09.23.2015Corporate

36 startups & entrepreneurs enter final round of Powerful Answers Award

Media contact(s) 
Jerry Rizzo
T. 908.559.7540
Over 1,400 startups from around the world entered 2015 Powerful Answers Award competition

NEW YORK – Big ideas can come from anywhere. That belief is at the core of Verizon’s Powerful Answers Award competition, and it has never held truer as over 1,400 startups and entrepreneurs from over 70 countries entered submissions in this year’s contest.

Today, the company announced 36 Powerful Answers Award finalists in three technology categories -- Emergency Response, Transportation and Internet of Things – which have been selected to move on to the Powerful Answers Award Final Round. There are 12 finalists in each of the three categories and a top prize of $1 million is up for grabs in each category. One first runner-up and two second runner-ups in each category will receive $500,000 and $250,000 prizes respectively for a total of $6 million awarded by Verizon. Final presentations and judging will take place on September 29 and 30 at Verizon’s San Francisco Innovation Center and its Santa Clara Development Center.

“The world is facing incredible challenges, but we believe that there are life-changing ideas out there that can provide answers,” explained John Doherty, senior vice president of corporate development and Verizon Ventures. “Verizon wants to help find innovators who can leverage Verizon’s products and technology to help solve those problems and help turn their visions into reality.”

“This is a really exciting time for these founders and their world changing ideas,” said Oded Ben Dov, 2014 Powerful Answers Award $1 million winner and CEO of Sesame Enable. “Having been in their shoes last year, I can assure them that this is a great time for them to reflect upon and further their mission.”

The 36 finalists organized by category are shown below:

A Lifeguard Drone - Plano, TX

Mission: To combat the difficulties of finding people at sea and in the ocean (e.g. or being carried out to sea via undercurrents), the company deploys a drone to search for missing individuals using a combination of pattern recognition and sound analysis along with the in-water person wearing a device that emits a location signal.

Bounce Imaging- Boston, MA

Mission: To help first responders achieve situation awareness, the company has developed a softball-sized robot that can be tossed into rooms, tunnels, and other spaces to quickly scan and provide omnidirectional panoramas/images, sensor data, and audio back to the first responders’ tablets and smartphones.

Chromation – New York, NY

Mission: To help first responders work in areas with potentially dangerous substances. The company’s solution is a low-cost mobile-connected analyzer system that can perform on-site measurements for medical diagnostics, hazardous material detection, and chemical sensing.

Disaster Mesh - San Francisco, CA

Mission: To help establish communications capabilities at a disaster site, the company deploys a wireless mesh network comprised of small devices (i.e. “seeds”). The “seed” is shaped such that it can be deployed from the air via plane, helicopter, or drone, and they will gently float down to the ground.

Emergency/Relief Response Broadband Access - Baton Rouge, LA

Mission: To help establish communications capabilities at a disaster site, the company uses “white space” spectrum and combines it with existing and working sources of communications including cellular, Wi-Fi, wired, etc.

EmergenSee - Malvern, PA

Mission: To augment existing 911 infrastructure and support individuals in distress, the company leverages a user’s smartphone or tablet into a personal security device by mass streaming audio, video, and location to first responders at the touch of a button.

Gempalocate- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mission: To assist victims trapped in collapsed structures after an earthquake or other disaster, the company’s app converts the user’s smartphone into a beacon that search and rescuer personnel can locate and identify.

Lassie - Denver, CO

Mission: To assist hikers that travel through remote areas with varying topology and within cellular network range, the company has developed a smart flare containing GPS and cellular components that allow users trapped within network dark spots due to topology.

RadioHound - Denver, CO

Mission: To assist the search and rescue of lost individuals in remote areas, the company has developed an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that can be deployed to search.

RedBox - Champagne, IL

Mission: To augment existing 911 infrastructure and support individuals in distress, the company leverages a user’s smartphone or tablet into a personal security device by mass streaming audio, video, and location to first responders at the touch of a button.

Triage Drone - Denver, CO

Mission: To assist search and rescue efforts following a disaster event, the company has developed a drone that is able to travel over areas of destruction, monitor cellular signals being emitted from cellular phones, and mark those locations.

K9 Stats - Logan, UT

Mission: To assist search and rescue efforts, the company has developed a wearable device collar for dogs, which are able to cover ground up to 50 times faster than a human due to heightened senses.

Aegle Arc- Baltimore, MD

Mission: To help monitor the senior and elderly, the company has developed a wearable pendant device that is equipped with 4G LTE and sensors that monitor ECG, respiration rate, blood oxygen levels and temperature.

