Press Release 2018-02-13T16:09:34+00:00

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18 Startups Announced for TechBUZZ Spring

HealthIT, Cybersecurity, SaaS E-Commerce Among Top Industry Sectors Represented

Urban Stems Co-Founder & CEO Ajay Kori and SparkPost CEO Phillip Merrick to Keynote Event

WASHINGTON, DC, February 13, 2018 — As part of MAVA’s ongoing commitment to foster seed and early-stage company growth, the latest group of 18 startup companies have been selected from a range of industry sectors to be showcased on stage at the first installment of MAVA’s year-long TechBUZZ program for 2018. Since the program was launched in 2011, TechBUZZ presenting companies have received more than $760M in aggregate disclosed funding, with many more investments and acquisitions made under undisclosed terms.

The TechBUZZ Spring program will provide an unparalleled opportunity for the selected companies to share their company launch and fundraising pitch in a fast-paced, four-minute format, along with their demo, with an audience of hundreds of business leaders, fellow innovators, experienced company-builders, corporate strategic partners, potential acquirers, and active investors.  The event will be held on February 28th at the FHI 360 Conference Center, located at Dupont Circle in downtown Washington, DC.

“By consistently presenting promising, fundable, and market-ready business startups, TechBUZZ provides a uniquely independent platform and is one of the most recognized of its kind in the country, attracting both promising tech and tech-enabled companies, along with investors and collaborators who follow the companies that have earned one of the coveted spots on the program,” said Julia Spicer, Executive Director, MAVA. “In addition to hitting the radars of potential investors, selected companies benefit from increased visibility and industry interest which helps to secure new customers, hire talent, and garner important market mind-share.”

Providing Solutions to Business, Consumer and Health Industry Problems

“Successful companies are best known for providing solutions to real world business and consumer problems,” continued Spicer. “Specific solutions being addressed by the Spring line-up of presenting companies range from offering mobile health solutions to patients suffering from Parkinson’s and other debilitating conditions; providing drone training simulations to first responders; enhancing security for enterprises by identifying high-risk behavior among their workforce; fighting food waste by creating a market for ‘ugly foods,’ to name a few.”

Featured presenting companies were selected because of their innovative technology, approach to a commerce or enterprise problem, or a new twist to a market maker’s approach, making TechBUZZ a nationally-watched platform by industry and investors, from seed to later-stage interests.  Collectively, the presenting companies provide a representative showing of industry startups and businesses being launched across a broad range of sectors including SaaS, healthIT, software, cybersecurity, energy, e-commerce, and more.

Each of the startups will take the stage for four minutes to describe their respective company, business vision, and product or service. Presenting companies were selected from a highly competitive pool of diverse startups by a review committee of more than 20 MAVA Member Investors and business advisors. The Review and Selection Committee for the TechBUZZ Spring edition was co-chaired by Chip Gerstenmaier, Senior Analyst, Harbert Growth Partners, and Mourad Yesayan, Principal, Paladin Capital Group.

The selected startup companies are early-market entrants seeking seed and early capital who collectively represent the strength of the East Coast as the birthplace of game-changing innovations. The companies selected for this edition come from startup communities across North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, California and Washington, DC. Additionally, two companies have European Headquarters (London and Stockholm).

TechBUZZ is a uniquely independent platform followed regularly by industry and investors across the US, recognized by business leaders across the country as one of the premier venues for credible early companies coming to market.  Having showcased 350 competitively-selected companies since the program’s founding years, TechBUZZ surfaces some of the latest industry trends to watch.

What Recent Presenting Companies Have to Say

“TechBUZZ is an extremely high quality event, and helped us to generate some excellent investor interest. I would highly recommend it to entrepreneurs looking to raise funds.”  Joe Falit, Co-founder & CEO, Yombu Inc. (Fall 2017)

“Techbuzz provided insight and incredible coaches to hone our pitch. It was by far the best run event we have participated in. TechBUZZ served as the perfect kick-off to our fundraising efforts and provided an excellent opportunity for networking and valuable introductions.” – Dan Cowens, CEO of Snag-A-Slip (Fall 2016, with $6M in reported post-presentation financing)

The TechBUZZ Spring Presenting Companies Are:

Company Headquarters Industry Description
9zest, Inc.

Oakton, VA

HealthIT/HealthTech 9zest, Inc. offers a mobile health solution for patients suffering from debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s, Stroke, and Chronic Pain. Using a holistic health regimen, 9zest has designed a suite of app-based rehabilitation solutions that harness principles of Neuroplasticity to provide holistic ‘at home’ therapy.

Baltimore, MD

Programmatic Advertising/On-Demand Audio AudioStaq is a publishing and monetization platform that allows on-demand audio publishers to host, distribute, and monetize content. By using audio advertisement insertion technology, AudioStaq empowers podcast creators and advertisers to dynamically update advertisements in their pre-existing content giving them the ability to deliver household-specific advertising.

Arlington, VA

Political Technology Cameral is your Campaign in a Box – a platform for political candidates to start, manage, track, and win their campaign. Cameral’s unique, data driven political software incorporates more than half a billion records to optimize everything from direct mail to social media to election commission filing, for every size candidate.

Stockholm, Sweden & Washington, DC

Blockchain Technology ChromaWay is a blockchain enterprise software company that provides deep integration to SQL-type databases for banking, real estate, and supply chain industries, in addition to the federal market. Chromaway is the world’s first consortium database using blockchain protocols to synchronize data among enterprises.

