Cohort Kickoff: Meet the 6 Inaugural Startups in Denton’s AccelerateHER Incubator

The collaboration between Texas Woman’s University Center for Women Entrepreneurs and Stoke will help six startups in their early-stage development. The program officially kicks off on Oct. 1.

Last month, we told you about a new startup incubator program that Texas Woman’s University Center for Women Entrepreneurship and coworking company Stoke called AccelerateHER. Now, they’ve announced the six women-led startups that were chosen to participate in the program.

“The women leading each company have a clear idea of the problem they are working to solve and the passion and vision needed to work on providing a solution,” associate director of the Center for Women Entrepreneurs Tracy Irby said in a statement.

AccelerateHER allows early-stage companies to “develop and test their ideas and grow their businesses,” according to a statement. The program provides mentors and partner networks to impact Denton and the entrepreneurial ecosystem of North Texas.

AccelerateHER will conclude with a live pitch event where the selected startups will present their plans for growth to an audience of friends, family, community stakeholders, and investors. The program officially kicks off Oct. 1 and runs through February 2021.

The chosen startups were selected with a focus on three primary verticals including creative, education, and lifestyle. Here are the six inaugural cohort members:

Leslie Brenner, Founder of Cooks Without Borders

Founded in December 2015, Cooks Without Borders was inspired by Brenner’s experiences cooking and eating around the world and “the idea that cooking has unique power to bring people together,” according to its website. Cooks Without Borders provides stories, recipes, and cookbook reviews while connecting the world.

Candace Anderson, Founder and CEO of Departmynt

Designed as a “dating app but for clothing” according to its website, Departmynt alleviates shopping frustration by connecting women to clothing picked just for them.

Juli James, Co-founder and Managing Director of Playable Media

Playable Media is an online learning and game design company based in Denton. Its goal is to increase engagement for businesses and connect employees, customers, and new audiences.

Michelle Schodowski, CEO and Founder of Radda

Radda’s mission is to facilitate the seeking and giving of advice for musicians to grow in their craft. Radda allows people to network worldwide and connect with fellow musicians while building a community of members who are invested in helping one another.

Ernanda White, Founder and CXO of Black Girls Drone

Founded earlier this year, Black Girls Drone is “taking flight” to pursue “STEM equality, education, and visibility for women and girls of underserved communities as they become FAA Certified UAV aeronautic drone pilots,” according to its website.

Lillia Whittington, Owner and Head Content Creator of The D. Diaries

The D. Diaries is “Denton’s #1 influencer space” complete with lifestyle and fashion blog posts, as well as local Denton hotspots and features.

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