Conquer Accelerator Selects Six Startups for 2021 Cohort

Posted Jun 2nd, 2021

Michigan-based accelerator provides funding, mentorship, and network opportunities to East Lansing entrepreneurs


EAST LANSING, Mich. – Conquer Accelerator announces its sixth season and summer 2021 cohort. The 10-week accelerator welcomes six selected teams to its East Lansing program: CrossBraining, Frizzmo, Nickels, Rebound AI, SafetySit, and Tandem.  

“We’re proud of what we’ve built over the last five years at Conquer Accelerator and we’re only getting better,” said Thomas Stewart, Conquer Accelerator Program Manager, “The teams we selected this year are a great example of how Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has evolved and matured over the years. We’re just happy to have had a small role in that development.”

Originated in East Lansing, the accelerator program supports rising startups by providing $20,000 in funding, access to 40+ mentors, access to follow-on funding, and other essential resources. Conquer Accelerator is a collaborative effort made possible through partnerships with parent organization Michigan State University Foundation and its subsidiaries Spartan Innovations, Red Cedar Ventures, Michigan Rise, and University Corporate Research Park (UCRP).

2021’s Conquer Accelerator East Lansing Teams:

  • CrossBraining is an early-revenue e-learning platform that scales personalized, hands-on learning.

  • Frizzmo is a debit card that makes it easy to spend/save/give with every purchase.  

  • Nickels uses behavioral science to solve bank customers' thorniest financial challenges.

  • Rebound AI simplifies analytics by delivering insights, answers, and alerts through a chatbot for Amazon and Shopify sellers.

  • SafetySit is a mobile backrest allowing clinicians to treat patients without additional staff, eliminating $1.8B of unnecessary/unsafe support labor in healthcare.

  • Tandem is a peer-to-peer payment app that allows a quick and easy way for couples to share expenses.

Since its inception, Conquer Accelerator has been committed to diversity and inclusion. Over 40% of the program’s founders are from underrepresented backgrounds; Conquer Accelerator also introduced its first internship program during its Grand Rapids cohort, Conquer Accelerator Diversity in Entrepreneurship (CADE). The internship program aims to increase diversity within the entrepreneurial community even further by hiring young professionals from various ethnicities and backgrounds to collaborate with selected teams. This is the first year the East Lansing cohort will include CADE interns.

In addition to receiving interns, selected startups receive up to $20,000 in seed funding, tailored mentorship from leaders within their respective industries, a collaborative working space, as well as access to a network of angel and venture investors. Once companies move on from the accelerator, they become part of Red Cedar Ventures’ investment portfolio.

“Our accelerator continues to evolve in so many positive ways,” said Jeff Wesley, Red Cedar Ventures Director. “We expanded Conquer Accelerator to Grand Rapids and added our first CADE internship program to both locations. As we continue to grow startups, I feel proud of their accomplishments and dedication to advancing innovation, and I’m also proud of our team and their efforts to provide opportunities for our companies and ecosystem.”

Conquer Accelerator has successfully launched 30 startups in five years, 22 of which are still active today. Those companies have gone on to raise $1.6M in grant funding and over $31M in additional venture funding. “Our portfolio of companies have been selected into TechStars, some have successfully exited, and other established companies have created jobs in their own community,” said Wesley. 

Conquer Accelerator runs virtually from June 1st – August 6th. For more information about the teams, visit


About Conquer Accelerator

Launched in 2016, Conquer Accelerator has invested over $700K into its startups. From streetwear to AI-assisted language learning, Conquer Accelerator accepts committed entrepreneurs who are ready to take their startups to the next level. Bringing together business and industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and university experts—not to mention angel and venture investors—Conquer alums have access to a powerful network. Learn more at