Accelerator Program Supports Start-Up Companies, Innovators

Photo Credit: techstars Detroit


DETROIT — Small businesses from across the country gathered in Detroit for an accelerator program that is helping them build and scale in more ways than one.

“It’s real-world experience, so being able to be a part of Techstars and have these investor pitches, it helps us for when we are behind doors doing investor pitches,” said Jarrell Williams, co-founder of Peadbo.

Keith Cheney and Jarrell Willims are fraternity brothers who met in college. They later created a platform to help businesses and individuals manage and achieve their goals.

“We’re building what is called, Peadbo – short for ‘personal advisory board’. We know that businesses understand they need to build a team of intelligent individuals who can help them navigate obstacles and accomplish their goals”, said Cheney.

Techstars Detroit powered by JP Morgan is an accelerator program open to all industries, committed to providing equitable access, funding, and support for entrepreneurs in the community. 

“One of the things we talks about, especially in the Black and brown community is the gap in wealth, the gap in innovation, and the gap in people having ownership,” said Monica Wheat, Managing Director of Techstars Detroit.”

“(This lack of access) come from not having the tools to learn how to start a business and how to scale a business. The goal of it (Demo-Day) to allow them (founder participants) to showcase themselves to the venture and innovation community. The funding that went into this program was about eliminating those gaps.”

The programing is providing game-changing investment and mentorship over the course of 13 weeks, eliminating gaps so start-up companies participating in the courses can succeed.

“Meeting people who are like-minded, doing other great things and really giving you perspective on your business that you may not see,” said Amari Houston, co-founder of Boxxtech. “There’s that comfortability of not feeling crazy and talking to someone else who’s trying to do something new in the industry and something disruptive.”

Techstars Detroit also has a global reach, attracting Chukwuka Nwagbara, a Nigeria native and founder of Capsa, and he believes he’s got the next best thing.

“We’ve built a marketplace that ensures business don’t wait beyond 48 hours to get paid. Once you’ve delivered your good instead of waiting 90 days – you list your invoice on our platform and it gets sold to investors within 48 hours.”

The accelerator program concludes with a big Demo-day for participants where founders are able to showcase their innovation. For more information on how to apply to become a part of the next participating class, visit


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