcast production and staffing agency with a network of over 700 audio professionals across the globe;
- Preveta, which is transforming cancer care by arming clinicians with data and insights to improve outcomes, and blazing a trail for providers to deliver value-based care;
- Shop Latinx, the leading fashion and beauty lifestyle brand with products designed by and for the Latinx community;
- Sike Insights, which powers remote teams to work better together, with its first product, Kona, an AI-powered Slackbot that helps communicate;
- StatsHelix, a B2B gametech company focused on esports and streaming;
- Thrive Education, which provides remote tele-assessments for learning differences (LDs) such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.
Acceptance into a Techstars accelerator means:
- Access to Techstars resources for life;
- Acceleration in a 90-day Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program with personal mentorship and office space;
- Lifetime access to the Techstars worldwide network of entrepreneurs, including more than 10,000 mentors, 10,000 investors, 1,600 alumni companies, and over 200 staff members;
- Access to over $400k of cash equivalent hosting, accounting, and legal support—plus other credits and perks worth more than $1M;
- Demo Day exposure and other investor connections.
Upon acceptance to a Techstars Accelerator, Techstars contributes $20,000, which is commonly used as a stipend to support living expenses during the 90-day acclerator program, and in return receives a small equity of the company. In addition, all accepted companies are offered a $100,000 convertible note. Historically, on average, Techstars companies go on to raise more than $2M of outside capital after the program.