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Inpathy, a new kind of social media company, has gotten the green light to enter the coveted Detroit Techstars accelerator program.
Powered by J.P. Morgan, Techstars is designed to recruit and provide equitable access, funding, and support for entrepreneurs who are Black, Hispanic and Latino, Indigenous American, and/or Pacific Islander, according to its website.
On a Facebook post Monday, Detroit native Ziarekenya, co-founder of Inpathy, celebrated the achievement. The 12-week hybrid program helps companies level up and ends with investor previews and a Demo day.
“We want to seamlessly integrate socializing and mental health. That’s the future of social media,” Ziarekenya Smith told The Black Wall Street Times in March.
After making major waves in the tech world, dreams of becoming the first Black-owned mainstream social media company are moving closer to reality.
Inpathy solidifies momentum with Detroit Techstars program
Co-founders and newlyweds Ziarekenya Smith and Kathryn Smith are taking the tech space by storm as a Black couple who both bring unique perspectives to the industry.
Ziarekenya, who found early success as a student at Full Sail University, had a dream of creating a new kind of experience on social media.
“Inpathy came to my mind because we need to create a more enjoyable, balanced, human-centered and transparent platform,” Smith told The Black Wall Street Times in 2021.
Meanwhile, co-founder and Chief Operations Officer Kathryn has over 10 years of experience working in the mental health field. She wants to cure the “socially transmitted” disease in which social media causes young people, young women especially, to negatively compare themselves to the filtered versions of their peers.
“I’m comparing my everyday life, highs and lows, to your edited, filtered five percent of life you’re living,” Kathryn Young told The Black Wall Street Times last year.
For nearly three years, The Black Wall Street Times has followed Inpathy’s journey as its founders continue to build support, media coverage and business to business opportunies ahead of their upcoming launch.
Beginning with a soft launch exclusive to the over 1,000 people on Inpathy’s waitlist, Ziarekenya Smith said he expects to open it up to a wider audience after a six-to-12 month invite-only period.
“Hopefully we’ll be fully funded in the next three months,” Smith said.
What began as a quiet dream in the solitude of his home office is morphing into a reality that has become popular among potential investors and tech programs.
According to McLean Harvard Medical School Affiliate, social media has a reinforcing nature that “activates the brain’s reward center by releasing dopamine, a ‘feel-good chemical’ linked to pleasurable activities such as sex, food, and social interaction.”
The Smith couple are working hard to reverse that trend.
“Social media is fake, but what it’s doing to our mental health is real,” Kathryn Smith told The Black Wall Street Times.
Timeline of success
- November 2022 – Inpathy graduates from Headstream accelerator program.
- December 2022 – Inpathy nominated for NOLA Tech 30 2022.
- December 2022 – Inpathy releases demo.
- January 2023 – Co-founder Kathryn Smith accepted into All Raise, an organization that empowers women to lead in tech.
- March 2023 – • Kathryn Smith selected as a finalist for CodeLaunch Houston 2023 Tech Rodeo.
- Inpathy named the Top 64 of the Midwest Madness Startup Competition.
On top of the success with accelerator programs, Inpathy can’t seem to stop raking in news headlines. Inpathy has been featured in Forbes twice, and Inpathy was recently named among the top 10 Black innovative companies by PCMag.
“To see all this before our official launch is very beautiful,” Ziarekenya Smith said. “It’s jus a blessing to be honest. A lot of investors are interested.”
While the momentum for Inpathy continues to propel forward, Ziarekenya Smith remains grounded in the desire to inspire other Black entrepreneurs.
“I just wanna show Black founders with an idea that it can happen. You have to have faith that you have purpose in this life. The idea for Inpathy came eight years ago. And it took that long because timing is everything,” he said.
Moving forward, Inpathy’s co-founders seek to cultivate more business to business relationships ahead of their launch.
“If you have an idea just believe that it’s worth something,” Smith said.
To join the Inpathy waitlist, click here.