Women Who Tech, a U.S.-based nonprofit that advocates to close the funding gap for women in the technology and startup industry, announced the 10 finalists selected for the sixth Women Startup Challenge who will pitch their startup in a “Shark Tank-style” competition to top investors and an audience of tech industry executives at Google’s New York campus in Chelsea.
“A meager 7% of investor money goes to women-led startups. Through the Women Startup Challenge, we aim to shakeup a culture that has made it exceedingly difficult for women entrepreneurs to access capital,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. “We’re excited to showcase top early-stage women-led startups that are at the forefront of technological innovation: Building drones and holographic displays, developing cutting-edge healthcare to save lives, creating renewable energy sources, and improving environmental sustainability.”
Since its inception the Women Startup Challenge has worked with over 1,700 diverse, women-led startups, awarded over $1,000,000 in cash and prizes, and seen alumni collectively raise over $20M.
The Women Startup Challenge finalists are as follows:
- Astral AR: A drone piloting system that uses IoT and helps law enforcement stop bullets, and detect guns and bombs through walls.
- Curie Co: A life science company that utilizes enzymes and biocompatible materials to replace chemicals banned by the FDA in consumer health products.
- Folia Water: A water filtration system made up of a single sheet of nano-silver filter paper, which can provide 50 liters of safe water at a retail price of 50 cents per sheet.
- Neopenda: An affordable, wireless vital signs monitor that reduces response time to newborns in distress, and helps healthcare workers save lives in overcrowded and understaffed health facilities.
- re:3D: Creators of Gigabot, an industrial human-scale 3D printer that prints from plastic recyclables creating access to local and sustainable manufacturing material, which decimates costs and scales barriers in additive manufacturing.
- Re-Nuble: A patent-pending process to optimize plant nutrition by transforming food waste into chemical free, organic nutrients for both soil based and hydroponic cultivation where food waste is unable to be redirected for human or animal consumption in a recycled, safe, sustainable manner.
- Solstice Energy Solutions: Created SHYFT, a platform for millions of households and businesses in emerging markets that struggle with intermittent or costly power, and where users can remotely monitor, control, and manage all power sources, including solar, generator, converter, and utility.
- Timeless: An app developed by a 13-year-old to help Alzheimer’s patients remember events, stay connected and engaged, and recognize people through artificial intelligence-based facial recognition technology.
- VNTANA: An Augmented Reality computing platform that allows consumers to interact with holograms of their favorite athlete, celebrity, or product while capturing real-time data to help companies generate leads, convert sales, and quantify engagement.
- WaterSeer: A mobile water solution and device that pulls clean, fresh water from air right where people live, providing water security and independence to everyone. The device can produce 100,000s of gallons a year while collecting climate data.
The 10 finalists, selected from nearly 300 applicants from across the U.S., will present their pitches on Mar. 6, 2018 at Google in NYC. The winner will receive $50,000 as a cash grant.