Dr. Mary Jo Gorman of Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator.
Six more women-led startup companies, including three from St. Louis, have been brought into the Prosper Women Entrepreneurs accelerator program.
The new accelerator class includes companies that are developing cloud-based service platforms, a fitness tracker for mental health, ways to target online consumers without tracking cookies and an all-natural cookie dough maker.
Each company will receive a $50,000 investment from Prosper Women Entrepreneurs (PWE) in exchange for an equity stake in the startup.
To date, PWE has invested nearly $1.5 million into about 20 women-led startups. More than $300,000 in follow-on funding for graduated companies also has been invested by PWE.
PWE, founded by Jennifer Ehlen, is a nonprofit organization that trains and mentors women in the entrepreneurial community. Financial support for the accelerator, which is led by Managing Partner Mary Jo Gorman, has come from Cultivation Capital and grant money from the Small Business Administration.
“We were impressed by the applications we received,” Gorman said in a statement. “Our team of experts specializes in polishing pitches, and because of the face-to-face mentoring, we’ve seen participants propel their business forward. Multiple companies from our previous cohorts have already experienced rapid business growth and received significant follow-on funding. We look forward to providing the same results for this class of women business leaders.”
Here are the descriptions of the six new startups:
- Lean Media (St. Louis): Provides “cookieless” audience targeting for online display advertising to increase engagement and reduce waste from irrelevant ad placements.
- Mindset (St. Louis): A fitness tracker for mental health that connects to third-party heart-rate monitors to detect stress and anxiety.
- Music Spoke (Lincoln, Nebraska): An online marketplace that connects music buyers and sellers, allowing composers to retain copyrights and sell directly to music teachers, conductors and performers through digital downloads.
- Precision Image Analysis (Seattle): Has developed a cloud-based medical image post-processing and analysis for use in diagnostic medical studies that allows the customer to upload images, monitor, track, retrieve and edit analyses remotely.
- Ripplenami (San Diego): A cloud-based visualization platform that helps deliver mapping solutions on any device, allowing users to easily solve problems, make critical decisions and collaborate.
- Soozie’s Doozie’s (St. Louis): A refrigerated brand of all-natural cookie dough in a resealable bag. The product is available in the refrigerated case in more than 800 stores across the country.
Women-owned businesses are a fast-growing segment of the U.S. business market, according to a study of small and mid-sized business owners conducted by the American City Business Journals(the St. Louis Business Journal’s parent company), with women expected to own 39 percent of all U.S. businesses by 2017.
Further, about 32 percent of women-owned businesses are actively expanding, compared to just 27 percent of men-owned businesses; and 77 percent of women owners plan to hire full-time employees over the next 12 months.