Visible Hands Announces 51 Founders Participating in 2022 Flagship Accelerator

Visible Hands, a pre-seed fund that holistically supports overlooked founders, has officially announced the second cohort of its flagship Visionaries Accelerator program.

The United States, August 16, 2022

Visible Hands, a pre-seed fund that holistically supports overlooked founders, has officially launched the second cohort of its flagship “Visionaries Accelerator.” From September through December, 45 companies will work full-time towards building their startups, with hands-on company-building and financial support from the Visible Hands team.

The Visionaries Accelerator is a virtual-first program that annually supports overlooked talent in building technology startups. During this 14-week program, founders work with the Visible Hands team and receive personalized engagement plans, expert-led programming, and a supportive community of diverse founders at similar stages. Each founder receives initial investments of $25K at the start of the accelerator and will have a chance at earning additional investments of up to $150K from the Visible Hands team as they progress.

“We were astounded by the quality of this year’s applicants,” said Tia Thomson, Vice President, and Selection Process Lead at Visible Hands. “I was lucky enough to interview hundreds of founders throughout the selection process, and I was constantly reminded that these aren’t just amazing underrepresented founders — they are amazing founders, period. The process was competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 3%. With so many exceptional applicants, we had to make difficult decisions to narrow down to our final 51 Visionaries.”

This year, 1,418 applications were submitted, a 56% increase from their inaugural year. Cohort II of the VH Visionaries Accelerator consists of a highly talented group of founders belonging to historically marginalized groups working to change the landscape of their prospective industries and entrepreneurship as a whole. The finalized cohort of 51 entrepreneurs features over 70% identifying as Black, African American, and/or Latinx. Additionally, in the final cohort, approximately 53% of founders identified as cisgender women, 43% as cisgender men, 2% as nonbinary, and 2% as transgender men.

“Ultimately, we are extremely proud of the diversity in experiences, backgrounds, geography, and sectors present in our final cohort,” Thomson said. “We look forward to welcoming them into the Visible Hands community and working with them throughout the accelerator and beyond.”

Visible Hands’ Product Team will lead the charge on programming throughout this accelerator, to provide holistic support for overlooked talent intersecting with that of supporting the founders to gain insights and traction for their startups.

“Make no mistake, our accelerator will focus on the tactical components of company building from market validation to a go-to-market strategy to fundraising and many other topics,” said Visible Hands VP and Product Lead Nashaira Ofori. “We’ll just do it in a way that helps founders feel seen, supported, and surrounded, which for us means building out an accelerator that is planned with the unique experiences overlooked founders have in navigating the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This includes creating space for founders to focus on their wellness and avoid burnout.”

Launched in 2020, Visible Hands is supported by top-tier organizations such as Liberty Mutual Insurance, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs’ Launch With GS initiative, Bombas, State Street, Hearst, Level Up Ventures, California Health Care Foundation, Bolster, and First Republic Bank.

“Visible Hands has shown tremendous growth and impact as they continue to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in building innovative solutions,” said Liberty Mutual Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Ann Stanberry. “We are excited to continue to be a part of this important effort that is making a difference in people’s lives and communities.”

Additionally, the Visible Hands program has seen rapid growth and success, which allowed the firm to secure partnerships with companies like Google for Startups and AWS to expand their efforts toward empowering underrepresented entrepreneurs and founders.

Recently, Visible Hands also announced that it closed an oversubscribed $10.5M for its Fund I. To date, Fund I has allowed Visible Hands to invest in 50+ entrepreneurs from its previous accelerator cohort, including teams like Noula Health, Parfait, Hearth Display, and more.

“We’ve reviewed thousands of companies over the past two years. Our rigorous investment process has allowed us to construct a portfolio of companies that are creating significant value and co-invest alongside other top VCs such as Precursor, Concrete Rose, and Serena Ventures, among others,” said Co-Founder and General Partner, Daniel Acheampong. “We are excited to invest and champion this new cohort of companies to further connect our capital with that of other investors and contributors as we push the ecosystem forward.”

Although a mostly virtual program, Visible Hands plans to kick off its accelerator program in mid-September with a week-long orientation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in partnership with Build In Tulsa and Atento Capital of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The cohort will gather in Tulsa to attend workshops, build relationships with their fellow founders, and learn about the significance of Tulsa in the history of economic inequities for African Americans in the US.

Here are the amazing 51 founders who make up the second cohort of the VH Visionaries Accelerator:

Abi Sundaram, Founder & CEO of Zencape

Zencape is an AI-enabled, digital clinic for patients with chronic pelvic pain, starting with endometriosis.

Allie Burger, Founder & CEO of ETTA

ETTA is a proprietary body single-sign-on that unlocks your own personalized shopping portal and a curated internet of apparel. The ETTA personalized sign-on safely travels with you from site-to-site within our partner ecosystem so you know your size before you buy.

