We started 2022 with a free event. We decided to have a few free events to help the startup founders get started in the new year with good opportunities to meet quality investors.
Startup founders seem to appreciate the opportunity and they were extremely happy to connect with our investors. The panel presented t investors, including a couple of new investors. We try to get new investors for each of our events, as well as keep some of the investors appear on all events. This way we can provide opportunities to meet new investors to founders that decide to pitch at multiple events.
This event features many startups in the health industry. This was not on purpose, but we did have many applicants that were offering new procedures, applications, and overall solutions related to helping improvement, prevention, and holistic approaches to our wellbeing.
In 2022 we are planning to organize these pitching events every 2 weeks, so there will be many good opportunities for startups to meet with investors.
The Pitching Process
We still offer 5 minutes for the startups to pitch their companies to our panel of investors. In addition, we offer 5 minutes for Q & A, which seems to be the favorite part of the pitch for the founders. These Q & A sessions provide the opportunity to explain in detail and connect with our investors, which is the purpose of these online events.
After all of the startups are done with their presentations, we move to the ‘breakout rooms session’.
Each startup founder is moved to his/her room and investors go from room to room to meet with founders they are interested in. This is still a test, but it looks like founders and investors enjoy the process and derive value from it, so we will continue experimenting and offering ways to one-on-one conversations.
Startup That Pitched At The January 6th Online Event
Jerrold Shapiro presents his startup – Floelle
Jerrold Shapiro leads a team of very experienced medical industry entrepreneurs as they bring a highly innovative medical device to the 500 million incontinent women worldwide who desperately need it. Inserted into her urethra in her doctor’s office, like a catheter, where it stays for four months, the Floelle device constantly monitors the pressure in her abdomen.
When it senses a pressure rise that would normally cause a urine leak, it blocks the leak by closing its urine passage, or lumen. No absorbent pads, drugs nor surgery are needed. The antimicrobial mixed into the device’s soft silicone rubber blocks bacterial growth on the device and blocks encrustation; it lasts five months, so the device is replaced every four months to renew the antimicrobial. In addition to protecting the patient, this also provides an annuity revenue model with increased income for the doctor, decreased cost for the patient, $25,000 of savings per patient for the payer, and a 4 trillion dollar reduction in nursing home costs for governments. Plus keeping 2 trillion diapers out of landfills. E S Gee!
Floelle has designed, prototyped, and tested the device both in vitro and in patients, where it does an excellent job of blocking urine leaks. They are currently doing an Early Feasibility Study to refine the design of the device itself, and of the one that inserts it into the urethra, called the introducer. Once the design is frozen, they will do the multicenter international clinical trial required for regulatory approval, then submit that clinical data to the FDA and the European Commission for regulatory clearance.
Two years after the funding of their $1.2 million dollar seed round they expect to enter the US and EU markets, starting in a total of four regions, each with a population of 60 million, expanding to 8 regions the next year, and to 12 regions in the third year after such clearance, reaching $414 in annual sales. We plan to exit by acquisition. This is calculated, not guaranteed, to provide a double-digit ROI to seed round investors.
Ling Ly Tan presents her startup Linggo
Linggo is an assistive technology that makes communication accessible for people who have difficulty speaking.
How it works: The individual communicates through the mobile device (tablet) to express their wants and needs, and to socialize with others. The communication partners assist and support the individual on how to effectively communicate their desires, and promote social interactions through the device. Linggo also includes a patent-pending algorithm to support vocal speech and literacy development through sight-reading and integrates a secondary app, LinggoCP, to include data collection and progress monitoring.
The technology can be used to support people with disabilities, including those diagnosed with autism, developmental disabilities, survivors of stroke or a traumatic brain injury, and dementia.
Additionally, Linggo’s clinical team provides training and consultation for professionals, parents and caregivers of individuals with autism and aphasia, and are looking to access services and assistive technology to improve communication.
Linggo is available on the App Store, and will soon be made available for Android in 2022.
