Graham & Walker, an accelerator and venture fund focused on helping female and non-binary founders, has announced the latest batch of companies to enter its accelerator program. I hopped on a call with G&W founder Leslie Feinzaig to hear what’s new with the program and what these six new companies are up to.
If you’re unfamiliar with Graham & Walker, you might know it better by its former name: Female Founders Alliance. The group rebranded to Graham & Walker at the end of 2021, alongside an announcement that they’d raised a $10 million fund. Haje wrote up the details of the rebrand — and the thinking behind the new name — right here.
Likewise, you might see G&W’s accelerator program referred to as both “the Graham & Walker Accelerator” and “Ready Set Raise”; the latter was the accelerator program’s name prior to the rebrand, but the classic name still pops up from time to time.
The Graham & Walker accelerator is a six week virtual program meant to help the participating founders take their early-but-proven businesses to the next level, and to navigate the complexities of fundraising and storytelling. The companies get one-on-one coaching, investor/mentor access and PR support in exchange for 5% equity. Graham & Walker’s Demo Day for this group is scheduled to take place on March 2nd, 2022.
Without further ado, the six companies from this latest class:
Online classes for multilingual families looking to strengthen their kids’ grasp of a culture and language, using immersive activities to teach rather than focusing solely on the language itself. It currently offers classes like chess, art, debate and calligraphy, with most classes currently led in Chinese.
A voice-first dating app. Rather than having you swipe through a thousand profile pictures, they match you with another user for a 10-minute voice-only conversation. After the conversation, a “Glance” feature offers up a handful of pictures that might be the person you spoke to. If all the stars align and both sides are interested in talking more after the voice date/glance, a match is made.
Love the way people dress in New York, or Seattle, or Paris? Local,Away is building a region-focused fashion platform, allowing influencers (or “styletrotters” as they call them) in a given area the ability to highlight trends, local brands, and make money for finding ‘fits.
A monthly membership program for borrowing high-end jewelry — think Dior, Hermés, etc. Membership costs $49 or $99 a month (for one piece or three pieces of jewelry at a time, respectively); you can keep a piece as long as you want (assuming you keep your membership active), or swap it out with free shipping in both directions.
A tool for organizing efforts to get the word out (think political canvassing, or distributing vaccine information) either by knocking on doors or via phone banking. You tell them where you want to talk to people, and their platform helps divvy up the duties, share conversation-starter scripts, track notes on conversations you’ve had with a household, etc.
An enterprise tool for modifying a speaker’s accent in real time — like, for example, making an accent more subtle when you’re talking on the phone to someone in another region — while preserving “the speaker’s voice and intonation.”