Morgan Stanley selects 10 companies for the Multicultural Innovation Lab’s first global cohort

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NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Morgan Stanley today announced the eighth cohort of the Multicultural Innovation Lab. The Internal Accelerator Program for Tech and Tech Startups in the Post-Seed Stage to Series A Funding Stage targets companies with multicultural or female founders, co-founders, CTOs or other members of the C suite that develops innovative solutions in all sectors. Now in its sixth year and with 69 total participating companies to date, the program is expanding globally for the first time, with participating companies in the United States and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. (EMEA).

From September 2022 to February 2023, founders, the majority of whom are women and of diverse ethnicity, and their businesses will participate in a personalized acceleration program designed to enhance their growth and development. Chosen from more than 2,500 nominations, these leaders will benefit from the close support of Morgan Stanley’s global ecosystem of internal and external partners, which will provide a variety of mentorship opportunities and business growth resources. Through MCIL, Morgan Stanley also invests in these early-stage and high-growth startups.

“We are especially excited to welcome our first global cohort, representing multicultural innovation and led by women in business around the world,” said Selma Bueno, Managing Director and Head of the Multicultural Client Strategy Group. “This next step in MCIL’s development represents our continued efforts to create a more equitable investment landscape for female-led and diverse startups and ensure that more overlooked entrepreneurs – and their communities – have the opportunity to succeed.”

The companies that have been selected for the Fall 2022 cohort are:

  • Lawyer is a legal software platform developed to streamline the process of creating and operationalizing legal documents.
  • AMAK Studio is a digital media platform connecting a global community of women sharing pan-African stories.
  • AuditMate is a SaaS-driven vertical transportation contract management and maintenance service provider. The solution helps property managers analyze contracts, report maintenance completion, manage compliance, and more.
  • Gender is a software solution that helps families and caregivers easily and affordably prepare, plan and protect everything they love with next-generation estate planning.
  • Here Here Market is an online marketplace for cooking enthusiasts to discover and purchase specialty products from “chef-preneurs” and artisans in small quantities.
  • pictures is an educational technology company that leverages proprietary educational coding tools to equip girls with essential and confident tech skills.
  • Kami is an AI-powered family support platform offering personalized access to a wide range of wellness consultants, as well as a comprehensive, expert-curated range of guides, articles and advice.
  • Persian is a unique data technology platform that leverages energy and carbon data from all meters in Britain to report and optimize the energy and carbon footprint of individuals, households and businesses.
  • Doctor 360 transforms community pharmacies into health clinics by giving them access to a virtual care platform.
  • Wearisma is a global SaaS influencer analytics platform that helps large companies optimize their marketing spend and achieve their communication goals.

The fall cohort will operate in a hybrid environment, using a combination of online video platforms and in-person events to facilitate the program, improve connectivity and foster community. The program will culminate with the eighth Multicultural Innovation Lab Showcase and Demonstration Day, when the 10 participating companies will make presentations to potential investors, business partners and customers.

For the past two years, MCIL has been named one of the world’s top innovation labs by Global Finance Magazine. The lab continues to successfully increase access to capital for diverse entrepreneurs, as evidenced by the resulting business acquisitions and additional rounds of funding as a result of participation in the program. Here are some notable examples:

  • Relationship intelligence platform Stimulus has raised a $2.5 million seed round to develop partnerships and expand the team with talent in engineering, data science and sales.

  • Lillii RNB, an AI-powered fraud prevention and investigation SaaS solution for retailers, has raised a $3 million funding round from co-leads Serena Ventures and Aperture Venture Capital to capitalize on the sales opportunities and develop its network of partnerships.

  • Event management software platform Five to Nine has raised a $4.25 million funding round to expand its engineering capabilities, accelerate product development and grow the team.

About the Multicultural Innovation Lab

The Multicultural Innovation Lab (MCIL) is an intensive five-month in-house accelerator designed to help grow and scale startups, culminating in a showcase presentation and demo day to the investment community. Morgan Stanley launched MCIL in 2017 to address funding inequities for ethnically diverse and female-led startups, which our research finds equates to more than $4 trillion in unrealized returns.

The team is led by New York-based Selma Bueno, Managing Director and Global Head of Multicultural Customer Strategy Group, and London-based Sanghamitra Karra, Managing Director and EMEA Head of Multicultural Customer Strategy Group. Together they have over 35 years of experience in investment banking and risk management.

Listen to the Access and Opportunity with Carla Harris podcast on your platform of choice to learn about the actors driving change among diverse entrepreneurs, the investment community, and the world.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services company providing a broad range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 41 countries, the company’s employees serve customers around the world, including businesses, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit https://www.morganstanley.com/.

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