MassChallenge 2014 Awards Over $1.75M to More Than 20 Promising Startups

October 30, 2014

10:00 am

“The MassChallenge finalists are some of the most inspiring, hardest-working people I’ve ever met,” said MassChallenge Founder and CEO John Harthorne. “The drive of these entrepreneurs and the incredible support of the community continues to amaze me, and is yet more evidence that Boston has one of the greatest startup communities in the world.”

Last night, the Boston, Mass.-based MassChallenge, the world’s largest startup accelerator, capped off its fifth year in operation at its MassChallenge Awards Ceremony. At the end of the event, the winning startups of this year’s MassChallenge accelerator program were announced and over $1.75 million in grants and over $10 million of in-kind prizes were designated accordingly.

While aimed primarily at highlighting the work of impressive startups, last night’s event included an inspiring talk from Google board chairman Eric Schmidt on the impact of startups, as well as a presentation by Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick on Uber’s origins and its path to growth in Boston. Other speeches were made by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge cocreator Nancy Frates, and WGBH and Public Radio International’s “Innovation Hub” Host Kara Miller. Also at last night’s ceremony, Governor Deval Patrick was presented the inaugural Deval L. Patrick Commonwealth Innovation Award in honor of his commitment to tech and innovation in the state of Massachusetts; henceforth, the honor is to be awarded once every five years to the individual who most empowers the innovation economy.

This year, 128 of the highest-impact, highest-potential startups were selected to take part in the MassChallenge 2014 Accelerator program. While all 128 showcased at last night’s MassChallenge Awards Ceremony, only the Top 26 finalists were provided the opportunity to pitch their startups.

In the end, the following startups came home with prizes:

$100K Diamond Winners

Catie’s Closet (USA: Mass.): Catie’s Closet improves school attendance and removes social stigmas by providing clothing and necessities to students living in poverty.

Disease Diagnostic Group (USA: Ohio): Disease Diagnostic Group’s reusable, mechanical device offers a handheld, quantitative malaria diagnosis.

Drinkwell ( USA: Mass.): Drinkwell transforms the global arsenic and fluoride water crisis into economic opportunity.

SQZ Biotech (USA: Mass.): SQZ Biotech’s CellSqueeze (invented at MIT) enables delivery of molecules into cells by a gentle squeezing. That’s right, we squeeze cells.

$50K Gold Winners

3Derm (USA: Conn.): 3Derm takes 3D pictures of skin with an inexpensive handheld imager to help detect skin cancer at the earlier more treatable stages.

Anfiro (USA: Mass.): Clean and affordable water for a better tomorrow.

Ashton Instruments (USA: Mass.): We’re making the first affordable cycling power meter. Think of it as a super Fitbit for cyclists.

Cam Med LLC (USA: Mass.): Created Evopump – the first soft, flexible, bandage-like patch pump for active and simultaneous subcutaneous delivery of one or more medications.

Dimples, Inc. (USA: Penn.): With Dimples, it’s like printing money. Dimples reduces ink costs when printing documents.

DropWise (USA: Mass.): DropWise is on a mission to avert metagons of CO2 with a nanoengineered coating for power plants.

Fluid-Screen (USA: Conn.): Fluid-Screen makes the world a safer place by enabling faster, more sensitive microbial detection from fluid samples.

Grapevine (USA: Mass.): Grapevine’s advocate marketing platform helps consumer facing brands generate sales by working with relevant YouTubers.

KnipBio (USA: Mass.): The company’s proprietary biotechnology makes animal feed more nutritious & sustainable.

Sano LLC (USA: Mass.): Sano offers a disposable, low cost, Point-of-Care (POC) diagnostic platform with first focus on chronic wounds.

Ustraap (Mexico): The smart and simple way to sense your surroundings with style.

Voxel8 (USA: Mass.): Voxel8 is a startup company focused on multimaterial 3D printing of electronics that has recently spun out of Jennifer Lewis’s lab at Harvard University.

In-Kind Silver Winners

ArtLifting (USA: Mass.): Empower homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork! ArtLifting is uplifting art.

AutoAgronom (Israel): AutoAgronom increases agriculture yields while providing savings of up to 50% water and 70% fertilizers by “listening” to growth roots.

CareerVillage.org (USA: Mass.):  CareerVillage crowd-sources career advice for students in low-income communities. Now every student can get the personal advice they need.

EdTrips (USA: Mass.): EdTrips helps field trip venues manage their visitors and reach more teachers.

Gecko Health Innovations (USA: Mass.): GeckoCap is a connected mobile device that improves management of chronic respiratory diseases for better outcomes and costs.

Jisto Inc. (USA: Mass.): Transforming idle computation cycles in organizations into a powerful cloud computing platform capable of taking on massive computations.

Oncolinx (USA: NJ): Oncolinx is developing next-generation cancer therapeutics that safely and effectively treat the most aggressive types of cancer.

ReFleece (USA: Mass.): ReFleece is a scalable model for upcycling: we make beautiful, modern accessories from clothes that would otherwise go to waste.

Unima (Mexico): Today diagnostic of diseases is a long and expensive process. Unima developed a low cost and 5 minute process usable by anyone, anywhere.

ZOOS Greek Iced Teas (USA: Mass.): ZOOS is a first-to-market, all natural, real brewed, caffeine free, ready-to-drink Greek Iced Tea that is Yia-Yia approved!

For the 2014 program, MassChallenge partners provided five additional prizes totaling $775,000. Called Sidecar Prizes, these grants were awarded to teams excelling in areas of interest to the partner organizations as outlined below.

CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space ($600,000 total – precise allocation to be determined based on proposals)

Cam Med LLC (USA: Mass.): Created Evopump – the first soft, flexible, bandage-like patch pump for active and simultaneous subcutaneous delivery of one or more medications.

Droplette by Novopyxis (USA: Mass.): Effective, portable, painless transdermal delivery of large molecules that generates no waste products and never touches the skin.

SQZ Biotech (USA: Mass.): SQZ Biotech’s CellSqueeze (invented at MIT) enables delivery of molecules into cells by a gentle squeezing. That’s right, we squeeze cells.

Henry Prize for Social Impact ($50,000 total)

$30,000

CareerVillage.org (USA: Mass.):  CareerVillage crowd-sources career advice for students in low-income communities. Now every student can get the personal advice they need.

$10,000

Catie’s Closet (USA: Mass.): Catie’s Closet improves school attendance and removes social stigmas by providing clothing and necessities to students living in poverty.

$10,000

ArtLifting (USA: Mass.): Empower homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork! ArtLifting is uplifting art.

Microsoft Prize for Civic Engagement & Leadership ($50,000 total)

 $30,000

Lengio (USA: Mass.): Learn to speak English with confidence at your workplace with Lengio’s personalized and dynamic language-learning technology.

$20,000

Kinems Learning Games (Greece): Kinems offers engaging & effective learning experiences for children with  learning disabilities  like autism via personalised Kinect games.

MassIT Government Innovation Competition ($50,000 total)

$25,000

Astra IDentity, Inc. (USA: Mass.): Phishing and SPAM are different! Phishing attacks through email cause devastating losses.  Get protected with AstraID’s PhishingGuardian!

$25,000

CarKnow LLC (USA: Mass.): CarKnow LLC liberates information hidden in vehicle networks, enabling a cross-manufacturer API and smart apps for analytics & visualization.

Perkins Prize for Assistive Technology ($25,000)

Ustraap (Mexico): The smart and simple way to sense your surroundings with style.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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