June 3, 2015
The first round of the Women Startup Challenge has ended. Combined, the participating women-led startups raised over $365k through crowdfunding campaigns. The Women Startup Challenge was launched by Women Who Tech in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist and craigconnects.
This crowdfunding competition was started to showcase and raise money for innovative women-led ventures that are committed to solving problems for people, businesses, and the planet. From April 29th until May 29th, 175 startups attempted to raise the most money through the crowdrise platform.
The 25 startups who raised the most money will now be reviewed by a panel of judges from the investor community. The judges will then choose the 10 best startups who will go on to General Assembly in Washington DC to pitch their startup in person in front of a panel of investors with a chance to win up to another $50,000 in cash–no strings attached.
One of the finalists is Arlington, VA based GeoHealth, who raised almost $15k through crowdfunding. Geohealth is working towards making us more aware of the pollutants in our immediate environment. They’ve launched a product called EnviroPods™. These arduino-based sensor kits detect particulate matter, volatile & combustible gases. They are solar powered.
GeoHealth CEO and cofounder Bernadette Hyland has a plan to produce 1,000 of these Enviropods and place them in select areas in Virginia.
“The crowdfunded cash and the $50,000 cash prize will fund the initial roll out of 1,000 sensors. This sensor and big data project gives teachers a practical, hands way to engage kids in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as they assemble the EnviroPods™. They’re solar powered so they don’t need batteries and they use the same technologies as our mobile phones. Citizen scientists will place the sensor kits outside to measure particulate matter, volatile and combustable gases. Information is sent automatically to the cloud using pre-paid SMS.”
GeoHealth also wants to use their product and brand as a way to educate children about the environment, and more specifically get kids, especially girls interested in STEM.
For more information on the Women Startup Challenge, check out our pre-launch coverage.
Image Credit: FLickr/epSos .de
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