Over the past week, 1776, a startup incubator focused on public good brought startups from 16 cities in 11 countries to Washington D.C. to compete in the Challenge Festival.
The week-long startup competition focused on four areas of public innovation: education, energy & sustainability, health, and transportation.
Unlike other well-known incubators and seed funds, 1776 solely funds startups that are focused on making a major impact in heavily regulated industries.
At the Challenge Festival, startups like as BaseTrace, which "uses DNA-based tracers to track where industrial fluids are going in large, complex environments" and Reliefwatch, a cloud-based system that uses smartphone technology to track inventory and diseases for healthcare organizations in the developing world, battled it out on stage for a grand prize of $150,000 in investment.
Twiga Fruits, a Kenya-based startup that builds fair and sustainable distribution systems to export fresh fruit from the country without going through a middleman. The company aims to treat farmers fairly while helping to distribute their goods to the widest network. Twiga Fruits is currently Kenya's leading exporter of bananas, pineapples and avocados
“Over the past six months, we’ve traveled the globe to find the world’s most promising startups working to develop innovative solutions to fundamental challenges in education, energy & sustainability, health, and cities & transportation,” says Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776.
“After going against stiff competition throughout the Challenge Cup, Twiga Fruits emerged tonight as this year’s most promising, problem-solving startup, and we look forward to helping them innovate and improve the Transportation & Cities industry for years to come.”
Along with fresh funding, Twiga Fruits and other finalists will receive the "swat team" of support from mentors, government officials, and institutional market partners that 2-year-old 1776 has become known for.
Here are a few of the other finalists:Cognotion identifies talent, delivers functional utilization of knowledge, and decreases employee churn rate by using gaming and video tools to teach entry level millennials about personal finance. Handsfree Learning helps students, teachers, and institutions learn and teach hands-on technical skills by applying a range of hardware and software solutions to expand possibilities in subjects like dentistry, medicine, culinary arts, fine arts, cosmetology, and lab sciences. LearnLux creates online learning tools to teach people personal finance and allows companies to empower their employees to become financially autonomous by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to make the best financial decisions. Radiator Labs uses a unique patent-pending product offering to improve radiator’s heating efficiencies and turn them into smartphone-controlled climate systems. Unima is a biotechnology startup that developed a fast and low-cost diagnostics technology for global health data collection and analytics in real time. EverCharge has created a proprietary device and service for drivers of electric vehicles who park in common-area garages, enabling users to charge their vehicles at their convenience.
NOW WATCH: We did the math: Is Uber really cheaper than a taxi?
See Also:How to build a billion-dollar company from scratch – and walk away with nothingEverybody kept telling this startup that its pitch deck was beautiful — but they didn't investHere's one trick to get into Y Combinator