After a week full of pitch competitions and panel discussions, the third 1776 Global Challenge Cup came to a close on Friday evening at the historic Lincoln Theatre on U Street. MUrgency, a Dubai-based app aimed to democratize emergency response, went home with the trophy and $50,000 check, besting 3,000 startups that applied to compete.
The evening began with a short cocktail hour in the theatre atrium, where leaders in business, technology and other industries were able to mingle briefly before the final competition began.
At around 7:30 p.m., 1776 cofounder and co-CEO Donna Harris took the stage to welcome everyone to the event. Three thousand startup companies from around the world applied to be in the Challenge Cup, which was then shaved down to the 60 that had been competing throughout the week.
“You all have found the most promising startups in your communities,” Harris said. “And tonight, we celebrate you and your vision.”
Before the last standing eight startups hit the stage to deliver their final pitches, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser provided a few remarks to welcome global competitors to the nation’s capital.
“We’ve experienced a wonderful renaissance in our city,” Bowser said. “During my administration, we’ve focused on tackling The District’s biggest problems with technology. We’re inspired by all of you. Keep innovating, keep thinking big.”
From a startup that focuses on drone protection to one that created a Fitbit-like device for cows, each of the eight finalists had three minutes to deliver their pitches and two minutes of questions from the panel of five judges. The startups hailed from all over the world.
Below are the final startups that competed for the $50,000 prize:
- Convexum (Tel Aviv, Israel): a cyber company for physical security problems, focusing on commercial drones.
- E4 Technologies, Cowlar (Islamabad, Pakistan): a Fitbit for cows that helps farmers improve dairy herd health, optimize operations and boost milk yields.
- MUrgency (Dubai, UAE): an app aimed to democratize emergency response by making it available to anyone, anytime, anywhere with the use of a mobile phone.
- My Peggu (Bangalore, India): a company that combines psychology and technology by mapping the behaviors of students.
- NoAppFee (Portland, Ore.): a tenant-led generation tool for property management companies.
- Prima Temp (Boulder, Colo.): a personal fertility sensor that continuously tracks a woman’s core body temperature and detects the subtle changes that occur before ovulation.
- Shippify (Belo Horizonte, Brazil): an operating system for on-demand logistics, connecting the internet with an efficient community of validated shippers.
- Toast (Singapore): a money transfer and bill payment application for unbanked and banked migrant workers on web and Android.
Immediately after the final pitch competition, all 60 companies who entered the Challenge Cup had the opportunity to pitch one last time for a chance to win $10,000 as the crowd favorite. It was a nice switch up from the seriousness of the preceding eight finalists.
Right after, cofounders Evan Burfield and Harris returned to the stage with their fellow judges to present the eight competing startups with prizes of $10,000 and $25,000.
Four semifinalist companies each received $10,000:
- My Peegu
- NoAppFee (which also won the People’s Choice award and an additional $10,000)
- E4 Technologies, Cowlar
Three finalist companies each received $25,000:
- Prima Temp
“It’s tremendously exciting to see all of these great competitors tackling these hard problems that really matter,” Burfield told the audience to end the evening. “Thank you all so much for coming out to support.”-30-
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