Aira.io - San Diego, CA

Mission: To assist the blind with their daily lives, the company has developed a service that integrates smart glasses with the user’s smart phone such that a virtual personal assistant can help them with tasks using the assistant’s vision. 

Chipsafer - Montevideo, Uruguay

Mission: To help farmers monitor their herds of animals such as cattle for higher yield, the company has developed a wearable device that monitors animals’ behavior remotely, autonomously and in real-time.

CityTaps - Île-de-France  

Mission: To assist water utilities in collecting payment for water usage and consumers to pay for water, the company has developed a connected control-metering device that connects to the water tap.

Flux - New York, NY

Mission: To assist consumers in growing food at home, especially those that live in cities, the company has developed a connected device that monitors the growth of vegetables in a hydroponic environment and determines the optimal growing recipe.

FarmLink - Kansas City, MO

Mission: To assist farmers in improving their crop yields, the company leverages data gathered from farms nationwide and around the world to provide actionable insights on what farmers should do with their specific farming environment.

FarmX - Irvine, CA

Mission: To assist farmers in improving their crop yields and lowering their water costs, the company combines low cost sensors and high altitude aerial imagery to collect real-time crop data. 

Owlet - Provo, UT

Mission: To alert parents when their baby stops breathing. Using pulse oximetry—the same technology used in hospitals—the monitor tracks heart rate and oxygen levels. The company’s big vision is to create the largest infant health data set the world has ever seen and connect the hospital to the home via smart hardware.

Smart Barn - Kettering, OH

Mission: To assist farmers with the operation of their farms and monitoring of livestock, the company has developed a series of wirelessly connected equipment to monitor and control the environment condition of their facilities.

GiveVision.net - London, UK

Mission: They develop applications that can power any smart glasses to act as a guide for visually impaired people recognising text, signs, objects and faces.

Tissue Analytics - Baltimore, MD

Mission: To assist individuals who have a wound, the company has developed a smart phone app that allows the injured individual to send photos and video of the wound to a central network of doctors. 

Zizmos Technology - Palo Alto, CA

Mission: To assist cities in detecting earthquakes or other seismic activity in advance of actually occurring, the company uses inexpensive MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Sensor) accelerometers attached to used or recycled smart phones that are connected to the Internet to create a low-cost seismic network that monitors earthquake hazards and provides real-time notifications of impending tremors to residents in high-risk areas for a fractional cost of the traditional seismic network.

Barachic First Mile - Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Mission: To assist businesses and consumers in developing countries that require the transport of small cargo in short distances, the company has developed an app-based motorbike cargo delivery service. 

Foodif – Distribution and Logistics - Santiago, Chile

Mission: To assist in the distribution of food, the company has developed a platform that allows farmers and neighborhoods to sell and buy produce, respectively, on an on-demand basis

iHelmet - Kadawatha, Sri Lanka

Mission: To assist motorcycle operators as they travel roads, the company has developed a smart helmet that utilizes a combination of sensors, cameras, and connectivity. 

GoShare - San Diego, CA

Mission: To assist people in need of transporting cargo, the company has developed an app-based cargo truck delivery service. 

i4drive - Tel Aviv, Israel

Mission: To assist car drivers, the company has developed a platform that turns any car into a connected car through the use of a smart phone. 

Telepresence Robotics - Mountain View, CA

Mission: To assist the delivery of goods over the “last mile”, the company has developed a “robot-as-a-service” model that combines a physical robot, cameras, cellular connectivity, and programmable intelligence in the cloud. 

Orbita Line - Vostra Gotaland, Sweden

Mission: To improve the efficiency of public bus transportation, the company has developed a platform that optimizes the flow of buses along a route based on demand. 

Pogo - Seattle, WA

Mission: To assist parents in the transport of their children to school, the company has developed a ride-sharing platform that allows users to create private carpool networks in partnership with schools. 

Road Rules - San Francisco, CA

Mission: To assist drivers and prevent distracted driving, the company has developed a platform that automates tasks while the vehicle is in operation. 

Swiftmile - San Mateo, CA

Mission: To reduce urban congestion, the company has developed smart charging racks for use with light electric vehicles (LEVs). 

Firefly RFID - Sanford, NC

Mission: To help shippers track assets and shipments around the world, the company has developed a small cellular M2M module that includes GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth and can be deployed in shipping containers and other cargo holds. 

Voyage Control - New York, NY

Mission: To address the growing costs of congestion, the company provides an enterprise resource planning solution to minimize time queuing and reduce freight-delivery vehicles on the road.