8 Startups Selected for 7th Cohort of Multicultural Innovation Lab

  • The Cohort of Multicultural Innovation Lab 2022 (MCIL) includes the following companies that have innovative strategies in areas such as financial technology, education, energy, e-commerce, behavioral health and software: BrandXR, Cognitive Talent Solutions, Lab4U, Meyt Notice Ninja, OPTT, Sesame Solar and TIDY app

  • MCIL’s portfolio companies achieve a total valuation of more than $ 515 million and have raised more than $ 100 million in additional funding to date after attending the lab.

New York –

Today, Morgan Stanley announced the seventh group of the Multicultural Innovation Lab, an accelerator program for technology and technology startups in funding rounds since the start of Series B. The program, which is in its sixth year , co-founder, co-founder, CTO or other member of C-suite, which develops innovative solutions in various sectors. Through the lab, Morgan Stanley is investing in these early, fast-growing companies and supporting the growth and development of each founder through its global ecosystem of internal and external partners.

“This year marks a new milestone for the lab as we prepare to meet the largest class of women and various founders with two cohorts in the U.S. as well as the EMEA inaugural cohort this summer,” said Selma Bueno, managing director and recently appointed multicultural strategy team leader. “Our study found a blind spot for trillions of dollars in investment due to a lack of funding for multicultural and women’s businesses, but our ever-growing portfolio of innovative diverse startups provides direct evidence of success in supporting these companies.”

Companies that have been selected in the 2022 winter cohort include the following:

  • BrandXR is a platform for creating augmented reality without code and award-winning creative studio XR.
  • Cognitive solutions for talent is an artificial intelligence organizational network (ONA) platform that helps companies visualize and analyze informal relationships between employees using active and passive data sources, enabling them to make informed decisions.
  • Lab4U it is an educational platform that turns the smartphone’s built-in sensors into laboratory equipment to improve STEM education through practical pre-designed experiments.
  • Maytier is a diversity-focused artificial intelligence platform that supports the model of blind selection and scoring to compensate for bias, and provides practical coaching services for candidates in the recruitment process.
  • Pay attention to the ninja is a company with cloud software based on artificial intelligence that optimizes processes, standardizes communications and automates workflows for tax management and compliance notifications.
  • OPTT is a provider of integrated hybrid digital care plans, supplemented by artificial intelligence, for active patient sorting and monitoring to simplify the provision of digital health services digitally for care teams.
  • Sesame Sunny is a manufacturer of turnkey mobile solar and green hydrogen nanogrids, pre-designed with solutions inside and pre-configured to be installed by one person in less than 15 minutes.
  • TIDY app is an online platform for booking insured and professional cleaners for home, Airbnb or office.

The cohort begins work Feb. 15 in a hybrid environment, using online video platforms to facilitate the lab curriculum and personally convening to promote the community. Entrepreneurs receive support from Morgan Stanley’s dedicated team, which provides individual expertise to help each company grow. The program will run until July 2022, culminating in the seventh exhibition of the Multicultural Innovation Lab and demo days that will introduce the company to potential investors.

The lab has had five successful years with six cohorts and continues to expand to a sixth year to expand access to capital for a variety of entrepreneurs, which has been successful, as evidenced by the company’s final acquisitions and additional rounds of funding after participating in the program. Some notable examples include:

  • The Diversity and Inclusion Platform based on Virtual Reality (VR), Praxis Labs has raised $ 20.5 million in A Series 20 in 2021 to continue to promote equity, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) in the workplace.
  • While working in the lab, MedTrans Go completed a $ 1.5 million round to eliminate the multibillion-dollar costs of missed medical appointments by offering practices of safe and reliable medical transportation, translation, telemedicine and prescription delivery.
  • In 2021, the goalsetter technology platform raised $ 15 million to enter the B2B market using a children’s financial literacy app.

The lab has also launched a series of portfolio profiles of MCIL companies in partnership with Plug to increase their visibility and draw attention to market inefficiencies when it comes to funding women and multicultural founders.

About the Multicultural Innovation Lab

The Multicultural Innovation Lab (MCIL) is an intensive five-month accelerator designed to further develop and scale startups, culminating in a demo day and presentation to the investor community. Morgan Stanley launched MCIL in 2017 to eliminate inequality in funding for multicultural and women-run startups, which, as our study shows, is more than $ 4 trillion in unrealized returns. The team is led by Selma Bueno, Managing Director and Head of Multicultural Client Strategy, and Managing Director Alice Wilma. Together, they have more than 40 years of experience in equity syndicates, investment banking, capital markets and structured finance.

Listen to Access & Opportunity with Carla Harris a podcast on your chosen platform to learn about players who drive change among diverse entrepreneurs, the investor community and the world.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services company providing investment banking, securities, capital management and investment services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the firm’s employees serve clients around the world, including corporations, governments, agencies and individuals. For more information on Morgan Stanley, please visit https://www.morganstanley.com/.


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