Contenders advance to North American championship, hosted by the Kauffman Foundation
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 7, 2014) — From an initial field of more than 250 applicants, five U.S. entrepreneurs are still standing and have been named finalists for "Get in the Ring: The American Startup Clash," hosted by the Kauffman Foundation.
These U.S. finalists now advance to the championship round of the first-ever North American Get in the Ring pitch competition, to determine who will be crowned the continent's most promising entrepreneur.
A 10-member panel of judges — comprising prominent leaders of business incubators, accelerators, entrepreneurship organizations and media outlets from across the country — reviewed written applications and video submissions of 20 U.S. semifinalists in narrowing the field to these five U.S. finalists representing a range of industries and geographic locations:
- Briteseed, Chicago, is a medical-device company dedicated to fostering innovative technologies that benefit patients and reduce health care costs. Its SafeSnips technology accomplishes both of these goals by integrating real-time blood vessel detection into existing laparoscopic and robotic cutting devices.
- FitBark, Kansas City, Mo., is the world's tiniest wireless activity monitor for dogs. By combining wearable technology and sophisticated design, it helps pet owners understand their dog's health and behavior, so they can take better care of their canine companions.
- Hydrobee, Seattle, has created a renewable energy platform to provide backup power for USB devices. Its portable USB turbine generates personal power from nature, through things such as water, wind, sun, fire or human strength. It provides USB 3.0 power to charge multiple cellphones, a tablet PC or an LED lamp all night long.
- Identified Technologies, Pittsburgh, uses unmanned aerial systems for data gathering and sensing in hazardous environments. It delivers fast, safe and more frequent data to energy and construction companies using an unmanned aerial vehicle and docking system, all without any human intervention.
- Spot On Sciences, Austin, Texas, develops and markets innovative devices that revolutionize the collection and storage of biological fluids for medical research and diagnostic testing. Its dried-blood-spot technology offers simplified remote blood collection, allowing anyone to take a blood sample at any time, anywhere.
The first-ever "Get in the Ring: The North American Startup Clash" will bring together the five U.S. finalists with five finalists each from Canada and Mexico to compete Nov. 6-7 in Kansas City, Mo., for a livestreamed prime time event.
Sponsors include Sprint and Combat Brands; media partners are Inc., Marketplace from American Public Media and Kansas City PBS station KCPT. Visit www.kauffman.org/GITR for more information.
The North American champion will ultimately travel to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to compete against winners from six other global regions (South America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe and Southern Europe) as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.