Seven startup businesses ranging from a sustainable packaging company to a maker of sleep monitoring technology have been chosen to participate in this fall’s Lighthouse Labs startup accelerator program in Richmond.
The founders of the early-stage businesses will go through an intensive 13-week program that includes business planning and expert mentoring to help the startups succeed and grow more quickly.
“The pool of applicants only continues to grow stronger with each new cohort,” said Todd Nuckols, executive director of Lighthouse Labs, a nonprofit that started the business accelerator program seven years ago.
Since it was founded, 41 startups have been through the program, and those companies subsequently have raised nearly $70 million in outside investments and have created more than 600 jobs, according to Lighthouse Labs.
Structured as a nonprofit organization, Lighthouse Labs invests $20,000 in each of the startups that go through the program, without taking any equity or fees from founders.
More than 100 startups applied for the Lighthouse Labs fall program, which starts Monday and runs through Nov. 15, when a Demo Day event is scheduled for the founders to pitch their businesses.
The seven startup companies in the fall cohort are:
Fringe: Provides a dynamic benefits platform to help companies offer employees non-traditional (fringe) benefits they understand and care about.
Hellofriend: A marketplace for social experiences, making it easier for college students and others to find fun things to do together near their location.
Light the Music: An education technology company that empowers students to create, learn and grow through the alchemy of music and art. The company offers an interactive set of tools, curriculum and content that empowers teachers to engage students in musical learning.
Kamana: A platform that enables health care recruiters, agencies, employers, medical professionals and nurses to efficiently fill open contract staffing needs.
NIRSleep: Developer of an easy-to-use wearable neuroimaging platform to monitor brain activity and calculate sleep indices. By measuring cerebral oxygenation, NIRSleep produces higher-quality data and more actionable insights than other wearables, without disrupting the sleeper.
Q Media: Connects inclusive businesses, via education, storytelling and technology, to the LGBTQ community’s $1 trillion purchasing power.
Terravive: A sustainable packaging company that mass produces single-use products for businesses. Terravive’s plant-based materials are used to make fully and cleanly biodegradable products, such as straws, utensils and consumer packaging. Terravive products decompose into oxygen, water and biotic matter in less than 90 days. The company was one of eight startups participating in the Target Incubator this summer.