Texas
29 September 2020

MassChallenge Texas Names Top 12 Startup Finalists From 2020 Austin 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.

(Austin, Texas – September 29, 2020) – MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, today announced the top 12 startup finalists from its Austin-based accelerator, now in its third year of programming. These startups will now participate in a final round of judging where they will compete for up to $500,000 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 12 finalists s represent the top 20% of the cohort and reflect top startup trends in 2020: 

  • High Tech (67%) including enterprise software, edtech, gaming, and telecommunications and mobile
  • General (16.5%) including travel and tourism
  • Healthcare/Life Sciences (16.5%) including medical devices

The top startup finalists’ geographies reach beyond Texas; 50% of the top startups are from areas outside of traditional innovation hubs and 42% are from the greater Austin area reflecting a critical trend, a vibrant startup landscape exists outside of Silicon Valley. Additionally, 25% of the top startups have at least one female founder.

"While the world continues to settle into the digital environment, business owners, executives, and governments are seeking innovative ways to operate fully, get people back to work, and meet the needs of their customers. The startups in this year's MassChallenge Texas in Austin program have solutions that can address these issues head on," said Mike Millard, Managing Director of MassChallenge Texas in Austin. "Facing new and unexpected challenges at the earliest stages, the startups were able to quickly adapt to meet unique market needs, create jobs, and generate revenue in growing their businesses. I'm encouraged by the industry trends we see with this cohort and believe our expert judges are as well."

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 MassChallenge Texas in Austin program held its first-ever virtual accelerator for 58 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.
 
“It is my passion to identify and bring top talent technology-based solutions and high-impact business to life for the public interest,” said Bobby Blount, Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Lead at MITRE Corp. “Working with MassChallenge has helped me redefine what successful and high ROI startup engagements look like for MITRE. Through this work, we connected with entrepreneurs from across the world that are launching products, platforms, and services applicable to the United States Department of Defense and they will have a trickle-down effect to meet the needs of the everyday people at home and on the job.”

2020 MassChallenge Texas in Austin Top 12 Finalist Startups

At Ease Rentals Corporation (Round Rock, TX): Like Airbnb but for military, we guarantee all listings will meet federal lodging requirements; ensuring federal employees are reimbursed.

Civic Champs (Bloomington, IN): Civic Champs helps nonprofits truly engage with their volunteers while turning them into donors.

Class2Class Inc. (Bryan, TX): A collaborative learning platform that enables universities, businesses, and organizations to create virtual collaborative projects.

Code 1 Medical Devices (St. Petersburg, FL): A novel airway device designed to prevent the aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs.

CUE Audio (Franklin, TN): CUE uses high-frequency, inaudible audio signals to transmit data.

DanceFight (Austin, TX): DanceFight is a mobile video competition platform. Record yourself dancing to a song, challenge a friend, let the world determine a winner.

Locker Lifestyle (Orland Park, IL): Locker Lifestyle creates wearable lockers so you can work out, travel & adventure with confidence. Stash your cash, keys, ID & more.

Muxy (Austin, TX): Muxy is an Emmy winning software startup focused on making live video an interactive experience for viewers and the broadcasters.

RealKey (San Francisco, CA): Automated mortgage processing SaaS platform w/ only one touch [no conditions from underwriting] through document-centric and network-effect.

Weeve (Austin, TX): Weeve helps people leaders build happier and higher-performing teams.

WriterDuet (Austin, TX): WriterDuet is a real-time collaborative platform for writers, filmmakers, game developers, and other creative teams.

Xpan Inc. (Toronto, Ontario): Xpan’s less invasive yet expandable universal port aims to maximize the safety & efficiency of minimally invasive surgery.

ABOUT THE MASSCHALLENGE VIRTUAL U.S. AWARDS CEREMONY 

MassChallenge is hosting its first-ever  virtual celebration of innovation and creativity featuring 200+ startupsPizzuti 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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