Technology  July 13, 2022

Boulder startup joins Black Founder Accelerator

BOULDER — A Boulder startup has joined this year’s cohort of the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator, the only Colorado company on the list.

Sherisse Hawkins, founder and CEO of Pagedip, trade name for Beneath the Ink Inc. in Boulder, will participate in the accelerator and receive its funding and benefits. 

Pagedip  creates a no-code authoring tool that makes it easy for teams to create and share smart documents. “Pagedip’s granular ‘in-document analytics’ can be viewed in real time, providing key insights about reader interest down to the word or widget,” according to a description fo the company.

The Black Founder Accelerator was created this past year to provide resources and financing to Black entrepreneurs nationwide.

“This next class of five startups builds upon the success of the 10 founders we were proud to team up with in 2021. This group [of companies] was selected based on their unique business models and drive to build tech solutions that help people live longer, better, and healthier lives across multiple areas of focus, including financial services, insurance, and digital health,” Craig Schedler, managing director of Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, said in a written statement. “With such positive momentum coming from last year’s cohorts, including 115 investor introductions and more than 100 full-time employees supported by the 10 startups, I’m both excited to see how this group of founders will make a positive impact in their communities and honored to be a part of a company that continues to meaningfully support Black entrepreneurship.” 

Founders of Black companies receive less than 1% of venture capital, Northwestern wrote in a press release. “As an extension of Northwestern Mutual’s Sustained Action for Racial Equity Task Force, the initiative is designed to help address this racial wealth gap. The Black Founder Accelerator program provides those selected with a $100,000 investment, a 12-week business training program, access to venture capital partners and Northwestern Mutual mentors and more,” the release said.

In addition to Pagedip, other founders included are:

Bryan Hobbs, founder and CEO of Pruuvn, Atlanta, Georgia.

Cody Eddings, founder and CEO of SnapRefund, Philadelphia.

Tiffanie Stanard, founder and CEO of Stimulus, also from Philadelphia.

Victor Brown, founder and CEO of Xcellent Life of Lexington, Tennessee.