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Upstate startup Authored Apparel selected for Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures/Techstars Accelerator

By September 20, 2020October 1st, 2020No Comments

NEXT Venture Mentoring Service Mentee Brenda Wilton Accepted into the Techstars Future of Longevity accelerator in partnership with Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates to advance social progress in the United States. 


Greenville, 2020NEXT announced today that Authored Apparel, founded by Brenda Wilton, has been selected into a group of ten startups to participate in the Techstars Future of Longevity accelerator in partnership with Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates.

Authored creates thoughtfully engineered, stylish apparel with discreet openings that adapt to body needs and limitations. The company’s clothing promotes and prolongs independence, enables safer dressing, and reduces stigma and injuries. As part of the accelerator program, Authored will spend thirteen weeks refining its innovative solutions for aging adults and have lifetime access to Techstars’ worldwide network of entrepreneurs.

For two and a half years, Wilton has been part of the NEXT Venture Mentoring Service and its mentors have helped her grow Authored and prepare for its next stage. NEXT mentors provide unbiased, conflict-free, practical, and actionable advice on a long-term basis. Wilton attributes her experience in NEXT VMS to making participation in the accelerator a possibility.

Tim Reed, Founding Mentor of the NEXT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), describes Wilton as a “passionate entrepreneur” and noted how her designs immediately impressed him for their innovation and the market need they meet.  Sharon Kelley, the lead mentor on the NEXT VMS team, praised Wilton’s “tenacity, ability to work tirelessly, and strive for flawless execution” and stated that she is confident that these qualities will bring Wilton much success. Kelley’s fellow mentors on the team concur. Jo Watson Hackl describes Wilton as “talented, innovative, and nimble” and “an ideal candidate” for the accelerator. Ken Morgan stated that “[a]s impressive as the product’s functionality is, what is inspiring is the passion Wilton has for customers in need who can benefit from this important step forward in adaptive apparel.” Morgan described the accelerator as “the perfect next step to support getting Wilton’s product to the people who need it the most.”


Christy Ashkettle

Director of Communications & Culture
(864) 751-4845

About NEXT

NEXT attracts and grows high-impact, knowledge-based companies by developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem and connecting entrepreneurs to it. NEXT is a production of the Greenville Chamber and currently supports over 120 knowledge-based companies in Upstate South Carolina.

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