Autism Tech Accelerator Taps Entertainment Industry Exec as New CEO

USA – English

USA – English

Heidi Kershaw will take the helm of Multiple, an innovative nonprofit working to catalyze investment in emerging technologies to unlock the potential of individuals with autism

SAN FRANCISCO, May 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Multiple, a pioneering nonprofit built to accelerate game changing tech startups for the autism community and stimulate venture investment, today announced the appointment of former Entertainment Industry Foundation Executive Heidi Kershaw, as its new CEO. Kershaw previously served as managing director for the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). Multiple founder Dan Feshbach, who co-founded and was a major investor in the iconic education technology company Teachtown in response to his son’s autism diagnosis, will transition to executive board chair. 

“When I began experimenting with technology to help my two year old son, I never imagined the possibilities of AI and VR to unlock the potential of children with autism, and build skills within a powerful but often overlooked segment of the workforce,” said Dan Feshbach, founder and  executive board chair of Multiple. “Heidi’s experience as an autism entrepreneur and leadership and passion of a mom with a son with profound autism will be critical in supporting startups and helping  catalyze investment in the next breakthrough startups and technology, but will also harness the power of storytelling to build and grow the movement.”

The role is a natural fit for Kershaw, who previously led the development of EIF’s healthcare workforce initiative, ALL IN:WellBeing First for Healthcare, an ambitious and highly successful collaboration that broke down silos across industry, government, academia, and nonprofits, and promoted groundbreaking steps in wellbeing. Heidi also won the MedTech Innovation Forum’s People’s Choice Award in 2021 for her own innovation for which she owns a patent. Currently, she serves on the advisory board of UCLA’s Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART), which brings together clinicians and scientists to provide therapy, clinical services, and conduct research on autism care.

“This is personal to me. I’ve been on the entrepreneurial journey myself, to solve for the needs of my own child. Parents like me and professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping those within the autism community are hungry to find solutions and eager to see them available on the market,” said Heidi Kershaw, incoming CEO. “Historically, founders in this space have had enormous barriers to cross, but Multiple is changing all of that by serving as the singular global engine and ecosystem for autism innovation.”

Built to stimulate interest and catalyze investment, Multiple’s work cuts across sectors, pairing investors with entrepreneurs and mentors with startups, to tackle big and complex challenges to harness the potential of individuals with autism. Through its Accelerator Program, Multiple has already helped to launch 15 companies, including Social Cipher founded by Vanessa Castañeda-Gil which uses video games to teach SEL skills; PigPug – AI telemedicine drug free platform for kids with ADHD and autism. Multiple’s autism innovation database, developed in 2021, provides entrepreneurs and investors with granular information on hundreds of stakeholders; this searchable and shareable catalog is designed to help new ventures understand market gaps.

For more information about Multiple, visit

About Multiple:
Multiple is a non-profit dedicated to catalyzing early-stage innovation and supporting technologies for the autism and neurodiversity community at scale. Multiple is the engine for innovation—a global community of dedicated families, entrepreneurs, funders, and experts collaborating to solve the greatest challenges for people with autism. Learn more at

SOURCE Multiple

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