In recent weeks, my adventures in Boston have taken me to Dudley Square frequently. Dudley Station opened more than 100 years ago in 1901, and in that century evolved to become one of Boston’s busiest and most influential centers of commerce. Call it a comeback: after decades of hardship, we now look on as Dudley Square is being redeveloped by the city into an important urban center.
Cathy and I toured a space that is a terrific burst of innovation in Dudley Square: Smarter in the City. Just launching its second cohort, Smarter is a unique incubator and accelerator for local entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities to develop their companies, while advancing technical and business skills.
“Smarter in the City is essentially a hybrid of the incubator and accelerator models—workspaces where new and innovative startup ideas can grow with supportive colleagues, dedicated mentorship, a tailored education curriculum and pre-seed funding,” said Gilad Rosenzweig, Founder and Executive Director of Smarter in the City. “Our participants are early stage entrepreneurs who will have a short yet intense time to advance their products.”
On February 6, the 2015 cohort will begin working at Smarter in the City. Meet this year’s startups:
|The Tech Connection unifies underrepresented groups in the technology industry. They connect minority tech talent to workforce opportunities to both accelerate careers and support the high demand for employees in this sector. Specifically, they work with early career Software Engineering and IT professionals from underrepresented backgrounds and connect them to start-up companies.|
|Dreamers provides our strong immigrant population with tools for better pathways to wider workforce opportunities. Through the use of data analytics and community outreach, and with the backing of academic research, they will help communities better understand their education and health disparities.With web-based machine-learning algorithms, Dreamers will enhance and develop educational tools and skills needed to qualify for job training, advanced education, and improved health.|
|Techtrition, Inc. is a health education company decoding mobile health and wearable technology through a combination of individual health consulting, technology research and health/nutrition education.|
|Fittus is a mobile application that helps gym members find workout partners based on their activity preference and schedule. Personal trainers and gym owners can also use Fittus to create and manage relationships with their existing members.|
|Door to the Outdoors inspires people of color to develop an adventurous and environmentally conscious connection with nature through adventure travel and inclusive online content that caters to individuals underrepresented in the great outdoors.|
|Loadlytics is a web-based dispatch management system and dashboard that allows trucking companies to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations.|
|Beacon Lab Partners is a financial wellness firm aimed at serving leading businesses, public sector organizations and institutions, and non-profits. Backed by fifteen years of industry research, they are producing a platform to increase the financial literacy of employees.|
Congrats to the 2015 cohort – we look forward to working with each of you this year!
For more information on Smarter in the City, please visit smarterinthecity.com.
Tags: accelerator, Aimee Sprung, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Beacon Lab Partners, Bing Health & Fitness app, Boston, Dudley Square, Fitness, Fittus, health, Inc., incubator, Loadlytics, massachusetts, microsoft, Microsoft New England, Roxbury, Smarter in the City, software engineering, startup, startups, technology, Techtrition, The Tech Connection