Seattle tech vet launches startup accelerator exclusively on Clubhouse with 13-company cohort – GeekWire
Plenty of tech personalities and veterans have turned to the popular invite-only conversation app Clubhouse for insights related to the industry. Now a new startup accelerator is using the platform to host a 13-company cohort for the first time.
The FounderStreams Accelerator was launched this week by Jonathan G. Blanco, founder of TF Labs and FounderStreams. TF Labs is a Seattle-area startup studio and digital agency working with early stage companies and enterprises.
Blanco has been on Clubhouse for three months and his club FounderStreams has attracted more than 13,000 members and followers.
“Clubhouse creates a unique method of engagement in which you really need to focus on storytelling as you cannot rely on visuals,” Blanco said. “We also believe there is a level of authenticity to Clubhouse which will lead to a new learned experience for our cohort to solidify their narrative.”
In hosting daily FounderStreams rooms, Blanco noticed there were many founders who clearly understood their businesses and were on the app to learn and make connections, but lacked access to resources. He marketed the accelerator in Clubhouse during those rooms and the majority of applicants came from Clubhouse.
“Many of the members or our cohort are spending significant time in Clubhouse networking and learning and we felt we could improve upon this growing experience,” Blanco said.
The accelerator will run for four weeks, with programming designed to support the startup founders toward presenting on Investor Demo Day on May 1.
Participating founders are based in the United States and Europe, and nearly 80% are from underrepresented groups. The companies represent such verticals as FinTech, EdTech, Real Estate, VR/AR, Logistics, and CPG and Products.
FoundersStream is not taking any equity in the companies and not charging them to participate in the program. The goal is to make as many investor introductions as possible to help companies attract funding, Blanco said.
Here are the FounderStreams Accelerator cohort participants:
- Cee Carter – Pawndr: Long distance transport for pets and animals.
- Lori Sardoff – Snailz: Booking and payments marketplace for nail salons.
- Rhonda Merrick – Global Music Library: Step by step library for musical composition.
- Byron Johnson – AIME Says: AI for schools.
- Youngwon Lee – Dokkaebier: Asian inspired craft brewery with e-commerce.
- Michele Wytas – Toesty Sheets: Simplifying bed making with fitted top-sheet.
- German Urrego – Unividoc: Telemedicine marketplace, 100% in Spanish.
- James Spalding – VOALÁ IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY: Reinventing jewelry shopping with AR & AI.
- Soheil Nikbin – Zalamon: Decentralizing Finance with faster payments.
- Chris Thompson – Homsby: Guided home purchase without a real estate agent.
- Andre Smith – Chosn Relationship App: Closed social network for meaningful relationships.
- Christopher Roberts – C4G Security: Technology enabled private security.
- Derrick Green – WAWN Family Products: Socially conscious, allergen free American comfort food.
Clubhouse is making news of its own this week, first by introducing its first monetization feature, called Payments, to a small test group. As part of its guiding principal to put creators first, Payments will allow Clubhouse users to send money to specific creators. Clubhouse says 100% of funds will go to the creators.
Bloomberg also reported Tuesday that the social network is in talks to raise new funding which would put its valuation at $4 billion. That figure quadruples its value from just two months ago.
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