Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator brings 10 promising startups to Portland

Person writes on glass wall
Nine startups are moving into the Roux Institute for an intensive 13-week program to develop their businesses. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

The Roux Institute is welcoming 10 startup companies to its headquarters in Portland, Maine, as part of its ongoing partnership with Techstars to grow high-tech businesses and strengthen the regional economy.

The Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator launches its second year on Sept. 19 by collaborating with 10 early-stage ventures that share the Roux Institute’s focus on artificial intelligence, healthcare tech, data visualization and advanced manufacturing. Over three months, the founding teams of each company will receive funding and hands-on training in acquiring and serving new customers while teaming with the mentor network of Techstars, which operates more than 40 startup accelerators around the world. 

The 10 startups were selected from a diverse field of more than 100 applicants from around the world.

“We’re building on the success of the first cohort by making an effort to attract companies that align with the Roux Institute’s research and learning expertise,” says Ben Chesler, director of venture creation and acceleration at the Roux Institute. 

Three companies from last year’s accelerator class have relocated to Maine, joining a fourth startup that was already based in the state, Chesler says.

“We hope to continue enabling and encouraging startups to do business in Maine,” says Chesler, noting that the companies will be exposed to the institute’s talent pipeline of graduate students as well as its extensive network of corporate, government and non-governmental partners. 

In addition to partnering with Techstars, the startups will also be working with faculty, researchers, and mentors from the Roux Institute and Northeastern’s global network to refine their business models, craft their pitches, and network with other entrepreneurs and potential investors. 

The 13-week program will culminate in a public showcase to be attended by potential investors and stakeholders from across the Maine ecosystem. Companies from the inaugural accelerator program have raised more than $7 million in investments while creating 17 jobs in Maine.

“The founders we will welcome to Portland are an exceptional and diverse group,“ says Lars Perkins, managing director for the Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator. “They stood out in demonstrating a deep understanding of their markets and customers’ pains, as well as having teams able to execute quickly. We look forward to helping them hone their operations and plugging them into Techstars’ worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed by opening doors and scaling rapidly.”

The companies are:

  • ByDesign (based in Boston), a tool that helps people plan their lives, build community and achieve goals.
  • CICLA (Concepción, Chile), which develops and produces advanced composite materials for 3D printers.
  • Cypress Health (Los Angeles), an integrative gut health solution built on consistent, contextualized data for patients and care teams.
  • hey freya (Portland, Maine), the first comprehensive women’s wellness solution that prioritizes convenience, inclusivity and the top concerns of busy women: overwhelm, exhaustion, and anxiety.
  • HotDrop (Newton, Massachusetts), an app that connects artists with fans, making music discovery simple and social.
  • Pointz (Providence, Rhode Island), a mapping app that crowdsources safer bike & scooter routes.
  • ReVert Technologies (New York), which makes AI-enabled power outlets to help consumers become conservers.
  • The PS Collective (Brooklyn, New York), an online marketplace where women are connected to independent designers who make clothes to fit their shape and style.
  • Torque (Portland, Maine), which helps software developers design cloud infrastructure systems visually.
  • Virtual Sapiens (Boston), which leverages AI and behavioral science to provide insights on nonverbal communication cues on video.

For media inquiries, please contact Shannon Nargi at or 617-373-5718.