Anj Fayemi, Co-Founder of Rivet

Rivet is an AI-driven CRM platform that helps artists and creators run their businesses by leveraging community-building, first-party fan data analytics, and machine learning intelligence.

Artin Perse, Co-Founder of Levl

Levl rewards young people for staying on top of their mental health using a smart device and app. Levl’s remote monitoring platform also enables its providers to earn additional income while offering better mental healthcare.

Asha Owens, Founder of BestFit

BestFit is modernizing the social safety net and making it easy for people to find and access the help they need.

Austin Washington, Co-Founder & Software Engineer of Monocle

Monocle creates a social reading experience through real-time, shared perspectives without requiring the reader to put the book down.

Aziza Ahson, Founder & CEO of OffGen

OffGen is the destination, discount-only marketplace for GenZ brands and consumers.

Brandon Mitchell, Founder & CEO of WriteSea

WriteSea is an all-in-one solution for your professional writing and coaching business.

Cassie Shih, Founder & CEO of Tripsha

Get help with planning, booking, and running your next retreat all on Tripsha. Their purpose-built platform combines software and services to simplify the trip organizer and attendee experience.

Chu-Chu Igbokwe, Founder & CEO of VerifyDaily

VerifyDaily is solving a $1.8 Trillion (annually) warehouse inventory discrepancy problem by counting and tracking all daily warehouse inventory warehouses using robots.

Daquan Oliver, Founder & CEO of WeThrive Hub

WeThrive Hub is an all-in-one program management software to save time and scale impact. WeThrive seamlessly integrates all of your core tools into one program management software that will scale your organization.

Demetrius Lancaster, Founder of Joy Education

Joy Education eliminates structured literacy deserts by providing virtual reading support for students and on-demand training for educators and families.

Denisha Kuhlor, Founder & CEO of Stan

Learn how to find, grow, and engage a global fanbase. Stan provides the insights, community, and courses you need to take your art to the next level.

Devin Dixon, Founder & CEO of BingeWave

BingeWave is the easiest and fastest way to build interactive experiences with live streaming, augmented reality, and virtual reality.

Dominique Olowolafe, Co-Founder & CEO of Lightly

Luxury baby care brand, dedicated to making the “getting there” easier for parents towing tiny humans. We design and sell customizable nursery kits, directly to luxury hotels.

Ethan Phan, Co-Founder & CTO of Plot Technologies, Inc.

Plot helps marketing teams easily keep track of projects and collaborate with teams. Quickly check project progress, access deliverables, provide feedback, and approve — all in one.

Eyoel Asfaw, Co-Founder of ShipShap

Online commerce is changing the world, and ShipShap is bringing a one-stop shipping solution to help businesses in emerging markets thrive in an age of digital commerce.

George Holmes, Founder & CEO of Hire Henry

Hire Henry develops robotic mowers for the modern worker. Their patent-pending semi-autonomous robotic mower, allows one worker to manage 10 mowers from the comfort of an air-conditioned office.

Grace Kim, Founder of Gander

Hire locals to help you find and tour your future apartment. Gander connects you to locals who will give you thorough Zoom apartment tours.

Hawa Hassan, Founder of Basbaas Foods

Basbaas is an African-inspired CPG food brand that strives to bring the flavors and culture of the Continent to consumers around the world.

Jada McLean, Founder & CEO of Ethically

Ethically makes conscious shopping as easy as unconscious shopping by providing shoppers with personalized product recommendations for everyday products. Brands can leverage Ethically to learn how to adapt to changing consumer’s needs as it relates to sustainability.

Javier Correa, Founder & CEO of Beacon

Beacon is fighting the loneliness epidemic by making it incredibly easy to make new friends while discovering the local social scene.

Jay Paulynice, Co-Founder & CEO of Oatfin

Oatfin enables companies to deliver cloud applications faster by helping transition from manual processes to self-service automation.

Jeremiah De Leon, Founder & CEO of stroll

stroll organizes everything in one workspace for you, your prospects, and your customers.

Jourdan Brunson, Co-Founder of kinkofa

kinkofa is the only family history platform focused on connecting and reuniting Black families. We’re making it easier than ever for Black folx to uncover, document, and preserve their unique origin stories.

Juan Carlos Escobar, Co-Founder & Head of Product Development of LevL

Levl rewards young people for staying on top of their mental health using a smart device and app. Levl’s remote monitoring platform also enables its providers to earn additional income while offering better mental healthcare.

Juan Medina, Founder of Lalo

Lalo is a platform that preserves stories, brings people together, and creates a safe space for people to share.

Karen Wilson, Founder of ChildNEXUS

ChildNEXUS is an online community of psychological, behavioral,
educational, medical, and legal professionals.

