Morgan Stanley hosted the summer edition of its Multicultural Innovation Lab and Demo Day Wednesday afternoon. The event featured 15 technology and technology-enabled startups with multicultural and women founders and teams representing fintech, healthcare and wellness, learning and development, consumer and enterprise software.
The investment bank‘s Innovation Lab and Demo Day marks the completion of a five month innovation program and highlights the companies in the current cohort who were selected from more than 700 applicants across the globe.
Shelley O’Connor, the vice chairman, managing director and head of external affairs for Morgan Stanley, said the Demo Day gives the chance for startups to work with industry experts and mentors to grow their platforms and showcase their products to those looking to invest.
“It culminates our five-month program where we provide access to capital, an extensive curriculum and help from mentors and industry experts within Morgan Stanley to help these companies throughout,” O’Connor said in the opening remarks.”
The startups selected for the program who gave presentation included:
Kanarys, a tech company focused on providing organizational tools needed to create systemic change around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
KeyCaliber, a cyber enterprise resource learning platform that enable cybersecurity leaders to allocate resources, devise roadmaps and articulate the value of cybersecurity programs
Virtual i, a remote AI-based risk underwriting platform allowing insurers and brokers to have real-time visual data and professional assessment on assets located anywhere in the world.
Zirtue, the world’s first peer-to-pay relationship based lending application that simplifies and structures loans between friends, family and trusted relationships. Zirtue incorporates direct payment of borrowed funds to pay for needs such as medical and utility bills.
FilmChain serves the film and TV industry by collecting revenue and paying production beneficiaries in a transparent and automatic manner. FilmChain modernizes payments for producers, financers, sales agents and actors, who struggle to get paid their correct entitlements.
SupportPay, the first automated child support payment platform enabling parents to manage child support payments, alimony and additional shared child expenses.
Elly, a digital healthcare app which helps chronically ill patients manage their illnesses and improve the quality of life through motivational messages, exercise videos, meditation practices, symptom management, classes and patient stories.
Mira is building the next generation health delivery network helping individuals who can’t afford traditional insurance receive affordable care.
Zaya enables previously out-of-network specialists to take insurance at rewarding terms to help mothers afford full-spectrum maternity care.
Fashion Bomb Daily is a fashion media and e-commerce brand that empowers multicultural designers and keeps consumers informed on the latest trends, fashion news and celebrity styles through its shop and magazine. 70% of the designers on the app are Black women.
Lillii RNB, a retail technology firm has created a platform that enables retailers to seamlessly integrate their point of sale systems with the latest return management applications saving both time and money for clients.
ABF Creative, a multi-ethnic podcast network that bridges the gap between culture and media. ABF aims to reach 100 million people of color through audio.
Adobe has developed a nationwide real estate platform that allows property sellers to easily list, market and sell their homes at a flat fee, making it more cost effective than transacting with traditional brokers who work on commission.
Cognitive Toy Box, an early childhood assessment platform, combines teacher observation with research-driven game-based assessments to evaluate students for kindergarten readiness and support early childhood development.
SecondKeys is a property management platform that enables property managers and tenants to seamlessly facilitate rent payments, track maintenance requests and communicate with tenants in real-time to save costs and keep tenants happy.
Alice Vilma, the director and co-head of multicultural client strategy for Morgan Stanley noted how little representation minorities and women have in venture capital.
“Just one percent and 1.8% of venture backed founders are Black and Latinx respectively and less than 3% of venture capital founders are women,” Vilma said. “There’s clearly an inefficiency in the market and we believe whenever there’s an inefficiency in the market, there’s a great commercial opportunity.”