GSD Labs Launches 8th Accelerator with 15 Top Startups to #GoGlobal

Derek Distenfield
6 min readMay 2, 2022


  • These startups will participate in GSD’s 15-week program which includes hands-on sessions to make measurable differences in sales and marketing, speed dating meetings with mentors/investors, strategy direction for investor interfacing, and direct connection to GSD’s network of investors. A virtual demo day is the culmination of the accelerator where each founder presents to over 140 investors in attendance.
  • GSD travels the world in search of resilient entrepreneurs bold enough to . This cohort includes a diverse group of founders with roots in South Africa, India, The UK, The US, Uganda, Israel, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus, Egypt, The Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Greece, Pakistan, Qatar, and Canada. 71% are led by women, minorities, or founders from emerging markets.

GSD Labs, a project of GSD Venture Studios, is thrilled to announce our eighth cohort. Challenging times require innovative concepts and a world without borders. These future unicorns’ tech verticals include AI, Fintech, Crypto, MedTech, Logistics, Future of Work, and Mobility.

GSD’s CEO Gary Fowler and COO Derek Distenfield are seasoned venture builders who direct strategy based on their own success as founders. Both Gary and Derek are well aware that 90% of startups fail, and that these failures are usually because companies run out of money. The entrepreneur’s dilemma is usually that they have a great idea but neither the money to grow nor the traction to raise. This is where GSD Labs comes in and injects tried and true tactics to growth hack sales and position startups for funding.

Previous GSD Labs alumni include Xoxoday, who raised $30m for their Indian-based fintech.

“GSD Labs has played an important role in the growth of Xoxoday. We made great connections and built relationships with like-minded founders, advisors, and investors through the accelerator. GSD Labs also taught us that Silicon Valley is not just a geographical location, but a mindset. We are thrilled for the opportunity of working with them to learn how to.” XOXODay Co-founder Manoj Agarwal

The accelerator makes more than just connections for funding, as alumni Ajay Lalu, founder of Q-Hop states.

“The GSD Labs accelerator allowed us access to amazing Advisory Board members like Rick Orloff and John Agate through the networks of Gary Fowler and Derek Distenfield. Through the accelerator, we were able to polish our pitch deck and our financial forecasts with the guidance and experience of Silicon Valley veterans. This gave investors like E Squared confidence to continue to invest in Q-Hop and opened up other potential investors from the Valley.”

GSD is excited to continue our work as one of the premier accelerators in the world of startups and continue to select, nurture and connect the best startups from every corner of the globe. Meet the next generation of global unicorns from GSD below!

ABC offers investors an ownership interest in commercial real estate through a digital security called the ABC Token. This method of fractionalizing through tokenization lowers the barrier to entry for investors and captures the benefits of blockchain technology by providing instantaneous transfers of value and 24/7 trading

AMW Tech uses AI and machine learning to help companies, ad buyers and media agencies better understand their audiences to hyper-personalize their online video advertising campaigns. The B2B SaaS gathers data ethically, without the use of cookies, so as to not invade user privacy.

Boltzmann labs is reimagining drug discovery to reduce risk, time, and cost. Their no-code, cloud-based, AI solutions automate the drug design process for target identification, protein design, small molecule design, and small molecule synthesis.

Shipping in India is a mess, with arbitrary transit times, lost packages, and limitations on where packages can be shipped to and from. Bombax enables customers to choose transit time based on priority, eradicates lost packages, and enables shipping to and from anywhere in India, even remote areas.

CareerEngine integrates with existing collaboration tools (Slack/email/ calendar/Atlassian) to automate team performance insights, drive 360-degree feedback, and scale productivity/performance. The freemium SaaS platform delivers contextual and continuous performance outcomes to remote hybrid teams at scale.

Cnext enables company-wide decision augmentation and automation to anticipate, respond to, and drive competitive advantage. The platform turns employees into superhumans by combining human intuition with AI to optimize and align decisions with business strategy and goals.

deltatheta is an American options DEX where any trader can buy and sell options on the most volatile crypto assets. Focused on 2nd tier tokens like BNB, AAVE, MATIC, and DOT, the platform offers unique trading services and enables customers to make regulated p2p options trades.

