Archives For NewME Accelerator

As the saying goes, and then there where three! Leaked via Twitter last night and now public information, AisleFinder which enables shoppers to quickly and efficiently find the items they want to buy within grocery stores announced they have raised an angel round. Curtiss Pope, AisleFinder, CEO doesn’t disclosed how much the company has raised but he tells the story about how and why he raised fund for AisleFinder in a post called Money Talks. From the Facebook announcement Curtis says, that” Aislefinder will use the funds to take care of some things, and also achieve some milestones over the coming months that will help us serve our customers better”.

Very excited to announce that we have teamed up w/ @aislefinder for grocery deliveries! Sep 08 17:22:02 via HootSuite

Along with the funding news AisleFinder announced a new partnership with TaskRabbit to provide grocery delivery for their current users. The new AisleFinder and TaskRabbit partnership currently supports San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston.

This makes the third startup that participated in the NewMe Accelerator summer program to announce have raised startup capital joining OneSchool and BeCouply. I’m sure it’s not the last. Congrats Curtis and the AisleFinder team.


Be sure to read the cnet article that featured Curtiss Pope, AisleFinder and the NewMe Accelerator here: Minority entrepreneurs set up own Valley incubator .

To other minority led startups seeking to raise funds, good luck and continue to prove me wrong!


Today it was announced that BeCouply, the mobile app that helps couples have epic social lives received Pre-Seed Investment from Kapor Capital. This is the second startup that participated in the NewMe Accelerator that announced they have raised capital. OneSchool was the first as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

As reported on BlackWeb 2.0:

BeCouply just received a pre-seed investment by Kapor Capital.

“We’re making a pre-seed investment in BeCouply to enable them to complete development work on the product, said Mitchell Kapor. We think the team has identified a social network segment, couples, which is currently not well served.”

BeCouply allows couples to engage and interact with each other on a different level. The app intends to capture the moments people share as a couple and connect with other couples on the go. In addition, users will be able to get new date ideas and deals.

With the investment, BeCouply will come to life sooner than later so that couples can start sharing their memories instantly.

This is great news as many has asked how would we measure the success of the NewMe Accelerator. I’ve often said the fact that we decided to launch the accelerator, move to Silicon Valley for the summer and complete the program we’re successful. But in the startup space its all about raising capital and not just launching a program. So… now that makes two NewMe Accelerator startups out of 11. For the startups in the program that are still in the process or trying to raise capital good luck and keep working hard. To investors… #cutthecheckalready!

You can see the full list of startups that participated in the NewMe Accelerator 2011 first class here:

Video Trailer: The Journey of startups about NewMe Accelerator in Silicon Valley being covered by CNN for Black in America 4 that airs Nov. 13 with Soledad O’Brien .

Originally posted on Blackweb 2.0

Mitch Kapor mentoring NewMe Accelerator Startups

The NewMe Accelerator just completed it’s first full week of working with amazing mentors and speakers from the Silicon Valley. Closing out the week NewMe startups had a chance sit down for one on one sessions with well known Venture Capitalist Mitch Kapor @mkapor of Kapor Capital. Before the sessions begin Mitch talked to the NewMe Accelerator startups first class on how he learned about the accelerator, why the NewMe Accelerator is important to have in the Silicon Valley and what Kapor Capital looks for in startups when considering investing. Take a look at the video and notes below.

Why the NewMe Accelerator is important for the Silicon Valley?

“Access is inequitable, not everybody has a shot”
“Not everybody has a shot, give them the support they need to compete on a level playing flied, then they’ll do really well. “
“There’s no question that there’s a dramatic under representation of people of color in the Silicon Valley echo system.”

What are the areas that Kapor Capital look for in startups as an angle investment firm?
  • The founding team… people first before ideas.
  • mobile web/mobile apps
  • High social impact startups
  • Startups that practice the lean startup method

The NewMe Accelerator is supported by generous sponsors, speakers, and mentors. Sponsors include: Interactive One, Google, Tagged, Gunderson Dettmer, Syncom Ventures, PepsiCo, Kapor Capital, Bronze Investments,, and e3 Innovation Fund.

