Stage Set for ’22 Jones + Foster Accelerator Graduates
Every startup journey takes place on a timeline unique to itself. A rushed launch, an ill-defined customer base, or a too-early fundraising cycle can lead a team to ruin. Learning and embracing the lessons to achieve long-term success was a choice each of the seven startups accepted into the 2022 cohort of the Jones + Foster Accelerator had to make—and each did so with vigor. Six months later, they now can count themselves among the celebrated graduates of a program hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington. Each team (detailed below) successfully achieved a series of measurable goals and milestones while working with experienced entrepreneurs and investors from across the region.
“This cohort put in a tremendous effort and we’re excited to see how they embrace this momentum,” said Yuko Oaku, program manager for the Accelerator and the Dempsey Startup Competition. “They join a community of Accelerator graduates that continue to use the connections and experience they’ve gained to power their innovations for years to come.”
A total of $140,000 (up to $25k each per team) was awarded to the 2022-23 cohort. The Accelerator has now delivered more than $1.7 million of equity-free funding since the program began in 2010. The ’22 cohort also received access to the CoMotion Labs space in Startup Hall these past six months to grow their life science, consumer product, software, hardware, and technology startups.
Accelerator Cohort Shares Experience and Future Plans
CathConnect | LinkedIn: CathConnect
CathConnect offers a patent-pending medical device to provide safety to patients with the standard urinary catheter. Their mission is to reach patients and “improve lives as soon as possible.”
“Through the Jones and Foster Accelerator, CathConnect advanced their business model and strategy for the medical device to reach the market. We learned so much from our incredible mentor team in the last 6 months. We achieved our goals in product development, regulatory strategy, pricing and distribution, and planned a successful commercialization pathway. Recently, the CathConnect team was awarded additional grant funding to continue development. We are excited to continue this journey.”
DevMatch | Website | LinkedIn: DevMatch | Twitter: @devmatch
DevMatch is a technical assessment platform for hiring software engineers. DevMatch allows recruiters and hiring managers to create and conduct assessments that are indistinguishable from actual work. Having relevant interview questions lets candidates observe the realities of the job and lets companies get the most signal out of their candidates.
“Throughout the accelerator, we rebuilt our web application and publicly launched it on ProductHunt. We served our first paying customers, which have brought over 700 hundred candidates to our service. Customers and users have been providing continuous feedback for subsequent releases.”
Just Right Bite |Website | Instagram: @jrbpetfood
Just Right Bite offers a premium quality product without the environmental cost by replacing animal protein with insects. The team is “changing the game” with its treats that dogs “simply love.”
“During our time in the Jones + Foster Accelerator, we successfully navigated the regulatory process and secured approval for two delicious dog treat flavors from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. With online sales channels and a presence at farmers’ markets this summer, Just Right Bite is expanding our reach and making it easier for pet owners to access their wholesome and sustainable options. Whether through their wholesale channel or direct to consumers, Just Right Bite is committed to providing a healthier and more eco-friendly alternative for pets.”
Redesign Fitness | *Updated website and social media launch expected Spring ’23
Redesign Fitness (formerly Redesign Products) offers the “Multiply” pre-workout — the first and only pre-workout that is designed to be taken dry like a pixie-stick, or, with water the traditional way. Our trademarked “Fine Mesh Technology” provides a smooth and safe consumption experience not offered by other pre-workouts.
“At the beginning of the Accelerator, our company had a promising MVP that worked great in terms of taste/efficacy, but was severely lacking as it pertained to branding and a defined target market. By the end of the program, we had added a new flavor (Coconut Lime) to complement our original Strawberry flavor. We also rebranded our product altogether. The name of our product changed from DryScoop to “Multiply” Pre-Workout, and our packaging has been refocused as well. Our product will soon be displayed in local gyms across the Seattle area as a part of a large marketing push that we will be executing as well!”
Sphere | Website | LinkedIn: sphereinternet
Sphere (formerly Reclaim) is the first ad blocker built specifically for networks, enabling carriers and ISPs to sell ad-light experiences to their customer base using our novel ad-filtering technology.
“Our product requires no installation for the user, works on all devices, and is compliant with net neutrality laws, which have typically banned ad blockers on ISPs. We are in talks with Fortune 50 companies to implement this service to their customer base. In the future we plan on adding a direct option for customers once we obtain economies of scale.”
Ultropia | Website | LinkedIn: @ultropia | Instagram: @UltropiaUltrasonics
Ultropia is leveraging ultrasound technology to develop an all-in-one, energy-efficient washer-dryer that increases accessibility by lowering the infrastructure required for use.
“During the Jones + Foster Accelerator, Ultropia received a $50k grant to conduct 100 market research interviews developing connections with distributors, government regulators, manufacturers, and purchasers. We also worked with UW’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) for a deep dive into corporate law and IP strategy. We are now set up for fundraising, hiring employees, and understanding what IP needs to be protected in which territories and when.”
XpressiveTech | Twitter: @Xpressivetech1
XpressiveTech is a wearable medical device company that is focused on measuring pain. We want to help patients communicate their pain more effectively and provide a tool for providers that can enhance their decision-making process and treatment strategy.
“XpressiveTech’s most notable business accomplishment was becoming a Delaware C Corporation. We were also named the most disruptive MBA startup in 2022 by Poets and Quants and completed the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic’s review of our provisional patent and business. As we continue to grow and develop our business and product, we plan to file for provisional patents and perform feasibility studies for our alpha product design. We anticipate adding a full stack developer and a prototype consultant to our team, and we have an aggressive grant application strategy this upcoming year.”
Accelerator Alumni Community Powers Forward
Awards have now been given to 82 startups through the Accelerator and 70 are still in business today—raising $3M for remote work productivity and being named Forbes ’30 under ’30 entrepreneurs (LifeAt ’21), closing a Series B funding round and solidifying its vision to phase out inefficient legacy water treatment processes (Membrion ’16), being named to a list of 25 honorees reshaping child care in communities across the United States (Bridgecare ’19), and making the list of top private companies building with AI that will “shape our future” after raising more than $20M in venture funding for its protein-discovery platform (A-Alpha Bio ’17).
JFA alumni have also been named to Forbes 30 under 30 by reducing wasted medication (Nanodropper ’19), partnered with the NFL and pivoted to masks when the need was high (Strideline ’12), achieved recognition for disrupting the knitting world and fighting for small business apps (Knitrino ’19), established a community dedicated to empowering thousands of young girls (ZGiRLS ’13), made finding scholarships for college easier for more than 13,000 students (Scholarship Junkies ’15), and built a program for elderly residents to make a therapeutic connection to nature through gardening (Eldergrow ’15).
The program is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, program incentives like the McAleer Early Start Fund, and supporters of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. A special thank you also goes out to the 45+ mentors who dedicate their valuable time to helping grow the startup ecosystem in Seattle.
For more details on the Jones + Foster Accelerator, please visit startup.uw.edu, or contact the Buerk Center at [email protected].