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Accelerator Showcase: Learn From Local Accelerator Leaders About How They Can Help You Scale

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Diego Mariscal
2Gether-International, CEO/Founder

Diego Mariscal is disabled and proud! He is also very passionate and strategic about the relationship between disability advocacy, entrepreneurship, and sustainable impact.
At the age of 18, Diego started “Limitless Prepa Tec” a disability education program for students in Monterrey Mexico. In four years, the program expanded to seven high schools across the country, reaching more than 3,000 students nationwide. To this day, Limitless continues to be one of the largest youth-led programs in Monterrey Mexico, working to educate students about disabilities. In 2015, Diego founded 2Gether-International, a non-for-profit startup that supports entrepreneurs with disabilities and moves us closer to a world where disability is recognized and valued as an asset for business and entrepreneurship. In his role as CEO and Chief Disabled Officer, Diego has collaborated with multinational organizations such as the U.S. Department of State, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank and corporate companies like Blackboard and McKinsey to help them better understand disability as an asset for performance.Diego has been internationally recognized for his work, most noticeably by the Waldzell Institute in Vienna as an Architect of the Future and by the British Council as a Global Changemaker. In 2014, he was also a Youth in International Development and Affairs Fellow for the U.S. International Council on Disabilities. In 2016, Diego was invited to the first United Nations World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul. In 2017, Diego became the first entrepreneur with a disability, from the US delegation, to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Hyderabad, India. Diego has also been an honorary guest and spokesperson of the US Embassy of Panama and the US Consulate in Cd Juarez Mexico. In 2017, Diego also received the Global Leadership in Equitable Development Award from the World Trade Credit & Risk Summit in Washington, DC.Born with Cerebral Palsy in New Orleans but raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Diego also represented Nuevo Leon in the Mexican National Paralympics from 2004-2009.

Michaela Althouse
Technical.ly DC, Lead Reporter

Michaela Althouse is the lead reporter for Technical.ly's DC market. Before starting at Technical.ly, she was the west coast reporter at New Project Media, and has previously written for Washingtonian Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine and Metro Eireann in Dublin, Ireland.

Nicole Weissman
Halcyon, Director of Communications

As Halcyon's Director of Communications, Nicole Weissman (she/her), crafts the organization’s message, champions its brand, manages its presence online and in the media, elevates the great work going on across programs, and provides technical assistance to social entrepreneurs. She brings over a decade of nonprofit and corporate responsibility communications experience to the goal of growing the range of audiences taking an interest in impact-driven business.

As a consultant earlier in her career, Nicole advised nonprofit, foundation, and corporate responsibility clients including the Smithsonian, Greenpeace, the National Air and Space Museum, Perception Institute, Pepsi, and Bank of America.

Ryan Kuder
Techstars, Managing Director

Ryan is the Managing Director of Techstars Anywhere, Techstars’ remote-first accelerator. He has also managed Techstars accelerators in San Diego and London. Ryan launched his first tech startup in 1998 and it was a spectacular failure. Since then he’s been a product and marketing executive at Yahoo! and eBay, a four time founder, and a senior startup executive with two exits. He graduated from Georgetown University and lives with his family in Encinitas, CA where he’s a fan of craft beer, fish tacos, and the San Diego Padres.

Will Dickson
FedTech, Director

Will Dickson is a Director at FedTech, currently growing and leading the Accelerator portfolio. FedTech's custom accelerator programs help technology-differentiated startups grow more quickly with mechanics such as mentorship, custom deep-tech frameworks, and partnership development at the national level. FedTech brings unique expertise in demystifying the resources available for startups from the federal government, particularly the Department of Defense; built from years of working with 40+ federal research labs to commercialize technologies via entrepreneurship. One prime example of our accelerators is our xTech Accelerator, where in partnership with the US Army’s advanced technology scouting programs where we’ve helped over 20+ dual-use ventures win $10M+ of DoD contracts in the past year.

FedTech’s flagship program, Startup Studio, builds deep-tech startups from scratch – recruiting aspiring entrepreneurs from across the United States to commercialize technologies originally developed within the $170B+ of early-stage development funding from the US government. These technologies are grown in federal labs (NASA, Veterans Administration, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, etc.) or universities, and represent the most unique opportunity for entrepreneurship in the US – participation in FedTech’s Startup Studios is no-cost and equity-free for entrepreneurs, who emerge with a differentiated business model built on discoveries in cybersecurity, advanced materials, renewable energy, biotech, physics and more.

Will grew up in Dallas, Texas, attending high school at St. Mark’s School of Texas before pursuing a B.S from MIT and an M. Eng. From University of California at Berkeley (both in Material Sciences and Engineering). Previous to FedTech, will spent four years at General Motors in technical roles and as an intrapreneur - creating over $1 million dollars of new programs and partnerships to help GM leverage new technologies for advanced product development from non-traditional partners in Cambridge, MA. Will has been lucky to learn first-hand about the challenges of growing a startup, joining FedTech in late 2019 and being part of exponential growth; FedTech now operates 20+ unique programs and has over 30 full-time staff.


Joining an accelerator is one of the ways many early stage startups have used to gain traction, funding, strategic partnerships, and reach faster than doing it by themselves.

We are very excited to bring four leading accelerator program leaders together from Techstars (for tech founders), 2Gether-International (for founders with disabilities), Halcyon (for social impact founders), and FedTech (for government innovation focused founders ) for you to learn how their programs can support your startup to scale.

Each accelerator will share their insights on everything you need to know - from applying to how to make the most out of their programs, to key growth strategies regardless if you plan to join a program or not that will help you grow.

This conversation will be moderated by the Lead Reporter at Technical.ly DC, Michaela Althouse. If you are a startup considering applying to an accelerator program or just looking for proven business growth strategies—you don’t want to miss out to this valuable content.