Luke is the President & CEO of OCEAN
Introducing Accelerator Cohort – OCEAN’s eighth class launched February 28 and will run for 16-weeks
In the words of OCEAN President and CEO, Luke Dooley: “It’s an honor to welcome a new cohort of founders to OCEAN Accelerator for the 8th consecutive year. Since day one the mission of OCEAN has been to equip entrepreneurs for health and success so they might launch and scale strong businesses that contribute to thriving communities. OCEAN is now doing that work all around the world through various training programs, and we’re proud to continue the strong impact and legacy of the flagship accelerator program.”
For the second year, the OCEAN cohort will receive pre-seed funding from 11 Tribes, a Chicago-based early-stage venture fund.
“Each cohort has its own unique composition, but what is particularly interesting about this group is the sheer scale of the ideas that have inspired these businesses,” says Mark Phillips, Managing Partner of 11 Tribes. “Each one brings a bold and impactful innovation to an industry that is ripe for disruption. But ultimately, the mission and motivation of each founder is what sets the cohort, and the accelerator, apart as each founder brings a powerful and purpose-driven passion to their craft.”
The cohort will convene for a 16-week hybrid virtual/in-person program, beginning February 28 with an onsite week at Cincinnati’s Union Hall. In April, midway through the program, the companies will be hosted by Gloo in Boulder, CO for further onsite intensive sessions.
OCEAN is pleased to announce that Cohort 8 will also be supported by an expansive network of service providers, mentors, and subject matter experts. Start-up service providers like Fundify (Austin, TX) a crowdfunding platform, Lighthouse Point Communications (Boulder, CO), a communication coaching group, and Ulmer & Berne (Cincinnati, OH) are installing their professional services into the cohort, while more than 50 global experts will contribute to the through workshop sessions. The cohort will be led by James Mathews (Managing Director of Cohort 8) and Tim Schuster, founder of Popup Think Tank, who will be an Entrepreneur-in-Residence through the program.
Companies and founders have been selected from diverse applicants from 26 countries; the cohort includes companies from the United Arab Emirates and the United States, representing 8 different metro areas in 7 states. Each company will receive $50,000 of seed funding to help accelerate their launch and growth in the market with the potential to receive an additional $50,000 based on progress in the program.
“I’m personally thrilled about the incredible ecosystem of leaders who have committed to support the program this year,” says Dooley. “It speaks volumes about the consistent impact of OCEAN that such a diverse and talented community of partners would continue to surround this accelerator and join us in our efforts to care for and equip founders.”
The 2022 program continues to build on OCEAN’s history of leading the market for faith-based acceleration. OCEAN Accelerator has launched 52 high-tech businesses with 2 exits: SAWA, acquired by Mailchimp in 2019 and StreamSpot acquired by Subsplash in 2020. Nationally, 90% of startups fail within 18 months while 60% of OCEAN Accelerator alumni are operating and growing. OCEAN alumni raise an average of $750k per funding round compared to the $225k national average. 39.2% of OCEAN alumni are underrepresented founding teams and 33.3% have women founders.
After completing the program, OCEAN Accelerator alumni have been accepted into programs like Y Combinator, TechStars, and F10. They have gone on to raise more than $50 million from an international group of funds and angels such as M25, Cathexis Ventures, and the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association, as well as 11 Tribes.
OCEAN looks forward to Demo Day on May 19 when the cohort will gather in Atlanta for the culminating public end-of-program event. Demo Day will be presented live and recorded, available to any interested parties, and VC funds will be invited to open-house meet the founders.
Learn more about Demo Day and RSVP for the onsite or livestream event at oceanprograms.com/demo-day-2022.