By Nancy Dahlberg
DeCarlos Garrison has worked in the music space for 25 years, including managing artists, and he saw a need for a payment tool so musicians and others in the industry don’t have to waste time chasing down payments – a scenario any freelancer can relate to. He joined wth Gleb Teper, whose background is in tech and HR, to create BandPay, a project-based payment tool in which the two parties agree on the project, pay and milestones, or terms, and BandPay secures the funds up front. Once terms are met, funds are released. “Get paid, not played,” is the startup’s slogan.
Bandpay, founded last year and based in Aventura, is one of the 10 Black-led companies that were selected for Endeavor Miami’s EndeavorLAB accelerator program. In the accelerator, Garrison hopes to surround himself with smart people, expand his network and learn strategies for growing the company. “I like the energy - we started today,”
When Endeavor Miami set out to design the EndeavorLAB accelerator program, the organization’s managing director, Claudia Duran, reached out to Felecia Hatcher of The Center for Black Innovation and Brian Brackeen of Lightship Capital, two organizations focused on racial equity in innovation and venture capital, to help Endeavor Miami select a cohort and ensure that the startups get the best possible tools and services to scale their businesses.
Today, Endeavor Miami, with the support of the Simkins Foundation, launched the second cohort – 10 startups from South Florida -- in partnership with The Center for Black Innovation and Lightship Capital.
Endeavor Miami’s mission is to support companies in the scale-up stage and the organization recognized the lack of Black representation, said Duran. That’s why. EndeavorLAB, Cohort Two, was created - to help more local Black entrepreneurs achieve scale in their businesses and consequently decrease such a gap. The two-month accelerator will aim to do that by leveraging Endeavor’s scaleup methodology, mentor network and services, she said.
“We understand the importance of fostering entrepreneurship, at all levels, and from all backgrounds, in order to drive meaningful growth in Miami,” said Michael Simkins, President and CEO of Lion Development Group and Endeavor Miami Board Member, in the announcement.
Brackeen and Hatcher helped with the selection process and will be back as judges for DemoDay. “It is our hope to find firms that we can invest in from this cohort,” said Brackeen, General Partner of LightShip Capital, a venture capital fund.
“Black founders need support at all levels if we are truly talking about supporting and building an inclusive innovation ecosystem and a stronger economy,” added Hatcher, Executive Director of the Miami-based Center for Black Innovation.
This is the second EndeavorLAB program; the first cohort was made up of women-led startups. In addition to Bandpay, here are the other 9 startups selected for Cohort Two. Company descriptions were provided by Endeavor Miami.
BeLoved Box (Danie Spikes): The BeLoved Box is not a subscription box- it is a brand that focuses on connecting people with the best version of self-care and couple’s care. Gently fragranced with plant-based essential oils, our products can be used on the most sensitive of skin.
GovLia (ShaKeia Kegler, pictured above): GovLia is a business to government marketplace working to make government contracting simple, equitable, and more inclusive. GovLia’s software provides a unified platform that streamlines supplier registration, diverse business certifications, and bidding on opportunities.
Hopper Fit (Dionel Sylvester): The one stop shop to HOP everywhere for fitness. Our goal at HopperFit is to help you hop into a better life, so we offer a wide range of services from fitness, to prepared meals, to massage therapy in order to help you achieve your goals.
Kiddie Kredit (Evan Leaphart): Kiddie Kredit is a mobile app designed to educate children on the credit system by completing chores. Our mission is to empower credit healthy families.
Koki (Tiara Miles): Koki improves the meal planning experience through personalized and fresh meals crafted by our experienced culinary professionals in your home. All meals are prepared by vetted local chefs who arrive with locally sourced fresh organic ingredients to cook just for you.
RenDIET (Mercy Nzeakor): RENDiet offers renal patients and their caregivers affordable access to diet education and nutritional support throughout the kidney disease journey – from diagnosis to dialysis, transplantation and beyond.
South Public (Gregory Johnson): South Public seeks to help cities and businesses build quality software through human insights and remote user testing.
Suite1Ten (Ultrina Harris):. The Shops of Overtown LLC intends to own, lease, and operate Retail Carts in efforts to create a successful network of business operations. This venture will draw out residents and draw in outsiders to populate spaces that will be secure and offer sufficient merchandise and activities.
Unified HINTS (Renae Patterson): We offer an advocacy concierge service featuring PALS (Personal Advocates & Liaisons) who work one to one with patients and caregivers to collect, organize, and manage vital health information and important documents in one secure location utilizing our secure web application.
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