Company Profile

0 Jamie Glover, <span class="age">33</span>; Fatimah Hussein, <span class="age">29</span>1 Logan Rae, <span class="age">22</span>; Kimberly Hruda, <span class="age">29</span>2 Ethan Bresnahan, <span class="age">21</span>; Alexandra Dodson, <span class="age">22</span>; Jeff Nowak, <span class="age">23</span>3 Harrison Sheinberg, <span class="age">21</span>; Louis Van Hove, <span class="age">20</span>4 Jake Danehy, <span class="age">23</span>; Caroline Danehy, <span class="age">20</span>5 Brianna Wolin, <span class="age">22</span>; Parisa Soraya, <span class="age">23</span>6 Samuel J. Lukach, <span class="age">22</span>7 Mikayla Sullivan, <span class="age">21</span>; Ella Gehrke, <span class="age">21</span>; Clayton Mooney, <span class="age">29</span>; Elise Kendall, <span class="age">24</span>8 Omeed Shams, <span class="age">27</span>9 Emre Ruhi, <span class="age">30</span>; Dan Tasch, <span class="age">32</span>

KinoSol

Product solution startup aiming to eliminate food waste

KinoSol founders Clayton Mooney (left), Elise Kendall, Mikayla Sullivan and Ella Gehrke.
Industry
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Location
Ames, Iowa
Year Founded
2015
Company Size
1-10 employees
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The Pitch

KinoSol is a benefit corporation with the primary mission to decrease food waste on a global scale. At its core, KinoSol offers organizations with humanitarian efforts to answer a major agricultural problem in developing regions. The company's first product, KinoSol Orenda, is a solar-powered food dehydrator with a temporary storage that helps farmers around the world decrease their postharvest loss year-round. KinoSol relies on global partnerships--NGOs, aid organizations, churches, hospitals, universities--to help distribute and implement KinoSol Orendas. The founding team traveled and worked in more than 50 countries before launching the Orenda.

Traction

With more than $100,000 in funding from business-plan and pitch competitions as well as grants, KinoSol plans to have its second product to market by the summer of 2018--a food dehydrator designed for urban environments throughout the United States and Western Europe. The company garners revenue from direct sales to organizations in partnership with developing countries, unit sponsorship, and the brand's clothing merchandise. 

Note: All data as of 1/31/17

Kwest

Interactive gaming app to explore cities and towns

Kwest founder Omeed Shams.
Industry
Travel & Hospitality
Location
Dallas, Texas
Year Founded
2015
Company Size
1-10 employees
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The Pitch

Local tourism can be difficult at times. That's why Omeed Shams built Kwest, an app that sends users out to engage in interactive, real-world adventures. The app offers a unique and gamified way to explore cities. Kwesters can solve riddles and puzzles, visit the best an area has to offer, and complete challenges to unlock discounts and earn free prizes. Kwest is looking to change the way people explore the world.

Traction

After releasing two platforms on iOS and Adroid in 2016, Kwest has partnered with large and local brands in Dallas and bootstrapped its way to $70,000 in revenue. By contracting with local brands and merchants, Kwest is given a sum of money to build out an experience, in which the users can explore for free. The app's platform also includes interactive adventures at venues and special events. Future plans include a conceptual "Kwest World," where a mix of Pokemon Go, interactive narratives, and destinations will come together.

Note: All data as of 1/31/17

Microcoaching

Provider of real-time video game coaching

Microcoaching founders Emre Ruhi, left, and Dan Tasch.
Industry
Software
Location
Washington, District of Columbia
Year Founded
2016
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The Pitch

Microcoaching is an on-demand video game coaching marketplace. Gamers want to improve their techniques, but there has been no good way for them to connect. Microcoaching bridges that gap. The company's platform combines the best features from ed-tech with the performance requirements of competitive gaming to provide a seamless customer experience that works entirely in-browser, with no downloads, setup, or configuration. The coaching roster includes some of the best video game players in the world who have been through the company's vetting process. Now, gamers can get the help they want, when they want it.

Traction

Microcoaching won SoFi's entrepreneurship competition and placed in the top 64 tech companies in Washington, D.C., in 2017. It recently received seed funding from J. Hunt Holdings, but the company's model is based on taking a percentage of the money players pay their coaches. With over 30 expert coaches and a user base of more than 300 gamers, the company continues to expand. Most recently, Microcoaching saw a rapid growth in coaching hours. Expect another coaching platform from Ruhi and Tasch, as they are preparing to build "Sidekick," which will provide more finely targeted coaching.

Note: All data as of 1/31/17

Mira

Provider of smartphone-powered augmented reality eyeglasses

Benjamin Taft (left), Matt Stern, Montana Reed and Joseph May.
Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
Los Angeles, California
Year Founded
2014
Company Size
1-10 employees
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The Pitch

Mira is looking at the future through affordable, smartphone-powered augmented-reality smartglasses. Using a pair of transparent lenses, users see holograms overlaid seamlessly in the world around them with Mira's headset and a smartphone. The headset is a part of the accessible consumer-facing AR platform that the company will be distributing this year for a fraction of the cost of other headsets currently in development. The ingenuity behind the company's solution is that its entire experience is powered solely by its software and the hardware in an iPhone. Mira is joined by an advisory board, which includes the founder of the USC Game Pipes Lab, one of Google Cardboard's backend developers, and a lead from the Beats Headphones supply chain.

Traction

Mira is currently gearing up for an official launch and gaining rapid traction. The company is in the process of closing a $1.5 million seed round led by a handful of strategic investors from the top of the tech, investment, business, and entertainment worlds. The funding has accelerated Mira's timeline in the development of its hardware and software, with a soft-launch expected in the summer and customer roll-out expected in time for the holiday season. The company is in talks with a number of the top content-production studios to have a lineup of compelling apps at launch. Mira is also in talks with big-box retailers to enable a massive in-store holiday push.

Note: All data as of 1/31/17

RoBotany

Indoor-vertical-farming company transforming modern agriculture

RoBotany founders Austin Lawrence (left), Austin Webb, Brac Webb and Danny Seim.
Industry
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Year Founded
2016
Company Size
1-10 employees
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The Pitch

RoBotany is a robotic indoor-vertical-farming company using automation and analytics to transform modern agriculture. Vertical farming uses 95 percent less water and avoids topsoil degradation and runoff pollution. RoBotany's patent-pending mobile robotics improve labor efficiency by 50 percent and increase crop output compared with competitors. Its analytics allow farm monitoring as well as the ability to optimize for nutrients and taste. In all, RoBotany provides an operational competitive advantage in its ability to sell higher-quality produce with higher-production efficiency.

Traction

RoBotany has raised $600,000 to date from seed capital. The company's main launch includes its own produce brand, Pure Sky Farms, which is available in Whole Foods. From this launch alone, RoBotany has begun a prescale revenue run rate of $250,000. Following the launch of the full-scale farm operation, the company anticipates the production of over 2,000 pounds of greens per day in a 20,000-square-foot farm. RoBotany plans to sell its produce brand in other grocery chains and restaurants starting this year.

Note: All data as of 1/31/17