Meet the Inaugural Class of Companies

The Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator Class of 2021

Last week, the Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator announced their inaugural class, a group of 10 early-stage companies selected from hundreds of applications and hailing from as far away as Chile and Seattle, who will set up shop for the next 13 weeks on the Roux Institute’s waterfront campus in Portland, Maine. These companies are building products and solutions in areas that will revolutionize how we live and work, including AI, life sciences and health, and data and analytics.

The Portland accelerator is only the second Techstars outfit in New England after Boston, and one of more than two dozen accelerators that they operate around the globe. The accelerator will introduce startups to a potential talent pipeline of graduate students who are studying at the Roux in addition to the benefits of working and living in Maine, while attracting investors and strengthening the regional economy.

We’re excited to welcome these founders to Portland. We looked for founding teams that are pursuing big opportunities and who would benefit from the talent that the Roux Institute, Techstars, and the wider Portland startup community can offer.

Lars Perkins

Managing Director, The Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator

Perkins, a former Google executive, joined the Roux Institute Techstars team in April, and has since recruited an all-star lineup of mentors for the program including Rich Miner, founder of Android; Andy Palmer, CEO of Cambridge-based Tamr; Tate Ficker of Unum Ventures; and Julia Trotman Brady, a partner at Valo Ventures.

The companies receive three months of intensive training and hands-on mentorship from the institute, researchers, investors, experienced entrepreneurs, and academic and industry advisers. The startups also receive funding while learning how to grow their businesses by acquiring and serving new customers. The program culminates in December with a Demo Day, to be attended by potential investors and stakeholders from across the Maine ecosystem.

We are excited to be in Portland and working alongside so many talented entrepreneurs that have also joined the accelerator, as well as the Techstars mentors and Roux faculty. Ever since applying to the accelerator, I've been scoping out Portland's startup community and can't wait to harness some of its energy as we grow our company."

Leslie Hyman

CEO, Circa

The program is designed to help the companies establish connections and roots in Maine, which will drive business growth throughout the state and northern New England. A goal of the multi-year partnership with Techstars is to introduce the companies to potential partners and talent pipelines in the region.

“People are realizing they can build companies where they want to build them,” Roux Institute’s Director of Entrepreneurship, Chris Wolfel says. “Our goal is that they build a deeper relationship with the state, the institute, and Northeastern, and they keep a portion, or all, of their team here when their accelerator experience ends in December.”

According to Techstars, “Portland has emerged as one of New England’s most promising startup hubs. Founders are finding success starting and scaling their companies here, and outside investors are beginning to take notice. Venture capital firms such as Bessemer Venture Partners; Lowercarbon Capital; San Francisco-based Yes VC; Underscore VC and Founder Collective, both based in Boston; and New York Venture Partners have all recently invested in Maine-based startups.”

The Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator Class of 2021

  • Attention Exchange

    A lean research platform that helps brands get honest feedback from real people so that they can make better decisions.

    Location: Weston, Massachusetts, USA

    Brands are struggling to meet the needs of modern consumers. They know the value of customer feedback, but don’t have the time to make sense of it.

    We’ve built a lean research platform that captures honest feedback from real people. This empowers brands to make decisions quickly and confidently.

    We run studies that are worth 10x what it costs to produce them. Providing respect, we found a way to get people to want to connect with brands. We help growing brands find and learn from their people. Learn more.


    We integrate healthy habits into screen interactions via our patented browser extension.

    Location: Leonia, New York, USA

    Our first patented product is a Chrome browser extension as a consumer product with a freemium model to offer simple break reminders (breath work, meditation, seated movement) – scientifically studied, effective and popular exercises to reduce stress and improve performance. It also adapts the screen’s color and brightness to the user’s vital signs. Learn more.

  • Circa

    Reinventing rent using a powerful mix of payment flexibility, credit reporting, communications, arrears planning, and more.

    Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA

    Circa transforms the monthly rent payment into a community benefit that reduces evictions, strengthens financial resiliency, and improves property processes. Blending payment flexibility, credit reporting, arrears planning, and more, Circa improves a resident’s ability to pay and stay in the home. Feedback from our 12 pilot communities has been fantastic, with managers reporting 30% efficiency improvement. With $57.5B in rent arrears, Circa is eager to help America’s renters get back on track. Learn more.

  • Eskuad

    A platform with offline capability that streamlines data collection and other easy-to-use services.

    Location: Concepcion, Chile

    Eskuad simplifies teamwork for field operations, by democratizing BI and AI tools, streamlining data collection and report creation, reducing redone work, retyping and helping make better decisions.

    Our solution is easy to adopt by field operators. It works offline and automatically syncs with the cloud even with poor 2G service, while also being flexible for their work conditions, including automated data collection. Once data is on our cloud, we deliver reports, sync with corporate systems and recommend actions for managers. Learn more.

  • Group B Labs

    Creating technology that simplifies childcare in a way that nurtures both parent and child.

    Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

    Our product, neubottle, redefines baby bottle preparation and feeding, a typically tedious, inconvenient, and time-consuming process. Neubottle is an advanced baby bottle that keeps milk or formula cold for hours and then, at the push of a button, warms it to a perfect feeding temperature within 2 minutes. With neubottle there are no risks of hot-spots or denaturing the vital nutrients of breast milk. Neubottle is battery powered and portable, works with any nipple, and collects feeding data. Learn more.

  • ListedB

    ListedB is the online booking choice for beauty and wellness services.

    Location: North Amityville, New York, USA

    ListedB is a platform that allows users to post beauty and wellness content and services in a community style environment to schedule appointments. We are a personalized booking experience with custom content tailored to each user’s personal preferences. ListedB utilizes AI to improve searching and discoverability, provide more value for users at a lower cost, and to strengthen the relationship between clients and service providers. Learn more.

  • MCSquared Health

    We simplify the medical billing process so patients and providers can focus on what’s most important: care.

    Location: Oakland, California, USA

    Patient billing processes are broken and don’t sufficiently leverage technology. 72% of providers say patient collections are their #1 revenue cycle issue, while 74% of patients are confused by their medical bills.

    MCSquared Health provides a SaaS solution benefiting providers and patients. Our SaaS solution helps providers:

    1) Increase collections by 30%

    2) Reduce staff work time by 50%

    3) Improve patient satisfaction by 200%

    Learn more.

  • Omnic Data

    Location: Harpswell, Maine, USA

    Omnic uses Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and our proprietary Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to extract data and provide advanced statistical analysis to Esports organizations in numerous ways, from player performance enhancement to predictive analytics for betting platforms. Learn more.

  • Phase Zero

    Enabling a seamless patient and study team experience.

    Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

    Multi-site clinical research relies on a myriad of medical specializations to collect data. Unsurprisingly, this results in data residing in multiple source systems, leading to complex downstream normalization. Phase Zero uniquely addresses this problem through our online collaborative form builder, where users can build, suggest, and distribute surveys efficiently from one interface. Our focus on collaboration enforces upstream data normalization, empowering downstream data analysis. Learn more.

  • Wishroute

    Wishroute is an SMS platform that increases user engagement and conversion through motivating human conversations.

    Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

    Wishroute helps D2C companies proactively and personally support customers with a human “accountability buddy.” We enable companies to add human-supported daily SMS conversations to their platforms, designed to help users build healthy habits around the product they signed up for, increasing motivation and, in turn, preventing drop off. Customers capture more revenue with a Wishroute subscription because we increase KPIs like engagement, free trial conversion and retention-driving positive ROI. Learn more.