Meet the DC and Southern Virginia Startup of the Year Semi-Finalists

From the start of the 2015, has been on a journey to find the very best startups across the globe. From Washington DC to Las Vegas and everything in between, we’ve identified more than 50 startups deserving of the title Startup of the Year.

On Monday, October 5 the world’s best startups will pitch their businesses in the semi-finalists showcase. Then on Tuesday, October 6, we’ll announce the Startup of the Year. If you want to catch up, take a closer look at a few of our semifinalists from the DC and Southern Virginia regions, then see them in person at Celebrate 2015 tomorrow for our Startup of the Year Semi-Finalist showcase.

Washington DC Startups

True Made Foods

True Made Foods is not your typical healthy food brand. More than just slapping an organic label on their products, they add the necessary nutrients to their products. Starting with ketchup, they began adding additional vegetables to the mix to enhance the flavor and make it healthier.

“We provide better options that both taste better and are better for you – returning food to the way it’s supposed to be. We believe you shouldn’t have to go to a special store to get food that won’t give you diabetes. Our products use less sugar and add more nutrition – real nutrition – by adding a significant amount of real vegetables to every bottle.” You can learn more about why the founders created the startup here.


Javazen was created by a trio of friends who met at the University of Maryland, and experimented with healthy coffee. They tested different coffees, teas, and other natural ingredients and eventually perfected their brews. They currently have three blends available. Each one contains a mix of coffee, tea, and other ingredients such as goji berries, acai berries, and organic cacao. They are currently in meetings with several natural foods retailers to get their coffee blends out on the market. All of their products are GMO free, gluten free, vegan friendly, certified organic, and certified kosher.


In Washington DC we have a few options for getting around the city, but Split is one of the only startups improving an existing ecosystem, drivers. Rather than a simple ride-hailing system, Split turns drivers into on-demand carpools. Their service results in cheaper prices, a reduced carbon footprint, and less cars trying to run me over on my motorcycle. They are currently based out of the 1776 incubator.


Trustify provides trust and safety across both the digital and physical worlds. Using an uber like approach, Trustify matches consumers and businesses with experienced private investigators with no retainers. After experiencing how investigators worked in the past, founder Danny Boice created Trustify to make investigative services more accessible to consumers. They recently began working with law firms and developing digital resources such as the recent Ashley Madison data breach tool.

Disclosure – I’m their director of marketing


ImmoKonect was born out of the idea that selling and buying a home can move into the 21st century for individuals looking for a real estate service alternative that provides results. Brian Galvin created ImmoKonect as a different way to connect sellers and buyers in the real estate market. ImmoKonect places pre-qualified buyers with sellers whose properties are not available in the MLS, Zillow, Trulia or any of the other website portals but through our private network.

Southeast Virginia Startups

Feedback Enterprise

FeedbacK Enterprise, based out of Hampton, VA, is developing mobile and online applications to provide automated coaching technologies for those who participate in sports and want to improve. With FeedbacK’s Apps, when a DIY Learner performs a motion they will receive instant automated coaching instruction from their mobile device. Their applications use computer vision and machine learning techniques, combined with the video functionality that is already part of our mobile device. FeedbacK’s initial Apps are for Golf, and as they grow, will move to additional markets including other sports, health, fitness, and lifestyle industries.


Nasoni is a unique patented faucet design that makes faucets dual purpose. Founder Steve Waddell was frustrated with typical faucets that are not convenient for drinking or rinsing out your mouth after brushing your teeth. After being inspired by old Roman street fountains that functioned both as traditional faucets and drinking fountains, he came up with his design for a similar type of faucet that can be attached to modern sinks.

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Written by:
Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@) or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.
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