BostInno: "These 18 MassChallenge Startups Just Won $1.5M"

By Dylan Martin

· Cozykin,Press
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Eighteen of Boston’s most promising early-stage startups won a total of $1.5 million at Thursday night’s MassChallenge awards ceremony.

The startup accelerator’s top four winners — CozyKin, Off Grid Box, Pykus Therapeutics and Vence — each won $100,000 while 12 other startups each received $50,000. One of the $50,000 winners, Guardion, and two other startups won a share of $500,000 from CASIS-Boeing for research projects on the International Space Station.

The eighteen startups were chosen out of MassChallenge’s 26 finalists, which came from a pool of 128 startups that participated in this year’s accelerator.

“It’s never been more clear that ideas—even at the earliest stage—have the power to change the world,” Kiki Mills Johnston, managing director of MassChallenge Boston, said in a statement. “With support from the community, these ideas have since grown into capable, profitable, and sustainable ventures.”

Here are this year’s winners (with descriptions provided by MassChallenge):

$100K Diamond Winners  

CozyKin — Massachusetts | High Tech — Creates the sharing economy for childcare by matching local families together and placing them with Montessori-trained nannies in in-home nanny shares.

Off Grid Box —Massachusetts | Energy/Clean Tech — Creates a modular and compact unit that provides renewable energy and treated water in remote areas.

Pykus Therapeutics —Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Develops a dissolvable intraocular device to make retinal surgery less painful and more successful.

Vence —California | General/Retail/Consumer Goods — Increases revenues, eliminates fencing costs/capex, and reduces labor expenses for livestock farmers.

$50K Gold Winners

Adeo Health Science —Massachusetts | General/Retail/Consumer Goods — Prevents food allergies in infants.

Athletes of Valor —Massachusetts | Social Impact — Helps servicemen and women transition into collegiate sports and later into careers by providing an online platform, resources, and community.

CareAline — Massachusetts | Healthcare — Creates functional line and risk management garments for PICC and Central Lines.

Girls Health Champions —Massachusetts | Social Impact — Works to mitigate gender inequality and its impact on health outcomes by training teen girls as peer health educators.

Guardion —Massachusetts | High Tech — Helps governments reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism with networkable, low cost, ultra-sensitive ionizing radiation sensors.

Miracle Messages —California | Social Impact — Builds social support systems for the homeless.

NonSpec —Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Provides affordable, adjustable prosthetic limb kits for amputees and clinicians worldwide.

Reveal Pharma —Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Addresses the $1B need for safe gadolinium-free MRI contrast agents for all patients who need crucial diagnostic imaging.

Veripad — New York | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Creates an affordable and portable solution that allows for rapid screening of medication quality.

Voatz —Massachusetts | High Tech — Develops a mobile election platform, secured via smart biometrics, real-time ID verification, and the blockchain for irrefutability.

W8X — Massachusetts | High Tech — Develops a smart and compact weight lifting system that empowers athletes to reach their limits.

Y2Y —Massachusetts | Social Impact — Interrupts a generation of chronic homelessness by providing sanctuary from the streets and supportive pathways out of homelessness.

In-Kind Silver Winners  

ADIFF—New York | General/Retail/Consumer Goods — Creates functional clothing for style and survival.

Cadence— New York | High Tech — Makes event management effortless by helping businesses deliver unforgettable events with purpose.

Ghamut —Massachusetts | High Tech — Introduces Connect, a social-networking service that helps users build new platonic relationships, face-to-face.

OnRout—New York | General/Retail/Consumer Goods — Lowers e-commerce shipping costs by taking trucks off the road.

ReviveMed — Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Translates data from small molecules into the right therapeutics for the right patients via machine learning.

Skelmet — Massachusetts | General/Retail/Consumer Goods — Revolutionizes the wearables industry with 3D Fit technology that automatically measures, designs, and produces bespoke products.

Skillist— Massachusetts | Social Impact — Connects untapped talent to in-demand jobs.

Puffin — Massachusetts | High Tech — Enhances the lives of people with disabilities by creating assistive tech that facilitates community inclusion and employment opportunities.

UrSure Inc. — Massachusetts½Healthcare/Life Sciences — Makes medical diagnostics to protect vulnerable patien ts from HIV infections.

VetiVax —Connecticut | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Commercializes personalized cancer immunotherapies for pets.

CASIS-Boeing Prize for Technology in Space  

Cellino —Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Enables gene editing with lasers and nanotechnology.

Guardion—Massachusetts | High Tech — Helps governments reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism with networkable, low cost, ultra-sensitive ionizing radiation sensors.

MakerHealth — Massachusetts | Healthcare/Life Sciences — Builds the tools and hospital makerspaces to support a global community of health device makers.