Press release

Morgan Stanley Selects 10 Startup Companies for 3rd Cohort of Innovation Lab Targeting Multicultural and Women Founders  

Sponsored by Businesswire

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) today announced the third cohort of the
Multicultural Innovation Lab, an accelerator program for technology and
technology-enabled start-ups in the post‐seed to Series B funding
rounds. The program, now in its third year, targets companies with a
multicultural or woman founder, co‐founder, CTO or other C-suite member
that is developing innovative solutions across sectors. Following two
successful years that resulted in company acquisitions and additional
funding rounds, the Lab will make investments in these early stage high
growth companies and will support the founders’ growth and development
through its ecosystem of internal and external partners.

“This program has seen tremendous success over the past two years, and I
am looking forward to helping this next group of founders accelerate
their businesses and make signficiant strides in executing their
strategies,” said Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley and Head
of the Multicultural Client Strategy Group. “The Lab’s goal is to
provide these founders with additional contributions toward their future
success by leveraging our expansive and global networks, resources and
expertise that will hopefully attract the capital needed to scale.”

The Lab is designed to help drive positive economic outcomes for
entrepreneurs of color and women by providing content, visibility,
technical support and connectivity with important stakeholders who might
be essential in accelerating the growth of their businesses, as well as
access to an ecosystem of best in class global partners providing a
variety of resources.

The companies, selected out of over 300 applications submitted, will be
fully immersed in the program working from Morgan Stanley’s global
headquarters in Times Square, New York, and receive support from a
dedicated team creating tailored experiences to help each company grow.
The six month program will begin in April and run through the fall,
culminating in the third Multicultural Innovation Lab Showcase and Demo
Day that will expose companies to potential investors through showcase
format presentations.

Understanding that access to capital alone isn’t sufficient, the Lab
brings in best-in-class content and connectivity for the entrepreneurs.
William Crowder, formerly head of Comcast Ventures’ Catalyst Fund and
now Founding Partner at 42 Venture Partners, will be returning as its
Entrepreneur-In-Residence. Crowder will serve as a strategic advisor to
both the entrepreneurs and the Multicultural Client Strategy team
throughout the duration of the Lab to help participating companies
address and conquer challenges that will increase performance and
progress. Additionally, with input from other partners such as Wilson
Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, entrepreneurs in the Lab will have
unparalleled access to subject matter experts, practitioners and
investors all committed to their success.

“There is a compelling business case for investing in startups led by
women and multicultural founders, yet, as found in our recent report,
there is a large market inefficiency to accelerate businesses led by
these founders,” said Alice Vilma, Co-Head of the Multicultural
Innovation Lab. “We are working to directly address this funding gap,
one cohort at a time.”

The companies that have been selected for the 2019 cohort are:

  • BLUEWAVE Technologies is a health tech company that makes a
    device used to quickly sanitize and deodorize health care items, such
    as orthotic and prosthetic devices without using water, detergents or
    manufactured chemicals, providing broad implications for healthcare
  • Care Advisors is a Medicaid enrollment software for hospitals
    and insurance companies that reduces the barriers and time it takes to
    enroll in Medicaid, benefitting both patients and medical providers
  • Cosynd provides an affordable and legal toolkit for individual
    content creators and businesses to generate simple legal agreements
    and copyright registrations with others faster than before
  • Five to Nine is a platform that empowers HR teams to improve
    workplace connectivity and promote inclusion, as well as effectively
    manage and measure real-time feedback from employees on culture
    building opportunities
  • Gappify is a cloud-based bot platform intended to equip
    corporate accountants with the solutions needed to automate
    repetitive, time consuming and error prone tasks
  • Looklive provides pictures of the latest celebrity fashion
    which is shoppable through their website, and also collaborates with
    influencers to develop monetization strategies for their personal
    brands, via partnerships with retailers
  • Mighty Well creates medical wearables to cover, protect and
    stylize medical devices, such as chest ports, feeding tubes, PICC
    lines and diabetic pumps
  • ShopJenzy is an e-commerce platform powered by innovative
    sizing technology that makes it easy for parents to buy the right size
    shoes for young kids online
  • SmartGurlz is an education platform that teaches girls to code
    through play. Their flagship product is a robot that young girls learn
    to code and control through an educational app
  • TAINA Technology provides regulatory technology that leverages
    computer science to empower financial institutions to automate FATCA
    and CRS compliance saving them money and reducing risks

Read more about Morgan Stanley’s recent report, “The Growing Markest
Investors Are Missing,” here.
Learn more about the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab here.

Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing
investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment
management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm’s
employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments,
institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley,
please visit