SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, September 10, Headstream, run by impact innovation company SecondMuse, announced the second iteration of the Headstream Accelerator on the heels of the successful completion of its first accelerator in the program. The announcement was made by SecondMuse and Headstream's Director, David Ball, at the virtual Headstream Innovation Festival. The Headstream Accelerator is supported by Pivotal Ventures, the innovation and incubation company created by Melinda Gates.
Over the two years, Headstream has engaged teens, technologists, and other experts to understand the relationships that young people have with social technologies and how that has changed the experience of growing up. The application period opened on September 24 and will close in early November. The accelerator is virtual and will be open to innovators around the world who are launching tools that are available for young people in the United States.
"We are proud and excited to launch the Headstream Accelerator 2 on the heels of the major impacts and successes we saw with the first accelerator. Through the Headstream Accelerator, we will actively support entrepreneurs who haven't traditionally had access to innovation accelerators or capital. We encourage all applicants to apply, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion, physical or mental ability, or identity," said SecondMuse's David Ball, Manager, Headstream. "We acknowledge the systemic, institutional, and psychological barriers that exist for women and people of color in the technology sector, and we are taking a stand to bring underrepresented voices to the forefront to support young people with the technology they need as they grow up."
Headstream, a San Francisco-based technology and wellness innovation hub, supports a range of online tools aimed specifically at young people. The products it is helping to scale are a range of innovations, from a blockchain-enabled social commerce platform for women and the LGBTQ+ community to technology that enables gaming companies to prevent child exploitation and disruptive behavior. Headstream is particularly motivated to support solutions that positively impact BIPOC teens, teenage girls, and LGBTQ+ teens. By building with these underserved communities front of mind, Headstream believes that digital solutions will be more accessible and impactful for all communities.
"We are committed to the healthy social and emotional development of young people in this country as they manage a rapidly changing environment," said Renee Wittemyer, Director of Program Strategy and Investment at Pivotal Ventures, who attended the event. "The innovators in the Headstream Accelerator are intentionally designing for the wellbeing of young technology users, and we are excited to support and partner with Headstream on this work."
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the psychological and social wellbeing of young people more than any other group and limiting their access to typical coping tools, like in-person therapy. Over the last year, Headstream has been supporting technology to fill these gaps and offer healthier spaces for isolated teens and young adults to connect with each other, find support and grow.
The second Headstream Accelerator is seeking out social technology entrepreneurs that are actively supporting teens' pressing needs for wellbeing and their desires to create, learn, and engage through digital innovations. Innovators can apply for the five month Accelerator and the chance to receive up to $50,000 in non-dilutive funding.
The application period for Headstream's next Accelerator opened on September 24. Applications can be submitted at Headstreaminnovation.com.
SecondMuse is an impact and innovation company that builds resilient economies by supporting entrepreneurs and the ecosystems around them. They do this by designing, developing, and implementing a mix of innovation programming and investing capital. From Singapore to San Francisco, SecondMuse programs define inspiring visions, build lasting businesses, and unite people across the globe. Over the last decade, they've designed and implemented programs on 7 continents with 600+ organizations such as NASA, The World Bank, and Nike. To find out more about how SecondMuse is positively shaping the world, visit: www.secondmuse.com.
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