Mathew Post presents his startup UNDERRATED
UNDERRATED is a distribution and streaming platform dedicated high quality, meaningful, independent-style cinema and foreign films.
UNDERRATED boasts a curated library intended for discovery and the ability to choose any film and enjoy it. Our early adopters are watching titles all the way through and have reached out to express their positive feedback.
UNDERRATED has an MVP, 50 registered users, ~100, and over 1,000 organic followers on Instagram we are well on our way to scaling. We have completed our beta testing and market research. During this time, we have identified our market share, demographic(s), and have determined that people are willing and actively searching for new content. In some cases, they even want to leave their existing streaming services.
UNDERRATED has determined that the next steps are to upgrade the platform to include iOS and Android apps, grow our library, and secure strategic marketing and finance partners to help reach our goals ahead of schedule. Many of these key marketing partners have already been identified and secured and in February UNDERRATED will do a larger launch to a larger market share utilizing these marketing avenues.
In addition to a subscription-based distribution platform, UNDERRATED believes that the true value of any movie studio is its IP. As such we are securing the rights to many films at the earliest stages and developing them specifically for the platform.
We believe the Hollywood system is broken. Movies cost too much, and there are not enough quality films being released each year. This is in part to theatrical releases and in part to historical reasons dating back to the beginning of filmmaking.
UNDERRATED is actively disrupting this production and distribution model and ultimately believes that movies can be made for less, meaning the price of entry is lower while increasing ROI. In short, less money at stake equals more money on the backend. Some of these implementations include a new distribution model deemed a “back-stop” deal as well as projects that exist in the NFT, Crypto, and Metaverse spaces.
Melinda Chu presents her startup Venja Health
Venja Health is an early-stage health technology startup that is improving lives by helping people track their health and symptoms and connect to their healthcare providers for real-time analyses.
For oncology patients, tracking health symptoms is hard. They change or fluctuate. It’s hard to know if they are representative of something serious. In addition, studies have shown that tracking symptoms in cancer patients can lead to increased overall survival.
To solve this problem and improve patients’ lives, Venja Health is developing the Health Efx platform. It has 2 parts: a mobile health app for patients and an integrated web platform for providers and also integration with EHR systems (e.g. EPIC, Cerner, etc.). Through the mobile health app, users collect information on their medical history, medications, symptoms, health, etc. There is a voice-to-text option to make it easier to collect information. The information from the mobile health app is transmitted to the providers via a HIPAA-compliant platform. On the provider side, if patients consent their information is searchable. Natural language processing (NLP) is used to make the interpretation of the patient reports quicker to analyze, saving providers’ time.
The team is made up of Melinda B. Chu, M.D. M.B.A., and Jon Chin. Dr. Chu is a physician with 12 years of clinical research experience. She has conducted research in monitoring the side effects of cancer therapy. Pratik Sanyal has 18 years of software experience and has worked at Microsoft and Apple. They are actively recruiting NLP experts and a CMO to add to the team.
While the initial target group is cancer patients, anyone will be able to download the app from the App store. The initial business model is a freemium model with a $4.99 per month upgrade. The team is working on defining a reimbursement strategy. The plan is to work with insurance companies and employers to cover this service at a price of $70 per month for the first 4 months and $10/mo.
Market / Competitors
The platform sits at the convergence of 3 growing markets worth billions of dollars: mobile health app market ($40.1B), health tracker market ($13B), and real-world evidence ($1.2B). The competitors in the symptom tracker market only have the option of manual entry of information and do not offer a voice-to-text option. One app (Folia Health) has the ability to connect with providers, but it is only a web-based platform. Venja Health is planning on offering a web-based platform and integrating with EHRs, which is more convenient for healthcare providers (fewer clicks and time needed), which will increase adoption.
Justin Selfridge presents his startup Devorto
Devorto is building an aircraft that never has to land.
A solar-powered system that operates within the stratosphere collects energy during the day and runs on batteries at night, is not constrained by fuel limitations. That capability will provide better services than our satellite networks, but for the cost and logistics of operating a drone. Applications include atmospheric monitoring for better climate and weather data, a solution to our 5G infrastructure problem needed for IoT and autonomous vehicles, and wireless broadband speed Internet delivered to the most remote parts of the planet.