Kayla Glanville, Founder & CEO of Upaway

Upaway offers on-demand (human!) travel support and free trip organization together — in one app.

Kendall Finlay, Co-Founder & CEO of Ohm

Ohm is a matchmaking service for friendships.

Kimberly Jolasun, Founder & CEO of Villie

Villie is an innovative digital product suite where moms can receive support while bringing their community together.

Leah Freeman-Haskin, Founder of BLK Oceans

BLK Oceans™ inspires readers to celebrate Black founders and to discover and explore Black-owned brands in fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and kids.

Leslie Winston, CEO & Co-Founder of Monocle

Monocle creates a social reading experience through real-time, shared perspectives without requiring the reader to put the book down.

Luke Lennon, Founder & CEO of Namesake Collaborative

Namesake streamlines the legal name and gender marker change process for trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive individuals.

Megan Duong, Co-Founder & CEO of Plot

Plot helps marketing teams easily keep track of projects and collaborate with teams. Quickly check project progress, access deliverables, provide feedback, and approve — all in one.

Melanie Okuneye, Founder & CEO Akoma Health

Akomoa Health provides access to quality, on-demand therapy and support from the comfort of your home.

Nicodemus Madehdou, Founder & CEO of JumpButton Studio

JumpButton Studio provides company-building products that solve problems, invoke change, and inspire creativity through games and animated entertainment.

Nkem Oghedo, Founder and CEO of Adá

Adá is a media and commerce destination for global Black food culture.

Olutosin Sonuyi, Founder of Chord

Chord helps distributed communities organize themselves, exchange information, and thrive together.

Rebecca Kersch, Founder & CEO of TANGapp

TANGapp lets you send and receive payments from the U.S. to the Philippines for just 3%. Download today to buy phone loads for loved ones instantly.

Sarah Spear, Founder & CEO of Empowered Together

Empowered Together is centering the needs of families affected by disability, beginning with parents.

Sebastian Jackson, Founder & CEO of The Social Club

The Social Club is where care meets culture. They are building a wellness ecosystem that prioritizes the care of Black men and welcomes all seeking wholeness.

Shannon Morales, CEO & Founder of Tribaja

Tribaja is a talent marketplace and community that connects undersupported professionals to intentional training programs, city initiatives, and inclusive workplaces.

Sharon Obuobi, Co-Founder & CEO of Oarbt

Oarbt is a software solution for AI-personalized 3D furniture shopping with product recommendations from online retailers.

Simran Pabla, Co-Founder & Head of Product of Rivet

Rivet is an AI-driven CRM platform that helps artists and creators run their businesses by leveraging community-building, first-party fan data analytics, and machine learning intelligence.

Sydney Montgomery, Founder & CEO of Outline It, Inc.

Outline is an interactive writing platform for college and graduate school students that aims to bridge the equity gap by helping students with writing skills, as well as succeed and graduate from institutions of higher education and advance in their careers.

Tameshia Rudd-Ridge, Founder & CEO of kinkofa

kinkofa is the only family history platform focused on connecting and reuniting Black families. We’re making it easier than ever for Black folx to uncover, document, and preserve their unique origin stories.

Tania Kottoor, Co-Founder & CEO of WESTxEAST

WESTxEAST is an AI powered design platform for custom-fit ethnic clothing.

Uthman Alibalogun, Co-Founder of Monocle

Monocle creates a social reading experience through real-time, shared perspectives without requiring the reader to put the book down.

Yamillet Payano, Founder & CEO of Sign-Speak Inc.

Sign-Speak is an all-inclusive platform that has automated American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and production as well as close captioning for unstructured interactions allowing assistance to be provided in any situation.

Yvonne Barrera, Founder & CEO of Ye Olde Tutor

Ye Olde Tutor is a learning platform supporting middle school and high school students with interactive, personalized learning.

For more information, visit www.visiblehands.vc.

Press Contact:

Sumia Shaikh

Marketing Lead & Vice President

sumia@visiblehands.vc

About Visible Hands:

Visible Hands is a pre-seed platform that holistically supports overlooked founders. At the earliest stages of company-building, Visible Hands focuses on supporting founders as whole persons by providing funding, personalized support, and access to curated networks through our accelerator programs to help them build exceptional technology startups.

Visible Hands runs programming to support overlooked BIPOC and female founders. Its annual flagship accelerator is a 14-week, virtual-first accelerator, where 40+ founders are selected and given an initial investment of $25K (with a chance for an additional investment of up to $150K) to work on their ventures full-time.

Learn more at https://visiblehands.vc/

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Visible Hands

Visible Hands is a VC fund with a 14-week, virtual-first fellowship program that supports overlooked talent in building technology startups.