On Thursday, ten Accelerate Startup Challenge teams took center stage and pitched their ideas for products and businesses. From registration software to music to automotive, a variety of industries were covered. These teams developed ideas for apps, muscle recovery devices, and more. The sky was the limit and their passion was palpable. A room full of peers, mentors and a panel of judges listened intently to hear what exactly these teams needed in order to succeed.
The event can be summed up in one quote from OCC Youth Unleashed, an app designed to increase engagement at community centers, “I know it seems crazy, but at one time they did consider Steve Jobs crazy.”
That’s exactly what PitchRound is all about. Student teams are encouraged to dream big and learn how to truly love their problem.
Arrowood Registration Software kicked off the night with their pitch to help benefit camps around the country. This all in one platform eliminates the need for camp counselors to handle endless amounts of paper. Following was Conexus, an app that maximizes your efforts at networking events by giving you a look at all the attendees up front. This way you can hone in on who at the event you want to connect with. ASEO took the stage next and had the crowd fully engaged and on their toes. This device cleaning company aims to eliminate the negative side effects of having a dirty device including the thousands of germs that live on cell phones.
Moonwalks then presented on their idea to make virtual reality more immersive. These “shoes” will enable users to move in a more virtual way and allow Moonwalks to break into an industry that is growing at a rapid rate. Next up was AUX Sounds who designed a phone case for the new iPhone 7. In addition, they have plans to create custom cases, that are completely modular, for a variety of customer needs such as photo taking and thermal protection.
Then the crowd got a wake up call. Medli Music came in with a boom box and went from hip hop to classical to techno music all in a matter of seconds. This was to showcase the need for their app and device which prevent that “argh moment” when the music changes to a song that just doesn’t fit the mood of the event. This interactive app allows party goers to contribute to the night’s playlist and allows the host to spend less time picking music and more time interacting with their guests.
Wrapping up the night was Aura Motor’s Project Hyperion, a design for a safer, electric motorcycle, Accelerate’s first non-profit, the aforementioned OCC Youth Unleashed, EMO, a startup in the marine biology space that is creating underwater sensors and Myotherm, the night’s only veteran team. Their design for a foam roller with heating and cooling capabilities combines all the treatments necessary for recovery into one, easy to use device. They came ready to pitch and have high hopes of being a part of MassChallenge in the near future.
Our panel of judges, which included:
Jeff Cameron, Project Executive, J. Calnan & Associates, Inc.
Nancy Cremins, General Counsel, Globalization Partners and Co-Founder, SheStarts
Norm Deinha, Founder, Mason Scholarship Fund
Siobhan Dullea, Chief Operating Officer, MassChallenge
Scott Epstein, Founder/CEO, Boston Scott Corporation
did not have an easy task at hand when it came time to hand out the seed funding. At the end of the night only 5 teams were funded:
Arrowood Registration Software- $3,000
Medli Music- $1,400
OCC Youth Unleashed- $6,000
This entire event wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of our teams. With so many young teams taking the stage for the first time, we know we will see big things from them in the near future.