The Hillman Accelerator launches today in Ohio, as the first and only full-time accelerator program in the Midwest to foster venture-backable tech companies.
The Hillman Accelerator is powered by a public-private partnership between the State of Ohio and Qey Capital. Not only is it the first of its kind in the region, but Hillman is a women of color focused accelerator. It is a four-month program hoping to recruit five tech and tech-enabled companies a year. The accelerator is dedicated to creating a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cincinnati, that strives to position the Midwest at the forefront of diversity and inclusion in a tech-based economy.
For the five selected companies, the perks of the program include, $100,000 in capital, mentorship, legal support, structured curriculum and brand exposure to minority talent, both regionally and nationally.
Ohio Third Frontier (OTF) is a part of the state’s Development Business Agency, and is committed to transforming the state’s economy through the accelerated growth of diverse startup and early stage technology companies. OTF challenged startup ecosystems throughout the state to dedicate portions of their operating budgets specifically for diversity and inclusion efforts. “By specifically focusing on minorities and women in tech, we’re listening to a need voiced by the community and welcoming new faces to the region, thanks to support from the OTF,” says Wendy Lea, CEO of Centrifuse. The efforts behind Hillman Accelerator are led by former Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Dhani Jones along with Ebow Vroom of Qey Capital and Candice Matthews, Up-Tech Graduate and former CEO of Hello Parent.
Applications to Hillman Accelerator are now open, they close on May 26, and the program begins on June 26.