CHICAGO, April 26, 2011 — Excelerate Labs, an intensive accelerator for startups, today announced the ten companies selected for 2011. This three month long “boot camp for startups” attracts some of the best early stage technology businesses from around the country who compete for the ten coveted spots. The participants receive seed capital, office space, legal assistance and mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs, early stage investors and subject matter experts.
This year’s program builds on the extraordinary success last year. In the six months since Demo Day, the Class of 2010 raised a combined $7.2 million in equity funding and added 65 new employees to their payrolls.
“Our participation in the 2010 Summer Program was invaluable”, said Josh Hernandez, founder and CEO of TapMe, the developer of a mobile, in-game advertising platform. “Excelerate connected TapMe to a variety of prospective investment partners, which ultimately helped us raise $1.4 million in venture funding. We couldn’t have done that without Excelerate.”
Excelerate Labs received hundreds of applications for the 2011 Summer Program. After reviewing the applications and conducting in person interviews with more than 50 of the companies, Excelerate Labs is pleased to announce the ten companies that make up Excelerate Labs’ Summer Class of 2011:
– A Space Apart – A new breed of social media. We connect people and businesses in context wherever they come together.
– BabbaCo – A lifestyle brand creating parenting solutions via “simple. functional. super cute.” products and video content.
– Beyond Credentials – We give young professionals the tools to create an online presence, stand out, and connect with great companies.
– Buzz Referrals – With a single line of code, BuzzReferrals turns your best customers into your brand advocates. Eliminate the hassle and track the results of your own custom referral program.
– CookItFor.Us – We get recipes made by connecting Cravers & Makers in a social fresh-food marketplace. Crave. Make. Share.
– Exchangery – An exchange platform as a service that allows you to create an online marketplace to buy and sell commodity goods.
– Food Genius – Food Genius suggests dishes based on individualized taste profiles and tracks what you eat in a game to establish expertise.
– Joystickers – We give people a fun way to physically interact with their touch screen phones and tablets with products like removable gaming buttons and paintbrushes.
– MapDing – A completely mobile, hyper-local, location-based marketplace. We make community commerce simple, safe, and fun. http://www.mapding.com
– Power2Switch – An electricity cost reduction and energy use monitoring/management portal for residential and small business customers.
“The volume and quality of this year’s applicants were incredibly strong, which I directly attribute to the recent successes in the Chicago startup community,” said Troy Henikoff, CEO of Excelerate Labs. “With great talent coming out of Chicago’s universities, an impressive group of established venture capital firms, more and more angel investors, and an expanding community of proven entrepreneurs, Chicago offers startups an extraordinary environment within which to launch and grow their companies.”
About Excelerate Labs
Excelerate Labs is an intensive summer accelerator for startups driven by proven entrepreneurs and investors. Led by world class entrepreneurs Sam Yagan (OKCupid, Sparknotes) and Troy Henikoff (SurePayroll), alongside the I2A Fund and Sandbox Industries, the program attracts hundreds of mentors from around the country to work with the teams in direct 1-on-1 meetings. Excelerate Labs is based in Chicago, IL and a part of the TechStars Network. Learn more by visiting www.exceleratelabs.com.