A few weeks ago on December 1st, 2020, Contrary held its first Boston-wide virtual pitch competition featuring startups founded by Boston-area university students and recent alumni. Ten finalists were selected to pitch at the event in front of a panel of esteemed judges that included Jamie Goldstein (Founding Partner @ Pillar VC), Christina Qi (CEO @ Databento & Founding Partner @ Domeyard LP), Paul English (CTO & Co-Founder @ KAYAK and Lola.com), and Alexandra Sukin (Investor @ Bessemer and former Contrary VP).
If you weren't already familiar with Contrary, we are a venture fund that identifies the world’s top early-career engineers, designers, and product minds, connects them with a close-knit, career-long support community, and invests in companies they start or join. We're backed by the founders of Tesla, Reddit, Facebook, Twitch, SoFi, MuleSoft, and many more iconic companies.
Communy, a platform allowing universities to manage virtual tours and webinars for prospective students, took home the judges' choice first place award, and the crowd favorite award went to the COVID-19-killing mobile sanatizer UVLyzer. Pitches included startups from a wide variety of industries, from IoT to education tools, debit cards, fashion, and AI logistics.
I'm delighted to share more about our incredible Top Ten Finalists for Contrary's 2020 Boston Pitch Competition! Here are brief summaries of our finalists, don't hesitate to reach out to these teams with questions, feedback, or advice.
Communy (Judges' Winner)
Communy is an online, live-streaming platform where universities are able to stream live-tours and post webinars to prospective students across the globe. www.communynow.com
UVLyzer (Crowd Favorite)
UVLyzer is the world’s first UV-C mobile sanitizer sticker. Our patent pending technology utilizes powerful ultraviolet-C germicidal led lamps that kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses including COVID-19 within seconds. https://www.uvlyzer.com/
Out of the Box
Out of the Box is a complete learning solution for preschool children. It comprises a patent-pending modular classroom-in-a-box (hardware) and web app with artificial intelligence (software), enabling children to learn effectively anywhere. https://www.ootb.education/
Out of the Box pitch deck: https://docsend.com/view/chb8hsy4b8h6csjb
Ivella is a debit card that helps couples split expenses. At Ivella we’re working on building a new banking experience for couples, and we’re on a mission to make Ivella the de facto financial services company for all relationships. https://www.ivella.co/
Tuverl is a cheap, fast, and convenient way to travel by road in African countries. Commuters can book and pay for bus tickets on Tuverl’s mobile app in advance of their trip, and public transport operators can take their business online by accepting digital payments, accessing rider analytics, and managing their drivers. https://www.tuverl.com/
Mount is an IOT company leveraging data analytics enabled by smart locks to track mobility patterns, locate lost vehicles, and bring a holistic picture to the management of mobility assets. By using Mount, scooter service providers can save $537 per scooter per year (370% ROI). https://mountlocks.com/
While childbirth is miraculous, it is a physically traumatic and emotionally isolating experience. We at MomMe are passionate about giving mothers control over their recovery. We are building a suite of connected health wearables that accelerate postpartum recovery through both physical therapy and emotional support. Our patented and research-backed wearables apply a healing mechanical stimulation called mechanotherapy, which relieves pain and accelerates muscle regeneration. https://www.bemomme.com/
- Arielle Rothman (LinkedIn | email)
- Dr. William Whyte (LinkedIn | email)
- Markus Horvath (LinkedIn | email)
- Shelley Chan (LinkedIn | email)
Holdette elevates and eases the transition out of college and into the real world - from your closet to your community. We are designing the next generation of women’s workwear that is built function forward, at an affordable price point, and with the help of our community . From our function-forward apparel to Back Pocket, our community membership program offering personal and professional development events, we are 100% there for you. https://holdette.com/
Sprout is reimagining recommerce. Sprout is a web app platform where users can track their closet inventory and easily sell or lend clothes to private and public marketplaces. We aim to promote conscious consumerism, reduce resale friction, and create a circular clothing economy through untapped closet inventories.
Strada Routing is an AI Logistics startup building the world’s best vehicle routing system. We aim to solve the inefficiencies of the trucking industry, where suboptimal routes waste $108b and 14b gallons of fuel each year. Leveraging proprietary technology and industry insight, we have created an autonomous system that can single handedly manage large fleets. Please reach out to hear more about Strada’s vision for cleaner, smarter shipping, and why we’re uniquely positioned to deliver it! http://stradarouting.com/
Thanks for checking out our Top Ten Finalists! If you have any questions for the teams don't hesitate to reach out, and if you have questions about planning virtual pitch competitions, how Contrary works, or just want to get in touch, please reach me through the contact info below. Thanks!