Meet ICA’s newest class of entrepreneurs in The Accelerator at ICA and The Lab at ICA.
We are excited to announce that 16 great Bay Area businesses are joining ICA as part of the two latest cohorts of ICA accelerator programs. This fall, 4 companies were accepted to the Accelerator and 12 were selected for participation in the Lab. These companies are carefully selected by ICA’s team for their high growth potentials and their abilities to move the needle on our mission to close the racial and gender wealth gaps.
More about The Accelerator and The Lab:
The Accelerator companies will be working on the four pillars of growth: growth strategy, people strategy, capital strategy and investment readiness across a demanding 14 week program. Companies that join the Accelerator are poised for growth – they have a demonstrated product/market fit and a scalable business model with tangible expansion opportunities. When they graduate, Accelerator companies are eligible for catalytic funding from ICA's Growth Fund. To date, 5 Accelerator alumni have received a total of $1.3MM in direct investment from ICA.
Our newest accelerator program, the Lab at ICA selects promising early-stage businesses that are generating revenue and looking to develop a plan to strategically grow. The month-long accelerator program is designed to help businesses strengthen their existing business models, stabilize operations, establish a path for growth, and get ready to take on capital. Lab companies are also eligible to receive seed capital from the Growth Fund, and to date 6 Lab companies have received investment!
Please join us in welcoming ICA’s 16 newest companies!
Meet Cohort 8 of The Accelerator at ICA —
Coracao Confections, Inc
Coracao is an award-winning artisanal Bay Area chocolate company with a cult following. Committed to becoming a Carbon Neutral company, Coracao specializes in creating organic candy bars with better for you fillings, as well as seasonal truffle boxes. It employs a small but mighty team of twelve.
Daniel Korson, founder; Chelsea Coleman, COO
Oaktown Spice Shop
With shops in Oakland, Albany, and Castro Valley, Oaktown Spice Shop sells fresh, high-quality culinary spices, herbs and hand-crafted blends, available in bulk or in glass spice jars. Oaktown grinds its spices in-house, making for blends that are bursting with flavor and are far fresher than those found elsewhere.
Erica Perez, John Beaver co-founders
Pietisserie is an Oakland-based brand of deluxe pies. The company manufactures and distributes pies nationally in new and traditional flavors enhanced by a playful, modern aesthetic.
Jaynelle St. Jean, founder
Vegan Mob is a vegan BBQ soul food fusion restaurant with a popular brick and mortar location at Oakland’s Lake Merritt, and pop-ups and food trucks throughout the Bay Area. Vegan Mob is growing fast and currently building out a franchise model with plans for expansion as early as 2022.
Toriano Gordon, founder
Meet Cohort 2 of The Lab at ICA
Baby Bean Pie
Baby Bean Pie is a family owned & operated artisan bakeshop, specializing in plant based food products that ‘Taste Good For You’. Our mission is to encourage healthy lifestyles within our community by offering delectables made with nutritious ingredients, specifically the superfood Navy Bean. We strive to provide an excellent experience for our patrons by creating products made with quality, love & integrity.
Zakiyyah Shaheed, founder
Beth Miles Design
Beth Miles Design creates sustainable designs for women and home—natural, regenerative & locally made. We’re building values-based brands for a healthier planet.
Beth Miles, founder
Bruthas Honey is a family-owned business founded in Vallejo California that extracts raw honey from local honey bee hives located on its corporate honeybee farm. Bruthas Honey produces raw honey and other all-natural specialty products that are seasonally produced and environmentally conscious.
Marcus Simpkins, founder
Emmerse was created to encourage women and girls to place their sanity at the top of their priority list and to create a safe space to talk about mental health. Founder Valithia Barnett uses candles to help relax so she started to make custom scented candles for others to enjoy as well. From candles, the product line expanded to include bath/shower products, wax melts and diffusers.
Valithia Barnett, founder
Iyoba’s offerings include our bestselling probiotic deodorant, hair moisturizers and conditioners, natural hair styling creams, body butters, artisan soaps, sugar scrubs, bath bombs, and home care products. Each product is handmade using natural, cruelty-free ingredients that nourish hair and skin while respecting the environment. We make soaps in small batches in order to preserve the quality of each bar.
Efiya Asabi, founder
Our handcrafted jerky has the subtle umami of mushrooms, the flavor of freshly ground spices, and a meaty, satisfying texture. Munchrooms are a new smarter snacking brand dedicated to making healthier snacking more achievable and sustainable with meat-alternative jerky.
Gina Shi, founder
Oyna Natural Foods
Onya Natural Foods brings a delicious and healthy taste of Persian culture to foodies in the Bay Area and beyond. Its signature dish, Kuku Sabzi, is a staple meal in Iran and a regular dish on the founder’s family tables.
Mehdi Parnia, founder
We believe that creative people can change the world. Pillar gives them the space to do it. Whether you need a home base for your growing business, the support of an engaged community, onsite childcare services, or a beautiful space for work and reflection, our door is open.
Amirh Davis, founder
Scarlet Fire Hot Sauce
The perfect blend of heat and flavor, Scarlet Fire® is a vinegar-based hot sauce made with Fresno, habanero, & Thai chilies. This medium-heat sauce is a great addition to soups, sauces, marinades, eggs, mac & cheese, tacos, bloody marys, vegetables – and so much more! Scarlet Fire® is gluten free, vegan, low sodium, and made without added sugar.
Marla Simon, founder
Squeaky Green House Cleaning
Squeaky Green House Clean is a locally-owned full-service cleaning company offering eco-friendly services to small businesses and residences in Oakland, CA. Squeaky Green is a prominent and trusted name in the cleaning industry and provides personalized cleaning services designed to keep homes and businesses sparking, beautiful and “Squeaky Green Clean.”
Shirley Bellot, founder
That’s My Jam
That's My Jam is a small batch and bold flavors jam company that focuses on making the fruit the spotlight in every jar. Based in Oakland, CA we produce low sugar and pectin-free flavor combinations that are versatile and can be used for cooking, baking and cocktail making.
MarQuita Petties, founder
Tonita’s Cuban Kitchen
VineCuban Sauce is plant-based and combines Cuban, Caribbean, and Creole flavors that families and kids love. The sauce is made using only fresh ingredients, with no added sugar, preservatives, or fillers. Tonita’s sauce is perfect for elevating the flavor in any dish (like enchiladas, black beans, or chili, to name a few) or simply enjoying it—like a salsa—straight
Tonia Chapple, Founder