The Desai Accelerator, a University of Michigan accelerator open to early-stage alumni startups, announced the four companies accepted into its 2021 cohort. As part of the accelerator program, the ventures will be provided with funding, tailored mentorship opportunities, national visibility and other resources to achieve successful sustainability.
The Desai Accelerator, managed by the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business, nurtures ventures over a seven-month program during the critical phase of early-stage development. The companies selected for 2021 are currently generating revenue and include:
- Aurora Tights is a performance athletic brand that produces and sells shade and size-inclusive tights for women of color. For athletes in performance sports such as ice skating, dance, cheer, and gymnastics. Aurora primarily sells tights direct-to-consumer in five shades, two styles, and seven sizes.
- BreezeBubble produces a smart mask with a flexible edge design that provides high comfort, breathability, and protection. BreezeBubble’s next product is a high-tech version of this mask with a fan component for increased breathability
- LeaseMagnets is the first video-based digital leasing assistant that can be installed as an overlay to any apartment website, making it easier for renters to imagine what life really is like living at that property.
- Revolin Sports provides conscientious athletes with high performance, sustainable sporting equipment. They utilize cutting edge, renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable materials and sustainable manufacturing processes to create equipment that performs as well or better than existing products
Commonalities among the startups selected for the program include social impact focus areas, and BIPOC and female founders. “These teams have found traction building companies that intimately reflect their personal experiences and interests. The issues they’re addressing did not disappear during the pandemic or because of virtual interaction exacerbated by those current realities of our world. With a year of virtual acceleration under our belts, Desai is well-positioned to provide mission-critical, relevant programing that delivers results.”
This year’s program features a two-week kickoff boot camp and a focus on key milestones, meaningful deliverables, growing scalable, sustainable businesses and funding expertise. Entrepreneurs will continue to benefit from the assistance of nine interns from across the University of Michigan, the expertise of consistent meetings with lead mentors, and additional support from industry and skills experts that will help guide the entrepreneurs through developing their businesses.
In 2020, the Desai Accelerator Endowment Fund was established thanks to a generous donation from the Desai Sethi Family Foundation to continue to support the program’s efforts. Alumni companies include Ash and Erie, which won an investment from Mark Cuban after appearing on “Shark Tank”; MySwimPro, named 2016 Apple Watch App of the Year; Circadian Risk, which closed a seed round to provide physical security risk assessments to enterprise organizations including Fortune 100 companies; and Jottful, which contracts with the Small Business Development Corporation to provide web presences to small businesses.
Visit http://desaiaccelerator.umich.edu/ for more information.