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5 New Civic-Minded Startups Join Tumml for 2015

Tumml, the San Francisco-based accelerator, chose startups focused on politics, transportation and food services for its current four-month program.

by / January 13, 2015
Tumml Co-founder Clara Brenner. Tumml

The issues of transportation, politics and food services took top spots in Tumml's winter program, which runs from Jan. 5 to April 14.

As in past iterations from the San Francisco accelerator known for its portfolio of altruistic urban startups, transportation held significant weight, with two startups representing ideas to innovate congested city transit systems.

The first, “Commutr,” is described as a mobile app that simplifies carpooling. The app draws its appeal from carpooling benefits in San Francisco — a transit option that claims to reduce costs over rail by 30 to 50 percent, and cut commute times by as much as 20 minutes on the Bay Bridge from Oakland, Calif., to San Francisco.

, the second transport app, offers a twist in the push to create crowdsourced parking — a highly controversial issue San Francisco that was banned in June of last year. Instead of trying to collect commissions directly from drivers selling their parking spaces, Parko pitches itself as a tech provider that lets cities do it themselves under their own regulations. Features include turn-by-turn voice navigation to parking, estimated parking search times, open spot notifications and parking locations filtered by affordability. Parko has so far earned more than $1.1 million in seed funding and was honored as The International Company of the Year by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.

Beyond transit, Tumml is supporting political transparency with Simpolfy, an online platform that intends to improve democracy through informed citizen engagement. Users list their political preferences, and Simpolfy automatically feeds information of related bills and legislator activity. Still in beta, once the site is scaled up, it will send statistical reports back to users on how well a legislator adhered to a user’s political preferences.

The last two startups, based in the food delivery industry, are Scrumpt and The Town Kitchen. Scrumpt offers parents a service for healthy lunches, while The Town Kitchen employs low-income youth to package and produce boxed lunches for on-demand drop off.

All of the five startups will embed themselves in Tumml’s four-month program, directed by co-founders Clara Brenner and Julie Lein. Additionally, entrepreneurs receive free San Francisco office space, $20,000 in funding in return for 5 percent equity, and access to expert mentorship.  Read more about Tumml and its full portfolio of startups here.

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