Diversity, innovation, and the power of lived experiences are at the core of our Headstream Accelerator community.

Committed to building technologies that empower the next generation, these entrepreneurs are at the forefront of innovation, creating solutions that resonate with and positively affect BIPOC, Latino, and LGTBQIA+, and the intersection of these identities. Their personal journeys enrich their perspectives, fostering an environment where diversity is celebrated and innovation knows no boundaries.

Together, they are building a brighter and more inclusive future for all.
Youth Users Reached
Funding Raised
Of Headstream Innovators are Black, Indigenous, or other people of color.
Identify as women or transgender.

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Backpack Health


Hafeezah Muhammad is a passionate, inspiring, and innovative leader. She is a technology aficionado and loves finding new ways to solve complex problems. As a native of St. Thomas United States Virgin Islands, she loves the sand, sea, and anything that represents tropical beauty. Backpack Health is a full-service mental health company for children and families. We accept 12+ insurances and provide, therapy and medication management. We practice cultural humility to ensure equal access to care. Our customized digital bibliotherapy books are our differentiator which allows additional therapy in-between sessions and beyond!

Big Health


Elise Ogle is the Director of Content at Limbix Spark. “We create Limbix to address problems of accessibility with mental health treatment and to empower teens by putting the treatment in the palm of their hands when they need it most,” says Ogle. Limbix is a digital therapeutic smartphone app designed to deliver core elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy to teens experiencing depression. One in every five teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood, and suicide is currently the number two leading cause for death among teens in the U.S.



Gean is the co-founder and CTO of Breakthru. He is originally from the Dominican Republic and immigrated to NYC when he was 5 years old. He came up through the NYC public school system and now has 16 years of experience in Tech. Gean is a thought leader in the tech space contributing to blogs, speaking sessions at Techqueria’s Latinx Heritage Month Summit, working various Meetup groups, and on Salesforce's flagship Dreamforce event. Breakthru democratizes student opportunities through brand engagement i.e., jobs, scholarships, curriculum, financial resources, and mentorship. Students connect with companies on our platform through a Learn-to-Earn experience.



Rachel Miller is the CEO and founder of CloseGap. Closegap is a non-profit startup aimed at improving the mental health of K-12 students. With its free web app, Closegap empowers teachers, school counselors, social workers, and parents to support the emotional health of their students daily and from a distance. With the app, kids share their emotions and physical needs. This data gets funneled into an easy-to-use dashboard that educators and parents can access in real time and use to intervene effectively.



Ashima is the founder and CEO of Dreami, a mentorship platform dedicated to making mentorship equitable and scalable. Ashima started her career in chemical engineering where she was exposed to the lack of career support. After a difficult pivot to the Tech industry, Ashima saw first-hand how needed and inaccessible mentorship truly is. After gaining strategy experience at Cisco and Product experience at Zendesk, Ashima took the leap of faith to start Dreami. Ashima has been recognized by Techstars, Nasdaq Milestone Makers, Microsoft's M12 SaaS launch lab, Antler VC, and Girls in Tech for her work with Dreami. In her free time, Ashima can be found deep in the Sierra Nevada hiking or backpacking. Dreami is on a mission to break down the social barriers to accessing mentorship and career support at the right time. Dreami is a beautiful and simple platform that streamlines training, matching, scheduling, and tracking to create tailored and high-impact mentorship programs. Dreami is proud to work with incredible organizations such as Techbridge Girls, Project Invent, Harvard, and FirstGraduate.



Dieumerci Christel is the EdTech Founder of Enlight and a student at North Dakota State University. Enlight aims to help educators expand their capacity to know their students with student-built profiles full of actionable insights to inform their teaching and create inclusive learning environments both online and in the classroom. Dieumerci is innovative, creative, and a problem solver who is mission-driven to become a serial entrepreneur focused on building social impact companies after resettling to the U.S. as a refugee.



Tyi McCray is the Co-Founder and CEO of Equipt, the mobile game. The game teaches people to live, work, and build relationships with people of all identities. EquipT offers micro-learning opportunities so that users can continuously engage with this information in a fun and interactive way. EquipT teaches teens two necessary skills: How to empathize with the lived experiences of those who are different from them and how to take action to improve the lives of marginalized groups.



CEO and founder, Ivy Mahsciao built Evrmore and then joined the second cohort as part of the 2021 accelerator program. Evrmore is a voice journaling app that lets you capture key moments throughout the day by just speaking your mind. Voice AI connects each key moment of internal reflection and group interaction to build awareness and relatedness in a safe space. Evrmore’s ed-tech platform delivers evidence-based solutions that show how building resilience improves learning and life outcomes.

