Christie Pitts is the Head of Backstage Accelerator, a 3-month program designed to give underrepresented founders the support they need to reach their next critical milestone launching in 4 cities around the world.
In September of 2018, we announced Backstage Accelerator. At that time, we had 100 companies led by underestimated founders in our portfolio — our Headliners — and learned so much from investing in and supporting them. We wanted to use our learnings to improve our existing platform support, as well as develop a new program that would give the next group of founders we invested in access to tailored, thoughtful, in-person resources and support, at scale.
In just 6 short months, we’ve gone from announcement to launch. Using our core values to guide us, we’ve built an inclusive, robust program for our founders that will help them reach the next critical business milestone. We’ve fully onboarded our incredible teams in 4 cities around the world, who together are bringing decades of experience and deep relationships in each city to the program.
We’ve worked side-by-side with our partners Microsoft for Startups and MailChimp, and we’re impressed with their commitment to the strength of diversity. We’re thankful for our partners’ support in making Accelerator an invaluable experience for our founders.
We received and reviewed more than 1800 applications from hard-working founders, and today, we’re excited to share the remarkable 25 companies who will be joining us in Accelerator Cohort 1.