More than 1,600 startups from 50 countries and 41 states applied to MassChallenge Inc.’s Boston startup accelerator program this year— the program’s largest and most diverse applicant pool to date, according to MassChallenge. We rounded up 20 startups from fields including clean energy to health care to social impact to watch in 2014.
The 2014 MassChallenge finalists will be announced May 21.
You know that scary moment when you frantically pat your pockets, turn your purse inside out, throw your blankets off and still can’t find your phone? Even worse, you realize that your phone is on silent. After searching aimlessly in your apartment for 20 minutes, you decide to give up.
With Phone Finder, you’ll never have to suffer from such panic attack again. This bluebooth device lets you find your phone in just one click. Once clicked, your phone will ring, vibrate, and flash.
Paralysis can limit an individual’s independence, productivity, and ability to communicate. Nine million people in America have limited ability to use a computer due to long-term paralysis; about half a million, including many children, are also unable to use their own voices. Communication is central to participation in health care, the workforce, and the community. SpeakYourMind develops novel interfaces and low-cost wearable devices to help people with paralysis use computers effectively.
Found in Translation
Found in Translation helps homeless and low-income multilingual women to achieve economic security by utilizing their language skills. The organization aims to reduce ethnic, racial, and linguistic disparities in health care by unleashing bilingual talent into the workforce.
The program features a 12-week Medial Interpreter Certificate course, which is a offered at no cost to income-eligible women and includes supports such as on-site child care, transporation assistance, mentoring, career coaching, and job placement.
With a tight schedule packed with classes, internships, clubs and part-time jobs, students rarely have time to cook nutritious meals at home. Working professionals experience similar dilemmas. The costs of eating outside add up quickly.
HommyFood has a win-win solution for both the busy bees and others who have time to prepare home-made meals for their families. It provides a marketplace for the busy people to buy healthy and homemade food from nearby cooks, and give the cooks a chance to make some additional income by cooking a larger portion.
Revolution of Hope
Revolution of Hope is an intensive, after-school, community-based organization centered in the inner city of Boston. It provides a nonaggressive outlet for self expression and personal transformation through the organized communal perseverance found in a symphony orchestra. The program has proved to impact children’s development and improve their graduation rates.
Wise Giant brings a revolution to your average daily weight-lifting, which gets mindless and boring. It created a puzzle that challenges gym-goers to strengthen their minds and bodies. Users compete to assemble the (heavy!) puzzle pieces into any of thousands of configurations, of varying levels of difficulty. The WISE GIANT app game-ifies working out and tracks speed, calories burned and mental and physical improvement. Wise Giant is a real-life video game — it’s sweaty, 3D Tetris.
Plate my Meal
Plate my Meal developed a three-dimension healthy eating concept:
1) When to eat?
2) What to eat?
3) How much to eat?
Its product is easy-to-use and educates audiences of all ages. The startup aims to target mothers with young kids.
Hottspot’s goal is to be the largest, most reliable tool for event search and discovery at all levels. It complements an adaptive, predictive algorithm with a simple, yet powerful filter to connect the general event seeker with events that matter to him based on his location and personal characteristics.
WorkTouch created a software that is available on both cellphone and Web, which is designed to define the future of the employer-employee-recruiter relationship.
Fourth Wheel Coffee
Fourth Wheel Coffee is designed for coffee lovers who are looking for fresher coffee and a complete understanding of the story behind their coffee. Fourth Wheel delivers coffee within five days of being roasted, which allows you to take your coffee without any type of sweeteners. Coffee becomes bitter after 15 days of being roasted. Fourth Wheel Coffee delivers roast-to-order coffee directly from its plantation to customers’ homes.
Making healthy choices can be tough. Breaking bad habits after they’re already established is even tougher. Wellet brings tips and tools directly to college students and incents them to explore new healthy behaviors in all areas of wellness by providing a fun, personalized and prize worthy experience. Wellet is designed to assist universities in improving healthy outcomes and allowing them to focus on educating their happy healthy students who will graduate to be happy healthy adults.
Nutrino is the world’s first virtual nutritionist that creates a dietary plan tailored to fit your needs. Nutrino gathers data from users and their sensors to constantly improve its recommendations. The data accumulated is unique both in scale and precision allowing scientists around the world to conduct research on nutrition and understand better how the food we eat affects our health.
Private School Innovator
Private School Innovator is a one-stop for K-12 private school admissions needs. From searching for schools, to help from an advisor, to applying, PSI has it all. It creates a platform for parents to cut down the time spent researching and applying to schools. The process of applying to private schools can be daunting – PSI makes it easier.
Luv You Mor Organics
Luv You Mor provides 100 percent organic cotton clothing for babies and toddlers. Its unique collections have simple, modern and classy designs. It offers eco-conscious family bright colors and a unique and fun collection that goes beyond the light pinks and blues. With its certified organic cotton and low-impact dyes, it strives to inspire families to make better choices for their babies, and the environment.
Women express their personality through the clothes and accessories they wear. Belts are an important fashion staple. KeepYourPantsOn.com focuses on one thing only — customers’ belt needs. It offers unique designers and indie brands not found anywhere else online.
StyleChi is a loyalty-based fashion retailer built with social interaction in mind from the outset. It is both an online fashion store — offering the most desirable brands — and a social network for like-minded people. Every user has their own unique prices based on their relationship with the site — the more you buy, the more you interact, the more you are rewarded.
PolyDrop is a scientific breakthrough for the coating industry. PolyDrop’s lightweight, liquid additive transforms standard coatings into highly efficient dissipaters of electrostatic discharge. PolyDrop’s proprietary process and product outperforms and outlasts anything else on the market today. PolyDrop is inexpensive and easy to incorporate into any coating. From sensitive electronic components to commercial aircraft applications, PolyDrop is setting a new standard for protective coatings.
BlueMorphuv is dedicated to eliminating wastewater and chemical use associated with the sanitization of stainless steel tanks used throughout the food and beverage industry. It intends to penetrate the wine market first and have a pending contract with Kenall Jackson Family Wines. BlueMorphUV has partnered with food and beverage automation expert The Tom Beard Company for development.
Many underdeveloped rural areas use old-fashioned firewood and kerosene lamps, which often results in disastrous fires. What these communities spend in 12 months on firewood and kerosene can be used to invest in Aurora’s first product, a low-cost solar-powered product, which will last these communities up to 10 years. The electricity is powered with innovative solar product, which includes a solar panel with LED lights and sockets for cellphone charging and supports the whole family.
LeanCiti enables cities and residents to cut energy expenses by analyzing, planning, sharing and even trading energy, based on social networking, data mining and decision making tools. It currently work with several cities and municipalities in Israel and it is building a project in France, South Korea, and Germany.