Game Safer


Maria Tamellini is the Co-Founder and COO of GamerSafer. “Online games are engaging and fantastic places to hang out,” says Maria, “and safety is the most important thing in a place like that. That’s why we built GamerSafer.” Using computer vision and big data, GamerSafer helps game companies prevent bullying, harassment, hate speech, sexism, predators, and fraudsters. By working on prevention instead of damage mitigation, GamerSafer helps online games create a better player experience and build longer-lasting online communities.

Global Nomads


Afiya is the Program Manager of Seat at the Table, an online global community from Global Nomads Group, that connects youth to talk about their interests, ideas, and aspirations for our world. Born in Atlanta and based in Brooklyn, NY, Afiya is an artist and activist with a Masters degree in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy from New York University and wields over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector and as a social entrepreneur leveraging art, education, and community initiatives towards social progress

Grit Digital Health


Nathan Demers is the Co-Founder of Nod and the VP of Clinical Programs at Grit Digital Health. Nod is an app that addresses loneliness on college campuses. “Think of Nod as the equivalent of a workout app for young people’s social lives,” says Nathan. The goal of Nod is to empower youth all over the world with the critical tools and experience needed to flourish as social beings. Unlike other social apps that focus on content sharing, liking, or making digital connections, Nod is all about addressing the psychological underpinnings of the experience of loneliness using principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as positive psychology.



Sarah Hill is a former broadcast journalist who developed Healium for herself as well as the millions of others who struggle with anxiety. Healium is mental fitness for a new reality powered by biometric data from consumer wearables. Users can control these AR and VR stories by quieting their minds, increasing their focus, or lowering their heart rate using their own memories as fuel. Hill is a 12-time mid-America Emmy award-winning storyteller and developed a patented technology to control immersive media with biometric data. Her team built the world's first AR and VR product powered by consumer wearables.



Paul Salmon is the CEO of Hijo. The app HiJo is building the physical bridge between well-being and the digital world. It uses MoodMate, to monitor insights to support productivity, engagement, and well-being in your physical environment. HiJo gives all its young users an emotional bouncing board to unload their feelings without being judged. It also provides the parent or teacher an indication of where the child’s mental state is on a day-to-day basis. This information may be the difference between riding the waves or falling through the cracks.



Ziarekenya Smith is the Founder of Inpathy. Since birth, Ziarekenya has always had a heart for servant leadership and expressing himself creatively through his art, design, and storytelling skill sets. In 2015, Ziarekenya used his painful life experiences to create real-world human-centered solutions to social media’s most significant problems. Ziarekenya went on to find a revolutionary creative solution to the adverse effects of social media that people may deem impossible. His passionate and empathetic spirit for others has led him on his life’s purpose journey to serve people worldwide. Inpathy is reinventing social media to create a more enjoyable and empathetic online experience by inspiring transparency, normalizing moods, and recreating the human experience to better serve Millennials’ and Gen Zers' well-being.



Reva McPollom is a mom, digital learning consultant, and serial founder with over a decade in the edtech space, and was recently named one of The Root 100’s "Most Influential African Americans of 2020”. Reva founded Lessonbee, which sits at the intersection of edtech and telehealth reinventing health education for kids and teens through culturally responsive digital learning experiences that promote connection, diversity, and empathy. Through designed adaptivity, simulated text messaging, and social media experiences, Lessonbee develops health knowledge and skills through role-play, and establishes a foundation for lifelong learning.

Liminal Esports & Snow Bright Studios


Grace Collins is the Founder and CEO of Snowbright Studio and Liminal Esports. Previously, Grace led game-based education policy and projects for the U.S. Department of Education, the Smithsonian Institution, and coordinated federal games policy across the executive branch under the Obama and Trump administrations. Grace is a former all-girl's school teacher and has been recognized for their work in gender, games, and education by being named a Finalist for the 2020 Digital Education "Breakthrough of the Year" award by the Falling Walls Foundation and with a 2020 Ohio Educator Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology. Grace is also an outspoken LGBTQ+ and gender equity advocate who served as a 2019 LGBTQIA+ Fellow for the Union for Reform Judaism.

Live for Tomorrow


Elliot Taylor is the Founder of Live for Tomorrow. “Young people are posting in crisis on social media around the clock – and yet, not all of them reach out for professional help. Without proactive intervention, the results can be tragic.” Live for Tomorrow builds products that give meaningful help to people experiencing distress, no matter where you are in the world. Research shows that the best way to support someone in crisis is interpersonally, and with resources like the Live For Tomorrow chat, which connects you to a professionally trained specialist who can reach out directly to an individual posting in crisis. Think of it as support that reaches out first.

