Biotech startup SweetBio and VC firm VamosVentures received funding through Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative
Apps Unveiled|September 2021
Two years ago, Lauro Salvador injured his foot in a work accident, but for the 55-year-old diabetic, his ordeal was far from over.

Salvador was cleared to go back to his job, but the injury hadn’t yet healed and his foot became progressively worse. He eventually found himself at the emergency room at Memphis’s Regional One Health.

Doctors there worked to save his foot, but after an initial surgery failed, they suggested amputation.

“I said ‘please don’t do that,’” recalled Salvador. “I was so scared. I asked if there were any other options.”

That’s when his physician, Dr. Tony Alleman, suggested a course of treatment involving a new wound care product from SweetBio.

SweetBio was founded by sister and brother team Kayla Rodriguez Graffand Isaac Rodriguez, whose family is from Puerto Rico. Their goal is advanced wound care for all, and to achieve this, they’ve harnessed the power of a surprising source: honey. Specifically, Manuka honey, which is derived from bees pollinating the Manuka tree and has been shown to have antibacterial and healing properties, according to some studies.

SweetBio is one of a number of Latinx-founded companies that has received funding from VamosVentures, a venture capital impact fund that invests in diverse, technology-enabled companies across the country.

As part of Apple’s recently launched Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), the company has invested a collective $50 million into a number of firms that focus on Black- and Latinx-owned businesses, including VamosVentures.

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