The Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator (NMBFA) is officially back for a second year with a new cohort of five tech startups. The 12-week accelerator is open to Black entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. in the fintech, digital health, insurtech or data analytics industries. This year’s cohort includes Milwaukee-based Wellacy Health. Founded by Marlon Ross, Wellacy Health helps providers better engage, monitor, and treat patients’ physical and mental health care needs. The remaining four startups include Atlanta-based What-If Collective; Prior Lake, Minnesota-based UzObi, Inc.; Houston-based SpenDebt; and Chicago-based Centinel. “It has been an honor to watch the startups we’ve partnered with achieve remarkable success as they drive innovation, disrupt industries, and lift our communities,” said Craig Schedler, managing director of Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. “I’m confident these new businesses – like their predecessors – will deliver the exceptional performance to match their exceptional promise.” The NMBFA is a collaboration between Northwestern Mutual and gener8tor to advance Black tech startups based in the United States. Both organizations came together through their desire to buck the trend of lagging funding provided to Black founders. Participants in the NMBFA are paired with an executive mentor from Northwestern Mutual and receive the opportunity to pitch their business one-on-one to over 70 different potential investors. Founders are also awarded a $100,000 cash investment and the possibility to earn $1 million in deals from vendors including IBM Cloud, Rackspace, Amazon, PayPal and Microsoft. “We are thrilled to welcome a new class of innovative startups into our portfolio,” said Precious Drew, senior managing director of the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator. “It is a great privilege to provide these startups with the resources they need to continue to grow and develop their companies, which in turn grows surrounding communities.”
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