Introducing the 2019 Pennovation Accelerator Cohort

The 2019 Pennovation Accelerator officially launches Monday, June 10th for the program's second summer! 

The cohort of nine startup companies were chosen from over 60 applications and represent a variety of industries - from software to medical devices to consumer products. The curriculum will focus on go-to-market and fundraising strategies across six weeks, culminating with a Pitch Day on Thursday, July 25th. 

It is a pleasure to introduce the nine companies:


CòBARE is the defining lifestyle brand for all things sexual health and reproduction. Meet sex ed 2.0, the sex ed class you wish you had gotten. A multi-platform, experiential source of information drawn from the stories of families and communities where these topics have traditionally been taboo. The brand provides interactive events and products to inspire its audience to become educated and empowered. When it comes to understanding our evolving bodies, nothing is TMI.


Cocoa Press is a 3D chocolate printer that lowers the hurdles associated with making beautiful, delicious chocolates. Without the limitations of traditional chocolate making, Cocoa Press enables chocolate shops, bakeries and caterers to make high quality custom chocolates that are cost effective at low quantities. It also allows new designs that are not currently possible with traditional methods.


Kidas is a service to protect kids from online predators and cyberbullying using AI monitoring of social media. As kids use more apps and social networks in an unsupervised environment, they become more exposed to cyberbullying and online predators. Kidas will support all connected devices kids use and alert parents of threats to their children while educating kids on a safer internet use.


Mel’s Butter Blends creates natural products for full-body use, made primarily from aloe and mango butter. We create products that provide natural solutions to common hair and skin issues, such as eczema and alopecia. Our products are not water based or shea butter based like the majority of natural products in the mainstream market.


Murphy Cares has created a unique form of virtual pet therapy. Murphy Cares is a platform for use on a mobile device that creates a direct and personal connection between you and a canine friend, promoting compassion and companionship. The platform combines professionally filmed dog videos set to original music with user-directed prompts that are responded to in real time by the dog. For example, the sounds of the dog running through the leaves and the original background music help to dissipate anxiety. This is the first of its kind with endless digital pet interactions.


SimpleBulb makes healthy light. With Bedtime Bulb, we proved that people will pay a premium to improve sleep. Our focus right now is combating sleep-disturbing blue light, but we will build solutions to eliminate jet lag, improve productivity, and prevent chronic disease, all with light.


Squad is a long-distance carpooling platform. We are building a marketplace that allows drivers with empty seats in their car to connect with riders willing to pay for them. We believe carpooling should be simple and secure, which is why our platform runs on Facebook Messenger. With the Squad application, riders and drivers are able to see each others' profile information, and booking or offering a ride takes just seconds.


The OrVac is a Portable Handheld Oral Aspirator for oral liquid waste evacuation and disposal, created by Tyiwanna Wilson-Carter to help her mother after a stroke left her partially paralyzed & with a swallowing disorder called dysphagia. After researching and speaking with nurses and speech therapists, we found it can help other patients with swallowing disorders caused by neurological or neuromuscular disorders of the brain as well as other oral conditions (cleft palates or cancer).


TrueTone is a platform that matches users to their perfect matches of makeup. Currently, shopping for makeup online is a pain. With hundreds of brands and products, it makes it incredibly difficult for individuals to find the best products for themselves. Our platform has the user take a series of quizzes to determine their skin type, tone, and product use and then match them to product recommendations that reflect their preferences. We also will be able to view each customer’s popular purchases and be able to make recommendations if a product is discontinued or limited edition. Eventually, we plan to convert our platform into an app where the user can upload a selfie and get matched to products.



Introducing the 2019 Pennovation Accelerator Cohort