From Dumpling Makers to VR Job‑Trainers, Impact Ventures Welcomes its Newest Startups

Dallas-based nonprofit accelerator Impact Ventures has unveiled the lineup of its latest cohort, made up of nearly 20 companies.

A new crop of diverse founders is looking to scale their businesses with the help of a local organization.

Dallas-based nonprofit accelerator Impact Ventures has unveiled the lineup of its newest cohort, made up of nearly 20 companies that span from Himalayan dumpling makers to virtual reality job-training platforms.

Benjamin Vann

“(Last week) kicked off the next 12 weeks of building the world we envision for generations to come—centering relationships, honoring the wisdom of our ancestors and those who came before us, championing liberation, and centering joy,” said Benjamin Vann, Impact Ventures founder and CEO, in a LinkedIn post.

Through the program, companies will receive mentorship and training, focusing on things like growth framework, customer acquisition, preparing for fundraising, and hiring practices. With its previous cohort, Impact Ventures split its programming into two tracks. Its Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program focuses on small businesses that are looking to grow through flexible debt capital, while its Inclusive Innovation track focuses on tech-enabled pre-seed and seed-stage companies.

A pipeline to potential funding

In addition to programming, Impact Ventures uses its accelerator as a pipeline for its recently launched Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund, which focuses on providing flexible loans and “patient equity” investments aimed at the structural barriers founders of color face when it comes to accessing capital. Vann previously said a founder’s character and commitment during the accelerator program is used in the fund’s underwriting process.

Providing investment routes like credit lines, revenue-based financing, and convertible note options, Impact Ventures is ultimately looking to raise $20 million for the fund. Vann previously said Impact Ventures is looking to make investments of around $100,000 in pre-seed companies and seed-stage investments between $250,000 and $500,000 across 12 to 15 companies with a pilot fund.

Meet the cohort members

  • Lash & Soul (Plano)—a lash and wellness studio
  • Secure & Known (Argyle)—a creator of toys and playdates that help teach kids life skills
  • myProducer—a company that helps produce, distribute, and market podcasts
  • Ellium (Plano)—an energy sector-focused company developing a mobile app that it says makes “land records easy to access, update, and share”
  • Black Girl Magic Museum (Mesquite)—an interactive museum that “showcases the brilliance of Black women”
  • Victory Lab Micro-Clean (McKinney)—an infection prevention services company
  • Filthy Rich Nutrients (Grand Prairie)—a seller of gardening soil and provider of urban growing educational services
  • My Best Genetic Test
  • CNK (Dallas)—a media website focused on style tips and sneaker education
  • Tutor Doctor (Toronto)—an in-home education franchise
  • Sweet Pea
  • Momo Shack (Dallas)—a maker of Nepalese dumplings
  • ROSA (St. Louis)—a mental health support platform for students
  • Pair Anything (Davis, Calif.)—a digital wine pairing platform and e-commerce site
  • White Rock Granola (Dallas)—a maker of artisan granola
  • Flying Squirrel Coffee Company (Mansfield)—a coffee shop and deserts seller
  • Kosmos (Dallas)—a gamified VR platform for job skills training
  • Vendorzs (Dallas)—an event management app for pop-up vendors
  • LAMIK Beauty (Houston)—a makeup line for people of color
  • Co-Host (Green Bay, Wis.)—a virtual event platform

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