John Mannes @johnmannes / Mar 31, 2017
The nine startups participating in Singularity University’s accelerator program presented this afternoon at Moffett Federal Airfield just outside Mountain View, CA. Singularity University, founded in 2008 by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil, aims to make it more feasible for people to address hard science problems and those that require a global reach.
Startups backed by Singularity University have gone on to raise $194 million. Collectively, Modern Meadow, Matternet and Getaround have raised $122 million of that total figure to bring people animal-free leather, automated last-mile delivery and more convenient car rental, respectively.
Monique Giggy, director of Singularity University’s startup accelerator, says the program received 460 applications this year. From there, 20 startups received formal diligence alongside technical experts. Ultimately only nine companies were selected for this year’s batch.
This is the third and final generalized accelerator program that Singularity will be offering. Participating companies in the program received mentorship and support from corporations, researchers and the broader Singularity network.
Going forward, Singularity wants to engage with portfolio companies across a longer span of time than the existing eight-week program. Giggy explained that future programs could focus narrowly on the FDA approval process or raising a Series A.
The startups that spoke today are addressing tough challenges in healthcare and materials science, among other things. Here are all nine companies that presented and the problems they are tackling.
IotaSecurity – Security solution for mobile banking
IotaSecurity is building a solution to address the security vulnerabilities faced by users of mobile banking services. Development recently concluded on the team’s primary SDK and it’s being marketed directly at banks. Yaron Vorona, who formally worked at a D.C. think tank, is working on the startup alongside Dr. Richard Krueger. Krueger previously worked to scale Amazon Prime.
Metamason – 3D-printed masks for sufferers of sleep apnea
Metamason aims to serve the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea. The startup is developing technology that will allow sufferers to scan their face and have a 3D-printed customized and fitted mask printed for them. Ideally, a better experience would incentivize more patients to stick with treatment instead of abandoning it.
Deepblocks – Bringing intelligence to real estate developers
Deepblocks is building a tool for real estate developers to aid them in the planning process. The long-term vision is to deepen machine learning capabilities to be able to optimize decision making for all operators within the real estate vertical. The startup aggregates data across disparate sources, including critical regulatory information. It’s available in Miami, but plans to expand to other locales in the near future.
Nanobinoids – Using hemp to create better batteries
Nanobinoids is using hemp to unlock the promise of graphene. Graphene could someday push existing battery technology into the 21st century, but it’s incredibly expensive. Sanvar Oberoi and Jahan Pestonjamas are using their hemp textiles background to engineer carbon nanosheets at a price the market can stomach at scale.
Ourotech – Enabling a more efficient cancer treatment process
Ourotech is working on a process that would enable doctors to better prioritize treatment options for cancer patients. Though the work is still in testing, it could someday make it possible for biopsies to be tested against available treatments. This is an improvement over existing methods that rank treatments for the overall population rather than a specific patient.
Braincare – A non-invasive way to monitor pressure inside the skull
Braincare has created a headband that can monitor pressure within the skull. It could offer patients a non-invasive sensor for tracking critical information that is necessary for doctors working to protect the brain.
Flow – Making it easy to give presentations in virtual reality
Virtual reality is still a nascent technology, but Flow is trying to get ahead of the wave. The team is building software that would make it possible for anyone to design presentations optimized for multi-dimensional VR presentations. The immersive nature of VR makes it ideal for conveying ideas that fall flat (no pun intended) on old-school PowerPoints.
Golden – Connecting parents and children in the time of need
Caring for our parents (and grandparents) is difficult. The complexity and volume of information required to manage someone else’s finances and other affairs often causes important information to get lost. Golden is working to aggregate this information and make it easy to sift through so that we don’t miss out on cost-saving programs benefiting older Americans when we need them most.
Calorie Cloud – Putting schools and businesses to work to benefit the malnourished
Calorie Cloud hosts corporate wellness challenges and school programs to get people active. But this startup isn’t about increasing physical activity, it’s about caring for the malnourished. The more activity participants partake in, the more support goes to providing food for children who desperately need nutrients.