1776 Rolls Through Boston on Challenge Cup Tour

December 21, 2013

10:00 am

The 1776 Challenge Cup rolled along its domestic route through Boston this week stopping at District Hall in Seaport Square. Decidedly the best place in the city to host such an event, the hall was built specifically as a dedicated space where the innovation community can gather and exchange ideas.

And the Challenge Cup honors that mission in the best way they know how: competition. The 12,000-square-foot space that features a meeting hall, an open lounge, and pod-style classrooms was transformed into a stage where 15 different startups pitched their ideas to an eager crowd and poignant judges.

Granted only four of these startups got to hold the victor’s crown on their heads at the end of the night, but the whole purpose of the event is to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. 1776, in an effort to salute entrepreneurs, offered the winners across each category an opportunity to join 60 other startup champions from the tour in D.C. for the ultimate pitch competition happening May 2014.

The four winning startups from Boston’s Challenge Cup are:


BrightLoop: This tool helps teachers set goals, monitor progress, and review student progress. Teachers can also turn their daily notes and observations about students into personalized student instruction in the classroom.


ecoVent Systems: They build wireless vents that open and close automatically to redirect airflow and are controlled by inputs from wireless temperature, motion, and humidity sensors. The system helps you save on utility and heating bills as well as provide a comfortable environment.


BeTH: They develop high-impact, low-cost healthcare solutions for underserved and underrepresented populations.

Smart Cities

Silverside Detectors: They have built a neutron detector that answer the need for large-area, low-cost passive nuclear detection.



The other startups to present in each category were:


Cognii: Their assessment technology evaluates essay-type answers for online learning platforms as an alternative to current multiple choice options. It helps students learn better, saves teacher’s time, and lowers the cost to deliver engaging education.

CueThink: This team of product designers, curriculum specialists, game developers, and data scientists has built a peer-to-peer platform that enables math problem solving in grades 4 through 12.

HourlyNerd: An online marketplace that connects MBAs from the top 20 business schools with small- and medium-sized businesses.

QuadWrangle: A mobile, social platform connecting alumni and schools. Alumni benefit from the dynamic career advancement tool and powerful events; schools gain robust insights into alumni and donations from organic, passive campaigns.

Teaching is Power: This social network is 100 percent focused on teacher innovation, research, and advocacy. It will offer all of the standard social network features as well as include forums dedicated to developments in education research and policy.


Dynamo: Dynamo is commercializing a modular, scalable 1-75kW gas-turbine-driven electric power generator.  The product will provide reliable electric power in regions where it is difficult to obtain quality fuel.

Energy Harvesters: They developed an off-the-grid device integrated into footwear that charges portable electronic batteries as you walk or directly powers applications such as footwear heaters and GPS locators.


TalkSession: They are building advanced web-based and mobile tools to make mental healthcare universally affordable, acceptable, and accessible for everyone.

Verbal Applications: A patient engagement software platform that collects and analyzes interactions between caregivers and patients through cloud computing. It also tracks metrics around meaningful use, patient engagement, and care quality.


PeopleHedge: This web-based financial services company creates a level playing field for small businesses through real-time access to currency risk management products traditionally used by large corporations.

Something GUD: Based on three simple principles of supporting the community, delivering the best, and operating sustainably, Something GUD delivers the best locally sourced food directly to your door each week.


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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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