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>

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
Data as of Publication on Mar 14, 2017
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
Data as of Publication on Mar 14, 2017
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

 

SwineTech

Creator of SmartGuard, a swine-management tool for the pork industry

SwineTech founders Abraham Espinoza, left, and Matthew Rooda.
Industry
Food & Beverage
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Year Founded
2015
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Mar 14, 2017
Company Description

The Pitch

SwineTech creates solutions to reduce the number of piglets that die from disease, starvation, and crushing, which costs the industry more than $8.9 billion per year. SwineTech's patented technology, SmartGuard, uses advanced acoustic engineering, proprietary algorithms, and machine learning to filter and detect when a piglet is getting crushed. SwineTech also provides farmers with a swine-management feature that can provide farmers with a real-time health analysis of each sow, enabling them to detect, isolate, and treat a potential viral outbreak in their facilities. The introduction of advanced farrowing-managements systems will allow farmers to significantly cut losses. SwineTech's social mission is to improve animal welfare and enable farmers to feed the world, one saved piglet at a time.

Traction

In the past three months, SwineTech raised $1 million and received purchase orders from multiple producers, including the largest pork producer in Tennessee. Over the past year, the company received $235,000 through business-plan competitions. SwineTech has won competitions at Harvard, Princeton, and Microsoft, and also has been named a finalist for agtech company of the year alongside John Deere and Pioneer.

Note: All data as of 1/31/17

 

Trippie

Mobile app that provides interactive maps of airports

Trippie founders Samantha Braver, left, and Ryan Diew.
Industry
Software
Location
Hamilton, New York
Year Founded
2015
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Mar 14, 2017
Company Description

The Pitch

It's difficult to locate all the food options airports have to offer. Trippie's mobile app provides an interactive map of airports, which helps users get a lay of the land. By displaying menus, reviews, hours, and an estimated time away from the user's standing location, the app takes the user to an airport restaurant of his or her choice. The app learns users' tastes and makes suggestions catered to them.

Traction

In the spring of 2016, Trippie was awarded $21,900 in funding by winning first place in a Shark Tank-like competition. Revenue originates from partnerships with vendors and through sponsored content. To date, Trippie has received $31,900 in funding and has 470 app store downloads. Future launches include more airport layouts, in-app messaging options, and expansions into other indoor venues.

Note: All data as of 1/31/17

Twine

A data and analytics startup that helps companies track their human resources information.

Twine founders Joseph Quan, left, and Nikhil Srivastava.
Industry
Human Resources
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Mar 14, 2017
Company Description

The New York City-based startup's platform aims to help human resources teams organize and analyze employee data--diversity stats, employee salaries, performance metrics, and the like--so that company leaders can make more informed decisions. "It can answer those ad hoc questions that come up frequently in senior leadership meetings that would take hours or weeks to pull data and turn into analytics," says 29-year-old Jospeh Quan, who co-founded Twine with Nikhil Srivastava, 31, in 2017. Though it is still in stealth mode--the company plans to launch formally later this year--it has raised a total of $2.7 million in funding from personal savings, angel investors, and venture capital firm Trinity Ventures. Early customers include note-taking app Evernote and blood-test company Guardant Health. --Emily Canal