Vienna, VA

Cybersecurity ClearForce helps organizations eliminate insider risk and ensure a culture of trust within their workforce. ClearForce’s solution delivers event-based alerts of employee misconduct and high-risk behavior that occurs outside the workplace to identify employees under financial and personal stress who can become vulnerable to exploitation, susceptible to commit bad acts, or distracted in the performance of their job and operates as a consumer reporting agency with 100% employee consent.
HireCoder, Inc

Fairfax, VA

On-Demand Software Marketplace HireCoder, Inc connects you to the top 1% of global remote coders in real time. HireCoder’s on demand software marketplace is the best place for clients and freelancers to connect, collaborate and get work done. Our platform offers live video chat with recommended coders that you can hire the same day and the Scrum and project are managed by our team of experts. We specialize in providing immediate access to experienced coders across a wide range of sectors and technical areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency.
Hungry Harvest

Baltimore, MD

E-Commerce Grocery Hungry Harvest is a produce delivery service on a mission to fight food waste and hunger. The organization purchases fresh produce from farms that would otherwise not have been sold – think apples that are odd sized, or oranges with green on the skin – assembles the produce into balanced variety boxes, and delivers the boxes to subscriber’s doorsteps weekly, for 20% less than retail.

McLean, VA

Social Media Iyotee, the creator of Go2s, is a trusted private social network designed for purposeful interactions between real-life friends, relatives, and neighbors. The platform facilitates the exchange of information, recommendations, and services on the local-level, helping to build thriving community networks powered by the strength of word-of-mouth advertising.
Little Arms Studios LLC

Manassas, VA

SaaS Training Simulations Little Arms Studios LLC, creates and distributes custom-built learning management systems and training simulations for drones/UAS and First Responder industries. These simulations provide the tools necessary to get repetitions and practice needed to grow skill sets and progress towards certification.

Stone Ridge, VA

Geospatial Intelligence NepCol is integrating GeoSpatial technology and big data with its SpatialEdge application, providing situational and location awareness data to enterprises about their assets in real-time. The solution integrates local intelligence, business intelligence, and content management systems at the core-programming level.

London, UK

Talent Attraction/Identification Peoplise powers-up existing recruiting systems of large organizations, allowing businesses to accelerate by attracting new candidates from social media, screening candidates through smart questioning and identifying fit talent through proctored assessments with a full company-branded mobile journey.

Owings Mills, MD

E-Commerce PhotoSquared is an e-commerce application that allows users to select photos from their phone and then prints them on to 8”x8”, lightweight photo boards that are quickly shipped directly to the customer. The lightweight squares require no nails and are easily movable from wall-to-wall and room-to-room.

El Segundo, CA

Energy/Data Analytics PingThings brings predictive intelligence solutions to the smart grid through its PredictiveGrid™ platform to help utilities make sense of sensor data using analytics and artificial intelligence. PredictiveGrid is designed to ingest, store, visualize, analyze, and learn from hundreds of thousands of sensor data streams in real-time with nanosecond time resolution to enable numerous use cases including predictive asset maintenance, fault detection, and global situational awareness.

Washington, DC

Real Estate Technology remodelmate is a tech-enabled general contracting company helping customers complete a stress-free renovation. Remodelmate connects homeowners to contractors for major renovations through a web application.

Silver Spring, MD

Education ScholarVets is an application for Military-connected college students on a mission to support Veterans and Military families before, during, and after college. ScholarVets serves the higher education and human resources market, allowing users to rate and review their college experience, connect with other veterans and Military members on campus, and network with top veteran hiring employers across the country.

Columbia, MD

HealthIT/HealthTech SilverStay is a marketplace that enables families and healthcare professionals seeking short-term senior living options for their loved ones and patients looking to find and book assisted living rooms. SilverStay provides real-time availability, pricing, reviews, and the ability to book instantly at no cost to the user.
SmartBridge Health

Washington, DC

HealthIT/HealthTech SmartBridge Health challenges the notion that high-quality, accessible cancer care is either unachievable or prohibitively expensive. SmartBridge’s Expert Opinion process gives patients timely access to expertise and clinical guidance, helping save time and money while contributing to better health outcomes and happier lives.

Annandale, VA

Food Technology Spira creates a consumer IoT device for health-conscious urbanites that grows a protein supplement using spirulina algae. Spira uses machine-learning to maximize production and is working to produce a delicious and sustainable protein as an ingredient for food companies at scale.

Piloted in Baltimore in 2010, TechBUZZ has become a year-long program providing a continuous platform for early stage companies by showcasing 16-20 companies at three events per year. Today TechBUZZ is one of MAVA’s annual flagship programs and routinely attracts between 300-400 attendees to each pitch event hosted at venues across the region. TechBUZZ shines a well-deserved light on the visionary innovators and company-builders who are actively pursuing a path toward market entry, and can exhibit market validation.

About MAVA:  The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) brings together company-builders from across the country and at every stage of development, providing a trusted public showcase to promote these enterprises, from promising startups to publicly-traded success stories. TechBUZZ in particular offers a public platform for community partners and their companies and helps shape a supportive ecosystem for the earliest of start-ups.

For more than 30 years, MAVA has served the full community of innovators, companies, corporate partners, private capital, and key advisors needed to build successful businesses from start-up to exit.  From venture to private equity, angel to growth equity, and family office to strategic corporates, MAVA brings together the full spectrum of capital and key resources necessary to accelerate the growth of companies across industry sectors and stages of development.  MAVA provides a wide range of programs designed to stimulate revenue and company growth, create efficiencies for conducting business, facilitate quality deal flow, encourage collaboration and foster relationships among entrepreneurs, corporate decision makers, investors, strategic partners and customers.   

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