Local Civics


Beverly is the Founder and CEO of Local Civics. As a former pro soccer player, she brings over 10 years of experience as a youth educator and sports coach to Local Civics. Local Civics aims to transform how young people engage in our democracy, creating accessible onramps into our civic life. This work has been recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30, NPR's How I Built This, and Columbia's Tamer Center for Social Enterprise. Local Civics enables K-12 students and educators to build civic engagement and community leadership skills through project-based civic learning and a game-based digital learning platform. Through partnerships with youth, educators, and schools, they developed an evidence-based curriculum and tech platform that advances civic learning by connecting youth to the most powerful civic learning experiences online, in their schools, and in their local communities.

Love is Louder


Tali Beesley is the Co-Founder and CEO of All Mental Health, the organization behind the project MeAfterWe. Disturbed by the high suicide rate among 15-24-year-olds in the US, the All Mental Health team interviewed and surveyed hundreds of young people about what was contributing negatively to their mental health. The interviews and research showed that breakups are linked to increases in suicidal tendencies and depression in young adults. MeAfterWe aims to decrease the suicide rate among teens by helping them heal after difficult breakups. In 2020, Love is Louder, a project of the JED Foundation, partnered with MeAfterWe to make the 30-Day Break-Up Experience available to anyone who needs it.

Movement Genius


Alyson Stoner is the creator and co-founder of Movement Genius, a platform that uses movement for mental and emotional health. No equipment, no high price tag, no fitness or special skills required, Movement Genius is clinically-designed, personalized movement to help youth of all identities feel better, reduce stress, and find confidence. Alyson creates daily original content for her digital community of 3.5m+, is an advocate for inclusivity, mental health, and social impact, and has collaborated with the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Health Organization, TED, WE Day, Chopra Institute, Women in Green and beyond. Formerly, Alyson spent 20+ years entertaining across Film, TV, music and animation.



Dr. Katherine Grill is the co-founder and CEO of Neolth, which provides on-demand, personalized mental health support for the 40 million high school and college students in the US. Students engage in self-guided, personalized content on Neolth: whether it’s relaxation practices like guided imagery and art therapy or our video series where real students talk about their experiences with mental health. Dr. Grill has a BS in Art Therapy, MA in Biological Psychology and PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience. Previously, she conducted NIH behavioral research at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and co-founded a community-based health program for young adults. In 2017 she moved to San Francisco to explore the life-changing impact technology has on healthcare delivery.



Anna Casalme is the Founder and CEO of Novelly. “At a time when conversations about today’s issues are divisive and uncivil, young people today are demanding to be part of the national conversation. That animosity and polarization can be found all over social media, making it seemingly impossible to engage in any sort of dialogue. That’s where Novelly comes in to help.” Novelly is an ed-tech nonprofit creating space both online and offline for teens to have courageous conversations that lead to social change. Novelly’s work is centered on its app, where it curates collections of stories written for youth that humanize the issues of our time, from climate change to immigration reform to anti-Black racism.

Peer Health Exchange


Lisa (she/her) is the Vice President of Digital Impact at Peer Health Exchange, which builds healthier communities with young people. She led the youth co-design process that developed their app selfsea, a safe digital space where young people can see themselves reflected within a supportive and inclusive community. Lisa started her career as a classroom teacher and holds fifteen years of experience as an educator and innovator in the education and public health sectors. Selfsea, powered by Peer Health Exchange, provides young people with support, resources, and stories from young adults who’ve been there. our app was designed with and for young people ages 13-18 as a place where they can see themselves reflected within a supportive and inclusive community that prioritizes their identity and experiences about mental health, sexual health, and beyond.

Rap Research Lab


Tahir Hemphill is an artist, educator, and researcher whose practice investigates the role systems play in the generation of a form and the role collaborative knowledge production plays in the resilience of communities. Tahir uses computational analysis to draw out what is usually unseeable in the semantic structures within large bodies of archival text. Tahir is the founding director of Rap Research Lab, a Baltimore-based creative technology studio, where he leads cross-functional teams of creatives who pioneer new digital forms by harnessing big data, artificial intelligence, natural language processing to create opportunities for creative competition, cultural research, individual expression, and collaborative problem-solving. Mapper's Delight is a sculptural data visualization tool built on semantic relationships of thousands of rap lyrics. It shows how rappers cover the globe with references to cities, neighborhoods, and regions, using augmented reality to put music and language at your fingertips. Explorers can discover how the world's most popular form of poetry and performance engages language arts, STEM, and cultural and data literacy for the 21st century. Mapper's Delight draws from the Rap Almanac database, a “big data” cultural research platform built around the cataloging, transcription, and linguistic analysis of approximately 1,000,000 rap songs.



