Accelerator Program

We are thrilled to announce that our CAFE Fall 2024 Fintech Accelerator Program sponsored by Best Egg will open applications on August 5th! This is a unique opportunity for mission-driven tech startups to receive support with coaching, customers, investors, and community as they accelerate their business and impact. CAFE is a non-profit focused on advancing financial health & wellness for low- to moderate- income (LMI) people, through supporting the growth of inclusive tech innovation and partnerships. 

  • Focus: Startup companies that have technology products to advance financial wellness for LMI
  • Zero equity, zero cost: We offer the program to founders at zero equity, zero cost, thanks to our sponsors. There is no geographic or relocation requirements
  • Stage: Seed to Series A is our sweet spot, we are looking for startups that already have a product built and in-market with some customers, and are ready to grow
  • Hybrid program: Requires at least 4 days total, IN PERSON, in Newark, Delaware. This includes 3 launch days in the beginning and 1 demo day showcase at the end.

Key Dates to Apply: Applications open August 5th until September 2nd, and the program subsequently kicks off the week of Oct 1st for 8 weeks until November 22nd. For more information on our accelerator program and how to apply visit https://ftcafe.org/accelerator/

CAFE held its inaugural accelerator program in Spring 2024 – for more information on the cohort of companies and details about the program see this article. CAFE is based out of the Fintech Innovation Hub, operated by the renowned Delaware Technology Park, located on STAR Campus of the University of Delaware. The Fintech Innovation Hub is a “center of excellence” created by a public-private partnership and community with the intention of pooling resources to make financial systems work better for all.

Links to apply will be available here starting on August 5th, 2024.

For more updates on the Fall 2024 Program please fill out our interest form.

Spring 2024 Inaugural Cohort Company Overview:

Muse Tax: Helps individual taxpayers and SMBs extract data from tax returns, maximize refunds, and get personalized financial insights through an AI-based, tax and financial module. Muse’s mission is to equip LMI and underserved communities with expert financial assistance, without the prohibitive cost, because financial wellness is the way to build generational wealth and their future depends on it. Founders: Colin Horsford and Busayo Ogunsanya  (www.musetax.com)

Nester: The first-ever tool to help homebuyers and homeowners avoid their #1 regret: unexpected costs of repairs and maintenance. These costs disproportionately affect LMI members of our community who are at a greater risk of losing their homes as a result of an unexpected repair. (www.nester.app)

Founder: Brendan Kennealey (CEO); and Alex Walsh (CPO)

Parlay: Works with community banks and credit unions to get more underserved small businesses approved for loans. Parlay is focused on veteran-owned, women-owned, immigrant-owned, and black- and brown-owned small businesses, who disproportionately struggle with affordable access to capital. 

Founders: Alex McLeod (CEO) and Jay Long (COO) (www.parlay.finance)

  • Stratyfy: Interpretable AI solutions enable financial institutions to make more accurate, efficient, and fair financial decisions in credit risk, fraud, and compliance. Stratyfy is on a mission to accelerate financial inclusion by providing greater transparency and less bias to critical financial decisions that impact millions of people.

  • Founder: Laura Kornhauser (CEO); and Liam Kenneally (BD) (www.stratyfy.com)

    Sunny Day Fund: Powers workplace emergency savings programs for people-first employers shining the light on financial well-being. By automating and incentivizing savings for workers in sectors like hospitality, manufacturing, and healthcare, Sunny Day Fund removes barriers to banking and equitable wealth building. 

    Founder: Sid Pailla (CEO); and Rachel Fox (BD) (www.sunnydayfund.com)

    Wellthi: Helps people build wealth better together by equipping financial institutions with social community finance technology and payment solutions that foster financial health, credit readiness, and access to affordable capital directly through your mobile banking application. (www.wellthiapp.com)

    Founder: Fonta Gilliam (CEO)