CINCINNATI, OH MAY 3, 2023OCEAN Accelerator™ Announces New Cohort of High-Tech Innovators for Human-centered Accelerator Program

OCEAN Accelerator is a 17-week program designed to help founders build venture-backable companies. The program provides seed funding, mentorship, education, and professional services to support the growth of participating startups. Along with traditional accelerator elements, the OCEAN Accelerator invites founders to integrate their faith, purpose, relationships, and health into their startup journey. OCEAN Accelerator is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, yet our hybrid model empowers our alumni to join worldwide. 

“From the beginning of OCEAN Accelerator in 2014, founders across all tech verticals have sought out OCEAN as a partner in their start-up journey for both venture and personal growth,” says Luke Dooley, President & CEO of OCEAN Programs. “Cohort 9 is a group of founders who are anchored in deep purpose, building on impressive experiences, and launching ambitious ventures and who will make the most of our unique, human-centered program.” 

OCEAN Accelerator is pleased to announce eight companies have been accepted into Cohort 9, joining the OCEAN portfolio which collectively represents a $1B market cap:

Anonymous Agent – Simon Hou & Minfa Wang | New York, NY
Connecting influencers to mainstreet businesses

Integrate School – Maxwell Witt & Kevin Celisca | Upper Saddle River, NJ
Making transparency and collaboration easier for K-12 schools

LoCollabMelissa Lo | Singapore
Collaboration and networking for small businesses & solopreneurs

Magic Kids – Toly Sherbakov & Marianna Alpatova | New York, NY
Game-based learning to increase attention spans

oneKIN – Marvin Francois & Jennifer Gomez | St. Louis, MO & New York, NY
Enabling small businesses to sell online in realtime

Scout – Michael Haddix Jr. & Cindy Zeng | Saratoga Spring, NY
Investing for GenZ

TinyChain – Haydn Vestal | Austin, TX
App store for cloud services

Wiggl Health – Mason Orme | Menlo Park, CA
Employee wellness platform for next-gen workplaces

Founders will be immersed into a co-created program that focuses on investor-readiness, product development, go-to-market strategy, mitigating founder isolation & burnout, and creating a healthy company culture from day one. For three of the 17 weeks, founders will gather together in startup hubs across the United States, to participate in a Welcome Week, Mid-Program Retreat, and Pitch Week. This month, founders will join us in Cincinnati on May 15th for Welcome Week allowing the cohort to form connections with each other and the experts that will be surrounding them for the next 17 weeks. 

An expert team of mentors, speakers, advisors, and partners will contribute throughout the program, giving founders access to a wide and deep network of industry experts, entrepreneurs and strategic partners that will work alongside them to build and grow them and their companies. James Mathews and Hailey Hite will lead the program as Managing Director and Program Manager. The cohort will be surrounded by experts including:

Mike Quesnell – Founder Advocate

Silvia MahEIR, Investor Readiness

Dan Rye – EIR, Product Engineering

Chris Deaver – EIR, Identity & Culture Building

Rebecca Arwine – EIR, Founder Experience

Tim Schuster – EIR, Startup Advisor

Partners include Carta, Cintrifuse, Cloverleaf, Equity Vest, Forecastr, Frost Brown Todd Attorneys, Miami University, Soul Care, Tensure Consulting, and Thirty21. For more information on the partners and experts surrounding Cohort 9, visit the OCEAN Accelerator Cohort 9 webpage.

“After a national tour of Unpolished and strategic recruiting efforts, OCEAN is continuing to attract entrepreneurs to the region,” says Christy Johnson, COO of OCEAN.  “The 2023 cohort was selected from an international pool of applicants and includes companies from New York City to Silicon Valley. We look forward to showing-off the region as a dynamic place for venture building and are pleased that regional partners like Blue North and Cintrifuse will be engaged to showcase the benefits of building in our region.”  

Since its start, OCEAN Accelerator has helped launch 62 high-tech businesses. Program alumni have gone on to be accepted into programs like Y Combinator, Gener8tor, Techstars, and Praxis. The portfolio has raised more than $200,000,000 in subsequent financing from regional funds like Connetic, Serra Ventures, Drive Capital, and 11 Tribes Ventures as well as leading national investors like 11:11 Media, NEA, and Sovereign’s Capital. Of those 62 startups, three have been acquired: SAWA, acquired by Mailchimp in 2019, StreamSpot, acquired by Subsplash in 2020, and Martin, acquired by PubMatic in 2022. Another three alumni – Cloverleaf, Bosa, and GetTogether (now Scheduler) –- have been recently named “Startups to Watch” in Cincinnati.

Demo Day for Cohort 9 will be part of a multi-day venture event in Cincinnati the second week of September. More information about Demo Day and Cohort 9 is available at

About OCEAN Accelerator

OCEAN Accelerator is the original service offered by OCEAN Programs focused on early-stage, pre-scale venture backable startups. OCEAN equips founders for the challenging journey all entrepreneurs experience, helping them reach a point of readiness to engage investors, customers, candidates, and partners. OCEAN combines commercial content, personal mentoring, and personal development based on biblical leadership principles. Over seven Accelerator classes, 52 companies have launched or scaled, creating more than 250 jobs. Visit for more information.

About OCEAN Programs

OCEAN Programs is a not-for-profit organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. OCEAN serves entrepreneurs by providing access to training, community, and a foundation of faith on which to launch new organizations, building healthy founders, teams, and companies through a variety of programs designed to serve entrepreneurs of all types.

For further information, contact Luke Dooley, President & CEO, at [email protected].


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