DARPA and a majority of tier-one aerospace companies have failed at their attempts for persistent flight, and Google/Facebook have abandoned their investments in companies due to a lack of a viable technical solution.
Devorto has developed a novel concept aerial vehicle, called the Tethered Uni-Rotor Network (TURN), which combines the best features of both fixed-wing and rotorcraft methodologies, which yields a system that runs on 10X less power, and puts persistent flight within reach.
Dr. Justin M Selfridge, CEO and founder of Devorto, previously worked for NASA Langley developing experimental aircraft, and TURN was the subject of his Ph.D. Upon completion of his dissertation, and through $475K of R&D funding from NASA and the US Air Force, he has been able to work full-time on TURN and deliver several prototypes and obtain three patents. Al Waddill, President of Devorto, was previously Head of Sales for 20+ years at Groen Brothers Aviation.
Smaller-scale TURN systems will progress towards the solar-powered embodiment. Our immediate focus is to work with our leading industry partners to deliver a system that has vertical takeoff and hover, but offers 20X the flight endurance of a multirotor. This initial commercial product will serve long-range infrastructure inspections, provide data-as-a-subscription business models, and will satisfy the MOU we have from our Washington Air National Guard customer.
Aaron Warric presents his startup Elevate
Elevate is mental health and holistic wellness mobile application that serves as a personal guide to mental, physical, and emotional success. Elevate provides peer-to-peer therapy connections between users and wellness practitioners.
Elevate encourages wellness and inspires its users to live fully. Elevate is equipping people to overcome adversity and manifest their best selves with bite-sized pieces of wisdom, guidance, and inspiration while utilizing predictive analytics, AI, and machine learning to provide a personalized user experience.
I am Aaron Warrick. I am the co-founder and CEO of Elevate. As the CEO of Elevate, I am responsible for creating, communicating, planning, and implementing the direction and vision of Elevate. This includes finding new opportunities for expansion and leading Elevate into new markets and industries. I am tasked to guide and create leaders, hence building a strong team that promotes company growth and fosters a healthy organizational culture.
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Lincoln University and Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University. I am an experienced Control System Engineer with 8+ years working in Natural Gas & Water/Wastewater industries. I am highly skilled in computer & electrical engineering, computer programming, mobile app development, implementation, SCADA systems, system integration, and cyber security engineering.
Rawley Filbin presents his startup USEFUZE
USEFUZE is a mobile tool that helps gig workers aggregate all of their jobs to ONE dashboard creating a verified and transparent “Living Resume.” USEFUZE provides seamless integration for the gig worker and allows the flexibility, freedom, and security to create a career trajectory.
The freedom of a work/life balance does not come without a downside. The need to constantly look for work, lack of career growth options, compliance and legal concerns, and the threat of non-payment from customers plague the gig economy. Additionally, the fact that there are nearly 800 different marketplaces to find work and that 70% of gig workers operate across multiple platforms, the need to have all work efforts compiled into one transparent and verifiable source enables the gig worker the opportunity to succeed.
A technology-driven, user-friendly interface that allows a “Fuzer” to find work from ANY source, create a contract for services performed, manage the project, and facilitate payment, all the while constantly updating their work history and creating a verified and transparent system of reports accessible through a dynamic dashboard UI.
While our ultimate objective is to appeal to ALL gig workers, our target market, through previously established contacts, is aimed at transitioning veterans and the spouses of both active duty and discharged military personnel. Approximately 200,000 service members leave the military each year and veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed. Additionally, according to the Department of Labor, there are an estimated 710,000 active-duty military spouses of which there is an astonishing 24% unemployment rate and a 53% underemployment rate.
Competitor focus is targeted towards both trade and professional services marketplaces. Additionally, there is a robust suite of service solutions for professional workers. USEFUZE is focused on the underserved emerging market of service solutions for trade gig workers.