Today, I’m pleased to announce the 10 startups joining the 2020 MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars. This year’s startup class is building solutions for financial wellness and engagement, helping customers and families save money, tackle debt, stay healthy, care for seniors and children, and close the racial wealth gap.
Personal finances are the No. 1 source of stress for employees. More than four in 10 U.S. workers – roughly 50 million overall – say they are not financially healthy, according to MetLife’s 2020 Employee Benefit Trend Study.
With today’s worldwide climate, I feel very fortunate to be running this program with MetLife. MetLife will be providing global resources to support this class of 10 startups. MetLife’s purpose— “Always with you, building a more confident future”—sums up their approach to supporting these startups. That statement is the cornerstone of the accelerator programs I’ve run for Techstars over the last 6 years.
This year’s class is diverse across the founding teams and the businesses they are building worldwide, from New York to Hong Kong. A number of the founders are repeat tech entrepreneurs with successful exits. Culturally, founders in this class span a wide range of heritages including Jamaican, Mexican, American Indian, Hongkonger, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese, Chinese, and first-generation Polish immigrants.
This year’s program will run in a mostly virtual format, with some in-person experiences, pending safety, and travel-openness. As I tell all of my startups, “use your constraints to your advantage,” and I’m doing the same.
A virtual accelerator is not a lesser, or less valuable, accelerator. It provides the ability to embrace the constraints to innovate, being globally inclusive with mentors, investors, and interesting new technologies. Stay tuned for a future blog post highlighting how we’re using our constraints as innovation levers.
I am excited to present this year’s 10 companies and look forward to the next 13 weeks of learning, mentoring and growth. Welcome, Metlife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars class of 2020!
The Class of 2020
- ChangEd — Chicago, IL — A mobile first platform that accelerates debt repayment at every stage of life (e.g., student loans, mortgages) to get borrowers out of debt sooner. ChangEd automates savings, payments and develops an intelligent debt repayment journey.
- Dot — New York, NY — Mobile-first robot financial advisor delivering personalized recommendations helping people increase savings, optimize spending, and plan for retirement.
- FinGoal — Boulder, CO — White-labeled API & SDKs that use AI to analyze consumer behavior providing personalized, less expensive alternatives (from a cup of coffee to insurance and everything in between).
- Holisticly — New York, NY — Benefits platform that allows employers to provide employees with a monthly wellness stipend and access to a curated range of personal wellness solutions for fitness and mental health, plus team experiences (e.g., team workouts, workshops, and seminars).
- InterGen Data — Plano, TX — AI platform that predicts the likelihood of life-changing events so people can prepare for the moments that matter.
- Kinside — Los Angeles, CA — Connects employees to a network of 1M daycare and preschool spots,with pre-negotiated spaces and exclusive savings. Payments are made pre-tax via an API integration with FSAs and TPAs.
- LivNao — Sunnyvale, CA — Deep learning wellness platform that passively measures mental health for delivery of behavioral nudges to improve wellbeing.
- Mellow -— Hong Kong — Mobile platform for parents to teach kids, ages 6-18, how to build money habits and use digital payments across savings, spending, and earnings.
- OfColor — Maplewood, NJ — An enterprise financial wellness platform that provides content, banking tools, and AI advice built around how people of color save, spend, and build wealth.
- Village Plan — Boston, MA — Telehealth platform with on-demand experts and technology tools to help families care for aging loved ones.