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Press Release -- September 19th, 2017
Source: Sprint Nextel

Sprint Accelerator Announces 2018 Program & Sponsors

Sprint and Dairy Farmers of America return for fifth program helping startups build and strengthen their businesses

September 18, 2017
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – September 18, 2017 – The Sprint Accelerator today announced plans for the 2018 Accelerator program which will begin on March 5, 2018. The 90-day program will feature mentors from Sprint (NYSE:S, news, filings) and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the lead sponsor organizations, and from the investor, business development and entrepreneurial communities. Applications for innovative startups are open now at

DFA announced at the 2017 Sprint Accelerator Demo Day in June that it will once again be a lead sponsor of the 2018 program. The organizations will be joined by CoBank, a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America, as a supporting partner. DFA, along with CoBank, will further expand their involvement by recruiting both AgTech companies as well as food product companies that are dairy-focused or dairy-based. Also new for 2018, the Sprint Business IoT team will be sponsoring the program.

“We are excited to have DFA and Sprint back to support our 2018 program,” said Doug Dresslaer, managing director of the Sprint Accelerator. “As we saw from this year’s initiative, having strong corporate sponsors to engage with startups is key to a successful program.”

“The Sprint Business IoT team has very specific needs to continually test and refine our products and services for our customers,” said Patricia Watkins, director of emerging business solutions for Sprint Business. “Being part of the Accelerator program will allow us to find startups to address those needs and, hopefully, create partnerships to help those young companies grow while we better serve our customer base.”

“Innovation is a core value for DFA and we are thrilled to continue our support for the 2018 Accelerator Program, which will help spur new ideas for the dairy industry from farm to table,” said Kevin Strathman, senior vice president of finance at Dairy Farmers of America. “It’s truly exciting to be on the forefront of new technologies and developments, which will help drive our industry forward. Adding CoBank and their wealth of industry insight into the mix will certainly provide additional value for the entrepreneurs.”

The first group of Corporate Sponsors for the 2018 program are:

Sprint – Sprint is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. The Sprint Business IoT team is looking for startups in the following categories:

Mobility Services

Categories: automotive, autonomous, asset tracking and Location-Based-Services.

Artificial Intelligence

Categories: automation, automotive, energy, cybersecurity, call center, insurance and smart cities.

Automation – detection of events and alerts/response enable the next generation of automation providing customers with ability to respond automatically – limiting or eliminating loss.

Categories: automotive, energy, cybersecurity, call center, insurance and smart cities. Feeds Big Data.

Dairy Farmers of America – DFA is looking for startups in AgTech with applications related to any portion of the dairy value chain including, but not limited to, product testing, data management, herd health and management, supply chain optimization, sustainability and traceability.

DFA is also seeking food start-ups that are dairy-focused or dairy-based looking to elevate their product to the next level. It is not a requirement that the product is exclusively dairy, but dairy must be a primary ingredient.

Features of the 2018 Accelerator program include:

Targeted, strategic meetings with the corporate partner teams to discuss business development, pilots and potential sponsorships;
Mentors from the Corporate Sponsors and their networks, as well as from the investor, business development and entrepreneurial communities;
Business building sessions around product, brand, marketing and entrepreneurship;
State-of-the-art workspace facilities provided at Sprint Accelerator in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.

More details are available at

About Dairy Farmers of America

DFA is a farmer-owned cooperative representing 8,000 family dairy farms across the United States. DFA is committed to providing value to its farmer-owners through marketing members’ milk, providing services and resources on the farm and connecting our family farms with plants and brands such as Borden® Cheese, Plugrá® Butter and Kemps® to name a few.

About Sprint and its Support for Entrepreneurship

Sprint has a strong history of working with startups in Silicon Valley, Kansas City and around the globe, helping young companies navigate the corporate world and build momentum behind their new businesses. Sprint is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial movement across the country, delivering new business opportunities, and spurring the startup spirit within the company. In 2014, Sprint opened the award-winning Sprint Accelerator in Kansas City. The accelerator space also is used to deliver year-round programming, including The Kansas City Mentor Network, STEM programs, entrepreneurial community collaboration and co-working space for startup organizations.

About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 53.7 million connections as of June 30, 2017 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and

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