Starting a startup is a daunting task, with one of the biggest challenges faced by founders being finding exposure and support during the early stages. Startups often have limited resources, networks, and experience, which makes it difficult for them to attract investors, customers, and mentors. Fortunately, new opportunities are emerging all around the world for startups and their teams to show what they are made of, with pitch competitions being one of them.
This year’s edition of Grit Daily House at SXSW saw 4 entrepreneurs pitch their startups to a panel of judges as part of the “HubSpot Pitch Competition” organized by investor and serial entrepreneur Eric “ERock” Christopher. The panel consisted of Black Women Talk Tech’s Co-Founder Esosa Ighodaro, The Lifestyle Investor’s Founder Justin Donald, HubSpot’s Senior Head of Startup Growth Kelsey Gernert Aina, and ERock himself.
Tim Flatt is the Founder of Real Time Network, a company launching a new technology called Real-Time Voice Analyzer that uses voice biomarkers and AI to detect respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. The company is collaborating with Dr. Rita Singh and her team from MIT, Yale medical school, and Carnegie Mellon, who has been developing the technology since 2014. So far, the technology has been tested in health clinics in Asia and has proven to be easily accessible with low-cost devices like standard smartphones.
Chance Glenn is an engineer and professor who has created a 3D printer capable of printing electronic devices using conductive and capacitive materials, semiconductors, and more. Not only will the devices printed using this technology be ready to be used once the printing is over but the printer will be accessible at a similar price to traditional FDM 3d printers. The project has received funding from government agencies like NASA, as well as private citizens through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Nate Thomas is one of the founders of Shmoody, a startup that is developing a mental health app that is not only effective but also fun to use. Nate and his co-founder Mike bonded over their shared desire to bring tools that worked for them during their mental health improvement journeys to potentially millions of other people. The app uses gamification and science-based techniques like behavioral activation to help its users develop habits that improve their mental health in the short and long term.
Henry Baiz is the CEO and Founder of Gane Mobile, a cell phone service that offers free service to users by using a standard SIM card and a proprietary app. By interacting with sponsored content that includes educational resources, news, advertisements, and much more, users generate tokens than can be exchanged for services. The app also includes a wallet that can be used to send and receive remittances, creating more opportunities through financial inclusion and accessible connectivity.
You can find out who the winner of the competition was by watching this video. To learn more about the panel of judges and how the startups that pitched in the competition are looking to revolutionize their industries, make sure to watch the video below or on Grit Daily’s YouTube Channel.