The Silicon Valley Welcomes First of its Kind Minority Accelerator was originally posted on


Silicon Valley welcomed the first ever technology accelerator for minority-led start-ups, NewME Accelerator. NewME’s select participants commenced their first class on June 16 and will participate in this program throughout the summer.  The start-up founders are based in a shared house in Mountain View, Calif. and are utilizing co-working space at Citizen Space in San Francisco.

This program gives the founders a unique opportunity to learn from key industry leaders during private group dinners and one-on-one mentorship. The founders will leverage this once-in-a-lifetime access, and being in the epicenter of Silicon Valley’s culture, for nine weeks to take their ventures to the next level.  Speakers and mentors will include representatives from successful start-ups such as Tagged, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Zynga Games. The accelerator concludes with a demo day at Kapor Capital August 4th where founders will pitch their products to various investors and members of the start-up community.

“The amount of support and interest from the Silicon Valley community in the NewME Accelerator is overwhelming,” shared Founder & co-Producer Angela Benton. “It serves as a testament to not only the need for a program like this, but also to the excitement and stewardship of the mentors and companies who are participating.  We are thrilled about this summer and the companies and individuals who’ve agreed to be involved.”

The accelerator provides housing, transportation and other basic living needs in addition to the mentorship and access to some of the industry’s elite minds. The intent of the program is to remove some of the barriers involved with being an entrepreneur and help pave the way for even greater success.  The program is supported by various sponsors who support not only the program’s mission but entrepreneurship in general.  Many of the program’s supporters view their participation in the 9 week long program as an opportunity to connect with budding entrepreneurs and expand their own businesses.

“Whether it is with our 100 million registered users or our own employees, everyday Tagged celebrates diversity and the entrepreneurial spirit. The opportunity to partner with the Accelerator is a natural fit for us,” said Greg Tseng co-founder and CEO of Tagged. “In addition to helping racially diverse entrepreneurs get their start, as my co-founder and I once did, our involvement also helps us connect with and ultimately attract the best talent to Tagged.  The NewME Accelerator is providing both the entrepreneurs and us with a great opportunity to connect, learn and teach.”

NewME has a total of thirteen start-ups participating in its first cycle.  Five were pre-selected while the other eight were selected from a large pool of applicants. Eight of the participating companies will travel to Silicon Valley to be housed this summer while the other 5 are Bay area locals. Applications were evaluated by the producers of the accelerator and selected based on concept, quality of pitch, and the problem the product solves in addition to several other criteria.

Yesterday the group gathered at Zibbibo in Palo Alto to commence the programs curriculum with it’s first speaker out of a series of others with Interactive One CTO Navarrow Wright.  The discussion included practical information on how each participants pitch could be modified along with candid stories of Wright’s experiences leading technology teams and raising money in Silicon Valley.

The start-ups include:  goKit,, Pencil You In, Cued, TriOut , BeCouply, Playd, FetchMob, Aislefinder,, Mosion, Qykno, +1 stealth start-up.

The NewME Accelerator is supported by generous sponsors, speakers, and mentors.  Sponsors include:  Interactive One, Google, Tagged, Gunderson Dettmer, Syncom Ventures, PepsiCo, Kapor Capital, Bronze Investments,, and e3 Innovation Fund.

NewME Accelerator

Originally posted on BlackWeb 2.0 by Angela Benton

Important Note:  You may see Angela and I say #BOOM consistently in the coming weeks and throughout the summer, it’s our version of the fist bump, lol :)

We are just a couple of weeks out at this point and we are still in awe about the amount of support that we’ve gotten not only from speakers and mentors but also from the people who are financially and resourcefully helping to make this historic program happen.  When we first conceptualized even putting something like this together we knew it was a huge idea, and to be frank I was hesitant at first mainly because I knew it was such a BIG idea and BIG ideas need a lot of support to make happen.  As soon as we started reaching out to people about the program any hesitation that I’d had in the past just plain disappeared.

It takes so much more than money to make something like this happen.  It takes time, resources, physical space, knowledge that’s willing to be shared and so much more.  Throughout the summer we are going to be streaming and tweeting as much as possible (you’ll see it all from a forth coming page designed to pull everything in one place) so that you can be included in the experience as much as possible.  From there you’ll be able to see the level of involvement from the people who are supporting this program.  It’s so much more than just a sponsorship.

That said a heartfelt thanks to our sponsors partners who are helping make this a reality: