Texas
29 September 2020

MassChallenge Texas Names Top 10 Startup Finalists From 2020 Houston Cohort

Global network for innovators begins to identify top startups and geographies of top innovators launching groundbreaking, fundable businesses and plans to share trends at October 22, 2020 streaming event.

(Houston, TX – September 29, 2020) – MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, today announced the top 10 startup finalists from its Houston-based accelerator, in its second year of programming. These startups will now participate in a final round of judging where they will compete for up to $250,000 in equity-free cash prizes. The prize winners will be announced on Thursday, October 22, 2020 as part of the 2020 MassChallenge Virtual U.S. Awards, which will livestream on the MassChallenge website

The 10 finalists represent the top 18% of the cohort and reflect top startup trends in 2020:

  • Healthcare and life sciences (60%) including diagnostics, medical devices, health and wellness
  • High Tech (30%) including fintech, internet of things, gaming and consumer
  • General (30%) including aerospace and materials

The top startup finalists’ geographies reach beyond Texas, 60% of the top startups are launching business outside of the traditional innovation hubs and 40% are from the Greater Houston area reflecting a critical trend: a vibrant startup landscape exists outside of Silicon Valley. Additionally, 70% of the top startups have at least one female founder.

“Great entrepreneurs don’t let a crisis go to waste: this cohort was assembled from virtually every industry across 13 different countries and through the twists and turns, their passion became a beacon for the future,” said Jon Nordby, Managing Director of MassChallenge Texas in Houston. “These top startups represent the best qualities of all of us: resilient, ingenious, and able to push ourselves further than we think we are capable. They embody the entrepreneurial spirit that brings hope and progress to society.”      

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 MassChallenge Texas in Houston program held its first-ever virtual accelerator for 54 participating early-stage startups from around the world. During the four-month program, the startups leveraged expert mentorship, tailored curriculum, corporate partnerships, and industry resources to launch and grow their companies. With more than a decade of experience, MassChallenge’s proven zero-equity model and global network works for its startups - not against them - by providing the vital resources they need to grow without taking any equity in return.

“Economic development starts at the edges of business and innovation, where cutting-edge ideas can quickly be explored and future technology can become high-impact businesses,” said Robert Pieroni, Director of Economic Development for Central Houston. “Similarly, creative, tenacious, and quality entrepreneurs are often found on the edges of innovation ecosystems. MassChallenge’s work sources ground-breaking ideas from around the world and invites them into an inclusive village surrounded by a network of tools, resources, and opportunities that help founders accelerate and scale their business to solve humankind’s boldest challenges head-on. The addition of virtual and the rise of distributed teams in response to the pandemic will make it easier for startups to launch and build businesses anywhere."  

2020 MassChallenge Texas in Houston Top 10 Finalist Startups

B2B Pay (Helsinki, Finland): B2BPay is creating the first multi-bank solution with fully flexible banking infrastructure globally: We do not build, we integrate.

FloodFrame (Richmond, TX): FloodFrame is a concealed flood protection system that utilizes the natural buoyant force of water to deploy and protect your home.

Healium (Columbia, MO): Healium is a biometrically-controlled virtual and augmented reality product powered by consumer wearables for self-management of anxiety.

Integricote (Houston, TX): Our inter-locking chemistry permanently bonds to any porous base material, creating a 3D molecular matrix that merges with the substrate.

Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc. (Fayetteville, AR): Ozark IC’s hardware, software and services bring the internet of things to the harshest environments – from jet engines to earth orbit.

PATH EX, Inc. (Houston, TX): PATH EX is focused on the rapid diagnosis and treatment of sepsis through a unique pathogen extraction platform.

PREEMIEr Diagnostics (Southfield, MI): With our technology, we can identify which premature infants need an adjustment to their glucose levels to prevent them from losing vision.

Scout Inc. (Alexandria, VA): Developing the first commercial in-space satellite inspection service.

Sizzle (Sunnyvale, CA): Sizzle is building AI to automatically create gaming highlights for the billion gaming viewers -- and become the SportsCenter of Gaming.

Starling Medical (Houston, TX): Starling Medical is developing a tech-enabled urinary catheter for patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

ABOUT THE MASSCHALLENGE VIRTUAL U.S. AWARDS CEREMONY 

MassChallenge is hosting its first-ever virtual celebration of innovation and creativity featuring 200+ startups from the 2020 accelerator programs in Austin, Boston, Houston, and Rhode Island.  The event will showcase the progress the startups have made during their program, feature industry-leading speakers Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global), Linda Pizzuti Henry (Boston Globe Media Partners), and Chris Denson (Innovation Crush) to speak on the transformative power of startups, and award up to $2M in equity-free cash prizes to the top startups from the programs. RSVP Here.

ABOUT THE 2020 MASSCHALLENGE PROGRAMS

This year, the U.S. programs in Austin, Boston, Houston, and Rhode Island welcomed a total of 244 early-stage startups from more than 30 countries. Selected from thousands of applicants, the  2020 cohorts represent the best and brightest ideas that tackle some of the world’s most massive challenges. Collectively the startups engaged in over 1,000 office hours and mentor engagements, 200+ classes, and 7 cross program seminar sessions hosted by speakers like Niraj Shah (CEO, Wayfair), Brian Halligan (CEO, Hubspot), Kirk Arnold (EiR, General Catalyst), Deb Benton (Willow Growth Partners), and more.

MASSCHALLENGE PARTNERS

Agrosuper, Altus Dental, Amica Insurance, Analog Devices, Austin Technology Incubator, Autodesk, Babson College, BAE Systems, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brex, Carta, Central Houston, City of Houston, Cydan Development, Defense Innovation Unit, Dell for Entrepreneurs, Delta Dental, Department of Defense, Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Duane Morris LLP, First Republic Bank, FM Global, Foley Hoag LLP, Hasbro, Henkel, IOwnIt, ISS National Laboratory, J.P. Morgan, Juice Consulting, KPMG LLP, MassCEC, McKinsey & Company, MITRE, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsui & Co., Office of Economic Adjustment/DIA, Oracle for Startups, PwC, Raytheon, Reliant, an NRG Company, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Sanofi, SOMPO, Stadia Ventures, Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities, The Boston Foundation, TMAC, University of Texas at Austin, UPS, Upstream, US Air Force, WeWork, Winstead 

ABOUT MASSCHALLENGE

MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,400 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $6.2B in funding, generated more than $3B in revenue, and created more than 157,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org.

 

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