Annie Brown is the Founder of Lips, a creative sharing platform and created by women and the LGBTQIA community. Lips is a platform with a social mission: to encourage open and honest creative expression among women and the LGBTQIA+ communities. “Think of it as the fun parts of the internet – such as Instagram, Etsy, Pinterest – without the bad parts, namely hate speech and biased censorship of creators,” says Annie. The team built Lips to prove that a better digital world is possible for people who don’t want to be limited by the restrictions of social media platforms.



Rina G. Patel is the founder and CEO of SHE, a platform reinventing access to health services for GenZ, starting with mental and sexual health. Rina has spent the past 10 years working with youth through Aahana, a non-profit she founded for youth across rural communities in India. Her work has also taken her to over 100 communities as a youth educator, facilitator, and speaker. Austin Serio (he/they) is a member of the Chicoran Shakori Tribe and white. He is descended from sharecroppers who left Jim Crow South Carolina through the Great Migration. As Co-Founder and CEO of ShockTalk, Austin is focused on access to culturally tailored mental health services, regardless of state or federal recognition status. ShockTalk is a culturally tailored telemental health platform, focused on connecting Indigenous therapy seekers, to Indigenous therapy providers. ShockTalk is focused on the alleviation of historical and intergenerational trauma for Indigenous communities, regardless of state or federal recognition status.

Social Cipher


Vanessa Gill is the Founder and CEO of Social Cipher. Autistic youth are often told or made to feel that they don’t belong, and that social-emotional skills will always be a struggle for them if they don’t adopt neurotypical behavior. That’s where Social Cipher comes in as it builds social-emotional online games to enlighten all neurotypes. The company released its first web-based game, Ava, to help learners understand the challenges and strengths related to autism and neurodivergent behavior. Ava offers a game that helps all youth fail safely, preparing them for social-emotional success beyond the screen.

This Teenage Life


Molly Josephs is an educator who, with an inspiring team of teenagers, founded and runs the podcast This Teenage Life, which features personally meaningful topics that are particularly resonant with teens, preteens, parents, and educators. Molly has spent the past decade teaching middle and high school biology and computer science and designing project-based curricula. This Teenage Life is a community and youth dialogue and podcasting program that, through dialogue groups centered around personally meaningful topics and storytelling, creates a podcast and other content that helps young people feel less alone in the world.

Trill Project


Ari Sokolov is the Co-Founder and CEO of Trill Project. Mental health issues are especially prevalent among teens in the LGBTQIA+ community which inspired the creation of Trill. “ Our team talked to LGBT+ teens at our local high schools and online and found that many of these issues were rooted in feeling isolated and alone. So we decided to build an online community where no one would feel isolated or alone.” Trill (a combination of the words true and real) is an anonymous social networking app for users to express themselves, answer questions, ask questions, discover content, and more. On Trill, users join virtual support groups that correspond to specific topics such as “anxiety” or “coming out.” In 2021, Trill was recently acquired by Blue Fever.



Gaurang is the founder of Violet, a platform and community that is empowering the queer community to find and book queer-competent mental healthcare while donating care to LGBTQ+ youth and TGNC individuals. Prior to building Violet, Gaurang spent 4 years building Oscar Health -- a health insurance company built from the ground up. At Oscar, Gaurang spent a lot of time advocating for the queer community and learning about our healthcare journeys. As a queer immigrant, he is excited to help all underserved individuals find culturally competent care.

Weird Enough Productions


Tony Weaver, Jr. is an award-winning writer and educator who creates diverse stories that make young people feel seen and valued. Tony is the founder of Weird Enough Productions, a comic company building a new world of stories that will change the one we live in. After seeing the impact that media stereotypes had on students in his community, Tony embarked on a journey to create new media narratives that would challenge the status quo.



As a Doctor, Dad, and CEO, DocMoyo's goal is to create generational health and wealth for people of color and immigrants. Welfie is a “Wellness Selfie”, giving people a regular snapshot of their health so they can see the big picture of their wellness journey. We are building an assistant to help guide your personal, family, and community health journey with content, social communities, and access to healthcare, products, and services.

Some of these innovators had the chance to get together during the Headstream Innovation Festival (HIF) in 2022.

Where we brought together 600+ stakeholders, both in person and online. This diverse community converged to forge connections, ignite creativity, and unite in their shared dedication for youth well-being. Our attendees included visionary innovators shaping the digital landscape, young leaders, influential figures in sectors like healthcare, government, and technology, and individuals driven by a deep passion for fostering digital well-being.

Click here to learn more about HIF