Submitted by Nielsen
Tampa Bay Wave is proud to announce that our longtime sponsor, the Nielsen Foundation, has committed to an additional three years of funding for the TechDiversity Accelerator, which supports diversity and inclusion in the tech startup industry across Tampa Bay and beyond. Powered by the Nielsen Foundation since its inception in 2018, this unique 90-day program supports high-growth early-stage tech startups that are 51% owned, controlled, and operated by underrepresented founders.
This multi-year commitment will continue to build the program and support the high-growth diverse-led tech startups participating in the 2023, 2024, and 2025 TechDiversity Accelerator cohorts. This extremely competitive program selects participants among hundreds of applications from across the United States and abroad; previous TechDiversity members hailed from over 120 cities, representing nearly all 50 states and 30 countries!
Thank you to the Nielsen Foundation for their generous support! We look forward to seeing how this multi-year commitment will continue to drive social and economic change by advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the entrepreneurial tech ecosystem. To commemorate this ongoing partnership with the Nielsen Foundation, we would like to recognize several successful TechDiversity startups that embody the mission of this program. Join us in celebrating the achievements of innovative founders disrupting their respective industries and solving real-world problems to create a brighter future for all!
LunaJoy (2022 TechDiversity Accelerator)
Women-led healthtech startup, LunaJoy, is breaking down barriers and disrupting women’s healthcare! The digital care clinic supports women through their lifespans by providing in-network therapy, medication management, and coaching. Co-founders Sipra Laddha, MD, and Shama Rathi are psychiatrists, mothers, and problem-solvers. Having experienced firsthand the lack of mental health resources available for mothers, they created a solution that ensures women receive accessible and affordable care. After launching the clinic in 2021, they joined the Y Combinator accelerator program, closed an oversubscribed seed round, and the pair will soon start raising funds for a Series A round!
Home Lending Pal (2020 TechDiversity Accelerator)
Home Lending Pal (HLP), the first-ever AI-powered mortgage advisor, is mitigating bias for underrepresented home buyers. CEO Bryan Young built the platform to make homeownership a possibility for everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. On a mission to disrupt the mortgage industry, the fintech company partnered with tech giant IBM, which has been integral to their growth and expansion, helping to stabilize the technology and focus on data security. New York Times bestseller, Malcolm Gladwell, interviewed HLP on Smart Talks with IBM to discuss how they are utilizing blockchain technology to close the homeownership gap and facilitate systemic change within the home buying process by concealing social identifiers from lenders. In 2022, HLP acquired tech startup, Horizons, to further simplify the home buying process and strengthen their approach to connecting customers with lenders. The AI and digital ledger technology was also recognized on UNESCO’s Global Top 100 list of projects achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals!
SoLo Funds (2020 TechDiversity Accelerator)
SoLo Funds, the first ever Black-owned fintech startup to obtain B Corp Certification, creates opportunities for underserved communities to partake in an equitable economy. The mobile and online lending platform is an innovative new model for peer-to-peer lending, which provides microloans with terms set by the borrower. Co-founders Rodney Williams and Travis Holoway (featured by Forbes on the Next 1000) created SoLo Funds to serve and empower underrepresented communities by offering financial solutions in emergencies and raising financial literacy. In 2020, SoLo Funds won Startup of the Year at the 8th Annual Startup of the Year Summit! The FinTech company also partnered with Habitat for Humanity International and United Way to give users the ability to donate a portion of their revenue to non-profits.
Learn more even more of the TechDiversity Accelerator startups that embody the mission of this program here.
Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future.
More from Nielsen