Mentors, investors, funders gather to hear pitches from some of Westchester’s fastest growing startups

On Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, Westchester County’s Element 46 Tech Accelerator Powered by Cela presented the program’s Fall 2022 Demo Day, where each startup selected for the program presented on recent progress and future plans to investors and others. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “It has been a pleasure to witness the growth of the 11 startups who participated in the fourth cohort of the Element 46 Tech Accelerator. Westchester County is home to a vibrant community of entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology in innovative ways and we are proud to have these ventures as part of that community.”

Bridget Gibbons, Westchester County Director of Economic Development, said: “Westchester County is a prime location for tech-driven startups to launch and scale. We look forward to seeing how these 11 ventures grow and evolve after participating in the Element 46 Tech Accelerator.”

Deborah Novick, Westchester County Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said: “The Element 46 Tech Accelerator is a vital component of our technology ecosystem. We are excited to have these 11 companies doing business in Westchester and wish them well as they build upon their early successes.”

John Lynn, Co-Founder, Cela Innovation, said: “While each of this cohort’s participants is leveraging technology to drive their business forward, the ventures themselves are quite unique. We are proud to support and mentor a diverse community of Westchester County startups and can’t wait to see what these startups accomplish next.”

Members of the Fall 2022 Element 46 Tech Accelerator cohort were selected in a competitive, county-wide selection process this past summer and early fall. Eleven startups from across the County were selected, and range from pre-seed to investor-backed, grant-funded, and revenue-generating operations. All startup founders in Element 46 are Westchester County residents.

In the program, each founder was matched with hand-picked mentors who are leaders in technology, finance, business strategy, venture capital, marketing and other key areas.  Participants also gained access to a world-class curriculum on fundraising, customer development, executive management, product iteration, branding, marketing and more. 

The Element 46 Tech Accelerator Powered by Cela runs for 12 weeks every spring and fall. This was the first program produced in partnership with Cela Innovation, experts in tech accelerator programming and operations.

At the program’s final Demo Day, the Fall 2022 Element 46 cohort delivered their pitches live in front of investors, corporate partners, potential key customers, and press. After each company pitched, attendees were able to meet the founders and begin building new opportunities for funding, partnership, and other business outcomes heading into the post-program phase. 

The members of Element 46’s fourth cohort, which includes seven minority- and women-owned businesses and six ventures led by female CEOs, are:

Bridget Johns-Pavlopoulos, To&From , With the first comprehensive gifting tool for consumers, To&From solves problems like “I don’t know what to buy”, “I never remember the important dates” or “I try but always end up getting it wrong”. To&From launched in June 2022 and is bringing solutions to this $800B market with its patent-pending Gifting Intelligence. The company collects user preference data from gifters and giftees, curates and assigns gifting attributes the best assortment of DTC brands and builds incredible tools for managing gifting experiences. To&From redefines digital gifting by delivering personalized experiences wherever and whenever a gifting need is presented.

Caroline McCaffery,, The ClearOPS platform automates manual tasks for virtual Chief Information Security Officers (vCISOs), accelerating the growth of their business and increasing the number of CISOs they can support. With ClearOPS, virtual CISOs can upload their own gap assessments, benefit from ClearOPS’ patented security technology and automatically manage their clients' privacy and security operations database. By automating the administrative work, virtual CISOs can scale faster.

Mousa Ahmadi, PHD, Laronix, Laronix is a world-leading Med-Tech startup with effective voice technologies for people suffering permanent voice loss and chronic voice deficiencies. Laronix has two products in its portfolio: (a) Bionic Voice, a breakthrough natural-sounding artificial voice box supporting in-person voice communication (patented, FDA/TGA registered); and (b) Laronix’s Voice App, for supporting phone/online voice communication (e.g., Zoom). The primary market for Laronix’s products in Australia and the US is $5.4 billion. Laronix’s share of this market is estimated to reach $134 million by 2026.

Greg Perlman, EngagePlay Therapy, Engage Play Therapy is a telehealth platform for play therapy. Engage provides a simple and affordable solution for therapists to support engagement with their young clients in therapy. A therapist can connect with their clients on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer while playing games with telehealth clients.

Joshua Nunberg, Urbanvie, Urbanvie has created a simple-to-use and powerful property management software platform that is integrated with a Human Network of local real estate professionals and contractors, to help Do it Yourself Property Owners and Independent Real Estate Investors (DIYs) buy, rent, sell, manage, and fix their properties.

Imani Schectman, Open Market, The Open Market platform allows BIPOC-owned businesses to go beyond their geographic limitations. BIPOC businesses can now competitively participate in the e-commerce ecosystem with Open Market's access to resources, capital, and an engaged audience. Open Market is responsive to new types of demand in conscious retail. Open Market is making it easy for consumers to locate and patronize brands that align with the initiatives they care about -- social justice, equity, sustainability, livable wages and more.

Marc Saulino, StatementGames, StatementGames Inc. is B2B SAAS gaming platform leveraging its own patented sports gaming technology. Through this platform, the company helps sports marketers and content creators address challenges in the areas of customer engagement, analytics and database marketing. 

Mark Ferguson, Innervation Finance, Innervation Finance (IF) is a cloud-based Fintech platform focused on addressing the access to capital challenges of small and medium sized businesses, particularly those run by women and people of color. The company’s technology allows it to seamlessly accelerate payments cheaply and efficiently to vendors when their customers demand longer payment cycles. IF’s innovative solution improves working capital, increases cashflow and strengthens the buyer-supplier relationship through the releasing of liquidity locked up in global supply chains.

Michael Bifolco, Sheperd, Sheperd is a personalized recommendation engine that helps people make better decisions. Sheperd gets to know your preferences and what motivates you so it can generate relevant recommendations and advice based on similar users who have already faced the same decision.  Sheperd establishes a partnership with the user during the critical first 80% of the decision-making process - a phase not currently being addressed by any other solutions. Guiding users through the earliest stages to the final decision builds confidence and trust, giving Sheperd the incumbent advantage to win downstream monetization opportunities.

Susan Joseph,, Healthtrends combats misinformation by providing critical datasets with integrity. Valda, the company’s data explorer and validation platform, provides a single source of truth that you can trust, so you can make the best investment and strategic decisions possible.

Traci Jones, Everfoam Products, EverFoam’s mission is to provide a solution to dwindling helium availability through our innovative alternatives, and to build products that delight event planners and party decor retailers, while driving down use of critical helium reserves.

To learn more about the Element 46 program, visit the Element 46 website.

About The Westchester County Office of Economic Development

The Westchester County Office of Economic Development works to improve the County’s economic well-being and quality of life. This includes a broad range of activities to attract, create and retain jobs, and to foster a resilient, pro-growth and inclusive economy. For more information, visit the Westchester Catalyst website.