Morgan Stanley Picks 9 Startups For New Cohort, Focused On Multicultural And Women Founders

By Amit Chowdhry ● April 14, 2020
  • Morgan Stanley announced the fourth cohort of the Multicultural Innovation Lab, an accelerator program for technology-enabled startups in the post-seed to Series B funding rounds

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has announced the fourth cohort of the Multicultural Innovation Lab, which is an accelerator program for technology-enabled startups in the post-seed to Series B funding rounds. The program — which is now in its fourth year and with 32 total participating companies — targets startups with a multicultural or woman founder, co-founder, CTO or other C-suite member that is developing innovative solutions across sectors.

After 3 successful years that resulted in company acquisitions and additional funding rounds, the Lab will make investments in these early–stage high growth companies and will support the growth and development through its ecosystem of internal and external partners.

The Lab was designed to help drive positive economic outcomes for entrepreneurs of color and women by providing content, visibility, technical support, and connectivity with important stakeholders who might be essential in accelerating the growth of their businesses as well as access to an ecosystem of best in class global partners providing a variety of resources.

The companies that are participating in the program were selected out of a record of over 450 applications received. They began the program in early March and are currently operating in a virtual format, using online video platforms to facilitate the Lab curriculum.

And the entrepreneurs receive support from a dedicated Morgan Stanley team delivering tailored experiences to help each company grow. The program runs through the Fall, culminating in the fourth Multicultural Innovation Lab Showcase and Demo Day that will showcase the companies to potential investors through showcase format presentations.

The companies that have been selected for the 2020 cohort are:

ADAPDIX – A software-based platform that monitors and detects equipment, component or system degradations to alert equipment engineering managers before a failure.

BaseCap Analytics – A software company that enables organizations to efficiently improve their data quality.

Henry Health – A platform that provides culturally sensitive self-care support and teletherapy as an employee benefit for people of color, beginning with black men.

MedHaul – A web-based marketplace that enables healthcare providers to book personalized Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) rides for patients based on their special needs.

Noodie Foods – Offers healthier, instant, shelf-stable and delicious meals for convenience-seeking consumers.

Praxis Labs – A SaaS company that develops Virtual Reality (VR) based diversity and inclusion (D&I) training modules for the workplace.

SoHookd – A wellness rewards platform that allows enterprises to gift and incentivize customers and employees at scale.

TeleTails – A software platform that connects pet owners with high-quality, trusted veterinary care virtually.

Windpact – A technology and materials science company focused on the analysis, design, and implementation of impact protection solutions.

Key Quotes:

“We are proud to kick off our fourth Lab cohort having witnessed firsthand the success of the program in bringing these businesses to scale. We launched the Multicultural Client Strategy Group five years ago with the mission to address a $4 trillion market inefficiency by raising awareness of the funding gap with the investment community to accelerate growth in companies with diverse founders.”

-Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley and Head of the Multicultural Client Strategy Group

“This year’s program has fully kicked off virtually and been running seamlessly. In addition to our pre-established curriculum, the Lab is supporting and advising the Cohort around management and operational decisions amid COVID-19, sharing resources from the Firm and beyond. This has generated a great sense of community among the participating entrepreneurs as they work to evolve their impressive businesses during an unprecedented time.”

-Alice Vilma, Co-Head of the Multicultural Innovation Lab