Sep 7, 2023 - Technology

Apple names next "Impact Accelerator" class

A sign welcomes attendees to Apple's WWDC 2022 developer conference at the company's headquarters, Apple Park, in Cupertino, California.

A sign welcomes attendees to Apple's WWDC 2022 developer conference at the company's headquarters, Apple Park, in Cupertino, California. Photo: Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images

Apple's Impact Accelerator program, which helps businesses that have Black, Latino or Indigenous owners, has unveiled the third group of companies to be accepted.

The big picture: The program is part of Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, launched after the murder of George Floyd. Apple initially allocated $100 million to the fund but has since more than doubled the investment, according to the company.

Details: The Accelerator is a 12-week program that provides underrepresented business owners training to build products and services around environmental sustainability.

  • The new cohort includes Compactor Management Company's Sandra Lucio-Garcia. The California-based company offers waste handling and recycling machine services.
  • Also selected was E'Lois Thomas of the Detroit-based Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL), which provides energy-saving consultations, appliance recycling, and energy product installation.
  • Check out the full list of companies and owners selected to be part of the new cohort.

Zoom out: Accelerator gives customized training, discussions with Apple experts, and one-on-one mentorship.

  • After the program, companies are invited to submit proposals to become Apple contractors, and several businesses from the program's first class are now a part of Apple's supply chain network, the company tells Axios.
  • Alumni will receive ongoing professional growth opportunities, invitations to private networking events, and connections with previous program participants.
  • The Impact Accelerator is open to U.S.–based environmental solutions and service providers that are at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by an African American, Latino, or Indigenous person.

What they're saying: "Even in my wildest dreams, I would never have thought I would be working with the top companies in the world, which now they come to us," says Maria Castellon, founder and CEO of Bench-Tek Solutions, an alum of the Apple accelerator.

  • Castellon, who was born in Mexico, credits the lesson she learned through the Accelerator for her company incorporating more automated equipment. Her company builds environmentally friendly furniture and has grown since she participated in the program.
  • Thomas tells Axios she's looking to see how her company can advance more environmental sustainability and learn from Apple experts who are on the cutting edge in this area.

Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, said in a statement that cohorts are diverse leaders who are pioneering new solutions in the fight against climate change.

  • Apple says it wants to achieve carbon neutrality across its entire manufacturing supply chain by 2030.

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