EVI Technologies has designed and commercialized low-cost and technologically superior electric vehicle charging stations for India. Designed to address the lack of charging infrastructure, India cannot go green without EVIT.

ECP Pharma is an early-stage pharmaceutical research company focused on creating novel drugs to target central nervous conditions that today have no mainstream treatment options. ECP Pharma has combined psychedelic and cannabinoid compounds to potentially treat several diseases such as mild traumatic brain injury and mild cognitive impairment, which cumulatively affect more than 200 million people on an annual basis.

Holoware’s mini workstations are AR/VR enabled, catering to the needs of 3D animators, engineers, gamers, architects, designers, scientists, and any user in need of a powerful and portable computer with a hologram monitor. The scalable platform is fully compact, customizable, and portable with many different system configurations.

In a medical first, LongTermGevity has isolated and stabilized psilocin to treat musculoskeletal disorders like lower back pain and spinal cord injury.

Psilocin is the active form of psilocybin targeting 5HT receptors to induce pain reduction and neuron repair. LTG’s proprietary chemistry has the potential to help rehabilitate the world from its leading causes of disability that currently impact 1.7b people.

Each person has different physical limitations that develop in daily life, preventing their ability to optimize quality of life. Medicise identifies weaknesses specific to each individual and provides a pathway to increase wellbeing, reducing health complications and hospital visits.

AI has hit a roadblock; the power of software has advanced beyond hardware, limiting its ability to scale down for electronics, wearables, IoT, Industry 4.0, HealthTech, MedTech, and more. Polyn’s neural- network chips enable AI to scale down from servers to sensors for Tiny AI at the point of data capture, reducing power consumption 100x.

SmartMoney combines a proprietary cloud-based digital banking platform with grassroots financial education to scalably acquire 800 million unserved and difficult to access African banking clients with an astonishingly low $3 customer acquisition cost.

Spendwisor is a fintech SaaS that is revolutionizing retail via mobile POS by combining card payments, a loyalty program a service (LaaS), buy now/pay later cashback features, and direct marketing to drive loyalty for retailers.

Yuluka Health produces premium and patentable cannabis genetics and seeds as well as innovative products derived from 100% USDA organic hemp for the animal, recreational and medical markets. Their 8.5+ acre Colombia-based cultivation facility produces fully registered, scientifically driven formulations and traceable genetics for the European markets and beyond.

Originally published at on May 2, 2022.

About GSD Venture Studios:
We travel the world investing in resilient teams bold enough to #GoGlobal.
For too long, self-motivated entrepreneurs have navigated the minefield of challenges to launching a global company with very little support. The last thing you should bet on in this situation is an unproven team that you don’t trust. GSD Venture Studios travels to every corner of the globe inviting resilient teams to establish partnerships that ensure organizations grow the right way, without games or gimmicks. You can learn more about GSD Ventures Studios here:

About Derek Distenfield:
Known for both bringing revolutionary new ideas to organizations that deliver explosive growth and for displaying a high tolerance for ambiguity and complexity. For over 15 years, Derek has blazed high impact careers in startups, corporations, governments, and nonprofit organizations that range from $0 to $2 billion.
He is the operational mastermind, COO and Co-founder behind the success of GSD Venture Studios. Derek brings a variety of resources together to deliver explosive growth for GSD’s portfolio companies. Additionally, he lectures on startup growth at leading universities and writes for Analytic Insight Magazine honored Derek as a 40 under 40 Innovator for his work in redefining the future of tech through cutting edge innovation. called Derek as one of 2020s most influential people.
Derek is a frequent keynote speaker, advisor, and mentor. Silicon Valley is home, and he travels the world frequently to work with GSD’s portfolio companies.
More information can be found at:



Derek Distenfield

Derek Distenfield is an investor, operational mastermind, frequent keynote speaker, advisor, and mentor based in Charlotte, GA.