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Each day, more than 1,200 companies are created by women in the United States, a number that’s seen a significant increase over the past two years. Prosper Women Entrepreneurs plans to keep that average on the rise in the US through identifying, coaching, and advancing women-led companies.
Twice a year, PWE’s Prosper Capital Startup Accelerator–one of the first accelerators in the country designed exclusively for women-led startups–awards promising businesses funding and support. Last week, it announced the five startups comprising its fall 2015 cohort.
Each startup will receive a $50,000 capital investment as well as office space in Downtown’s T-REX, and access to mentors and investors during its three-month accelerator program. Additionally, there is potential for future support once the program is over.
“Our Startup Accelerator is unique not only because we focus solely on women-led businesses; as far as we know, there is also no other accelerator that provides follow-on funding for selected companies,” says Mary Jo Gorman, MD, MBA, Lead Managing Partner of Prosper Capital and Founder/former CEO of Advanced ICU Care. “Multiple companies from our first round of Startup Accelerator participants have already received follow-on funding. We’re looking forward to providing the same results for this class of entrepreneurial women.”
From security software to health advances and game-changing products, the Fall 2015 cohort is made up of a range of innovative companies. Read on to learn more about the fall class:
Bandura Systems, LLC
Anyone who was burned by Target or Schnucks data breaches in the last few years knows that cyber security deserves some much-needed attention. Bandura Systems was recognized for its work in combating cyber threats in enterprise and government networks by delivering innovative network solutions. The revenue-producing company just completed SixThirty’s spring accelerator program.
“Prosper Women Entrepreneurs’ leadership is a who’s-who of successful business women who are outstanding role models and advisors, exponentially expanding our resources and making introductions for sales and follow-on investment,” says Suzanne Magee, CEO of Bandura Systems and native St. Louisan. “We look to connect to the vast network of Prosper Capital investors as we move from our bridge funding round to a Series A.”
EDIS Solutions, LLC
EDIS (Electric Drug Information Systems) gathers, filters, and presents the pharmaceutical intelligence needed for effective strategic planning and forecasting allowing competitive insight in making the right decisions for business growth and success. The St. Louis-based company has had previous investment from BioGenerator, the investment arm of BioSTL, through the BioGenerator Concept Fund.
“I’ve been involved with Prosper Women Entrepreneurs for over a year now, first at teaching events and then by becoming involved in the first Prosper Institute Mastermind class,” says CEO, Nannette Musgrave. “I can honestly say that without having been introduced to Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, to Mary Jo Gorman and, through her, to the entire PWE experience, I don’t know how my company would be faring at this point. They are an integral part of the EDIS success story.”
Janus Choice, LLC
Janus Choice, based in Rockford, Illinois, provides solutions for improving the hospital discharge process and empowering the patient in choosing the right skilled nursing facility. Patients and their families can make a decision without leaving the hospital room, benefiting both the patient and the hospitals in expediting the discharge process and lessening the likelihood of readmission due to improper care.
“After spending my first few days with the Prosper Capital team, I felt not just like a program participant, but like a member of a family,” says Alexandra “Sasha” Goodwin, CEO of Janus Choice. “I am very happy that I was selected and I’m looking forward to the next 12 weeks of the program and years of friendships and collaboration afterward.”
Headquartered in Atlanta, SkyMedicus is the world’s leading provider of domestic and international medical tourism resources and information. Using a comprehensive online medical and dental platform, SkyMedicus saves money for clients by providing access to medical treatments unavailable in their local areas.
“Sometimes we are stunted by our lack of connections and access to advisors that are simply outside a startup’s resources. PWE levels that playing field for women entrepreneurs,“ said Amy Holcomb of SkyMedicus.
It’s not just the content that is important in storytelling right now, it’s how it’s displayed, making Taptl a product to watch. Based out of Miami, Florida, Taptl has developed the world’s only stand-alone transparent LCD. These transparent displays are applicable for storefront windows, kiosks, office buildings, shopping malls and more.
“Throughout the year, we’ve received inquiries from investors, but many had expressed a concern regarding the risk at our stage, says CEO and Co-Founder, Mary Wolff. “Upon merely announcing to our network that Taptl will participate in the Prosper Capital Startup Accelerator program, our credibility was instantly established and the attention we have received from prospective investors has skyrocketed.”
With the goal of giving these big-market ideas and the women behind them the funding and support necessary to grow and thrive, Prosper Capital’s three-month Startup Accelerator program culminates with a Demo Day on November 11, where the five companies will be able to pitch a full house of business leaders, angel investors, venture capitalists and potential clients.
Applications for the spring 2016 Startup Accelerator class open today.
This blog was created in collaboration with Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, a member of the EQ Network.