Justice Tech Press Release Banner

10 Startups Selected for the Innovations in Justice Tech Fellowship Program

Tech startups selected to gain tailored support to scale their solutions further

Washington, D.C., (September 21, 2022) – Village Capital, with support from the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact and Dream.Org, announced that 10 startups were selected to take part in the Justice Tech Fellowship Program in the United States to support innovations that help individuals impacted by the criminal justice system.

The open call had a focus on innovations that are improving the lives of individuals and communities in the United States justice system, easing the burden on incarcerated individuals and their families, reducing recidivism and allowing for easy transitions out of the justice system, and reducing the footprint of the civil and criminal justice system.

Over 45 startups from over 20 states applied to be a part of the accelerator. The final cohort is composed of the top 10 companies, with 60% of the cohort headquartered outside of US tech hubs (NY, CA, MA) and 80% led by a BIPOC founder and/or CEO. These companies are creating solutions around reducing inequities in the criminal and civil justice system and creating opportunities for justice-impacted individuals and communities.

Here are the 10 startups working to build a more equitable civil and criminal justice system in the US:

  • CONBODY (New York, NY) is a prison-style fitness brand that hires formerly incarcerated individuals to teach fitness classes, changing the narrative of how formerly incarcerated professionals view individuals.
  • ConConnect (Yonkers, NY) connects justice-impacted people with service providers and employers through a justice-tech platform offering professional networking technology tools.
  • FRSH (Dallas, TX) is a personal financial management platform dedicated to helping people who have historically not had access to modern banking products and services. They provide staffing services, access to public resources, and online classes soon.
  • Good Call Technologies (New York, NY) is a company building tools to improve access to legal representation for vulnerable communities.
  • People Clerk (Miami, FL) operates a web platform that empowers people to file, serve, and prepare for small claims disputes.
  • Rasa (Salt Lake City, UT) is a legal tech company on a mission to make the process of clearing a record simple and affordable for everyone.
  • REYETS (Washington, DC) provides civil rights tools to help people to know their rights, document incidents, report misconduct, access alternatives to calling the police, connect with community protection networks, and find lawyers.
  • Solvent (Providence, RI) builds and provides affordable tech-empowered personal financial and banking tools, products, and services, including financial literacy and entrepreneurship education.
  • SPROKIT (San Francisco, CA) is a revolutionary platform delivering unique behavioral change technologies dedicated to reducing recidivism in the criminal justice space and transforming outcomes for those struggling with chemical dependency and mental health through gamification and community engagement.
  • Ticket Avengers (Farmington Hills, MI) is a buy now pay later (BNPL) platform providing no credit check installment loans for people to cover traffic or legal fines or fees.

From September to December 2022, selected startups will participate in virtual workshops on improving investment-readiness. Each company will have the opportunity to work closely with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem-building partners to develop the networks they need to scale their impact. All Fellows will receive an equity-fee participation stipend of USD $10,000 from the AmFam Institute and upon program and milestone completion, each will receive an additional USD $10,000 non-dilutive capital from the AmFam Institute. Also, by the end of the program, Dream.org will deploy USD $100,000 in investment capital to three Fellows participating in the program.

For more information, reach out to Sofía Cándano at Village Capital (sofia.candano@vilcap.com).


About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates.

About the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact

The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact is a venture capital firm and partner of choice for exceptional entrepreneurs who are building scalable and sustainable businesses in a long-term effort to close equity gaps in the U.S.

We also believe in capacity building and supporting organizations which are working tirelessly towards creating resilient communities, healthy youth development, economic opportunity for all, and learning and academic achievement.

Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin with portfolio companies and partners nationwide, American Family Institute was established as one of the first public benefit corporations in Wisconsin — and one of the first among the Fortune 500 group of companies nationwide.

About Dream.org

Dream.Org is a national advocacy organization committed to closing prison doors and opening doors of opportunity. We bring people together across racial, social and partisan lines to create a future with freedom and dignity for all. The Dream.Org Justice program advances criminal justice reform policies at the state and federal level by centering the voices of directly impacted leaders, members of our national Empathy Network. Dream.Org also works with unlikely allies to build powerful coalitions that transcend ideology. This theory of change allowed Dream.Org to take the lead on passing the historic First Step Act in 2018, which has brought nearly 20,000 people home from federal prison. Dream.Org was founded by Van Jones in 2015.