Over the last month, we’ve had the privilege of getting to know the inspiring people who make up the 2022 Fast Forward Accelerator Cohort. Now you will, too. We’re thrilled to reveal (and seriously inspire you with) our ninth Accelerator cohort.
These innovators have what it takes to build solutions that positively impact lives at scale. They’re impact-minded. Tech-driven. They’ve got entrepreneurial grit, and an unwavering commitment to solving the problem they’re tackling. In fact, every single one of the tech nonprofits in this cohort have a founder who has personal experience with the problem they’ve set out to solve.
So what are they building? From an app facilitating trusted mentorship within the LGBTQ+ community (hey, Worthy Mentoring!), to open-source AI models to cure neglected diseases in low-income countries (go Ersilia!), their solutions span issue areas and continents. The organizations in this cohort are headquartered in the U.S., the UK, India, and Ghana. 78% have a founder who is a person of color, and 67% have a founder who is a woman.
The learning and connection-building of the Accelerator is already underway. The cohort kicked off the program by engaging in meaningful conversations with tech nonprofit experts (and Fast Forward alums) Michelle Brown of CommonLit, Jared Chung of CareerVillage, and more. Through micro-mentoring sessions, the entrepreneurs have already fostered connections with employees at our partner companies Google.org, DigitalOcean, and Splunk. They’re excited to learn from employees at the rest of our partners throughout the spring. And the grand finale of the Accelerator? Demo Day! Yes, it’s happening. And yes, we can’t wait to see you there.
Many thanks to our Accelerator partners: Google.org, BlackRock, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation, Bloomberg, Okta, Twilio.org, ServiceNow, Dell Technologies, Deloitte, CTIA Wireless Foundation, DigitalOcean, Splunk Inc., NewRelic.org, The Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and The Nasiri Foundation!
Meet the tech nonprofits in our 2022 Accelerator:
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP): Hub for U.S. asylum seekers to access work permits and legal aid. Founded by Swapna Reddy, who has a background in AI and immigration law, and Ngan Tran, a software engineer who was born in a refugee camp in Singapore.
Center for New Data: Cutting-edge data tools to combat voter suppression and protect democracy. Founded by Daniel Wein and Steven Davenport, who bring deep experience in policy, data, and research.
Empowr: Culturally-relevant curriculum preparing Black youth for careers in tech. Founded by Adrian Devezin, who taught himself to code while working in a call center, and Rejoice Jones, a community leader committed to bridging education and technology.
Ersilia: Open-source AI models empowering scientists in low-income countries to cure neglected diseases. Founded by Miquel Duran-Frigola and Gemma Turon, biology PhDs uniting their scientific expertise with their shared passion for global health.
Gramhal: Chatbot connecting rural Indian farmers with data to increase agency and income. Founded by Achint Sanghi, Vikas Birhma, and Simeen Kaleem, who combine an understanding of farmers’ needs, experience in agri-tech, and a track record of building scalable solutions.
Stuttering Scholarship Alliance: Digital platform making speech therapy affordable and accessible for people who stutter. Founded by Nathan Mallipeddi, whose personal experience with stuttering inspired him to launch the Stuttering Scholarship Alliance.
Unlocked Labs: Offline education software unlocking Pell Grants and college degrees for incarcerated people. Founded by Jessica Hicklin and Chris Santillan, who were previously incarcerated and built Unlocked Labs from inside prison, and Haley Shoaf, who has worked with the justice-involved community for over a decade.
Worthy Mentoring: App facilitating trusted mentorship within the LGBTQ+ community. Founded by Michael Edmonson, who is building the platform he wished he had when he came out.
Yielding Accomplished African Women (Yaa W): Digital community for advancing Black college women in STEM. Founded by Diana Wilson, a first-generation Ghanaian-American bent on empowering Black women to become leaders in STEM.
Get a peek into the Accelerator by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn. And of course, keep an eye out for your Demo Day invite by subscribing to our newsletter, What’s Good in Tech. We can’t wait to cheer on these entrepreneurs with you then!