Typically, a packed house at Atlanta’s Fox Theater would mean a big band or a Broadway tour had rolled into town.
But on Thursday night, the theater was packed with those looking to catch a glimpse of the latest founders to come out of Georgia Tech’s Create-X program, a summer-long intensive designed to help student-run ventures get off the ground.
This year’s cohort included over 100 teams with founders building consumer products, healthcare startups, AR/VR platforms, and beyond. This is the largest Create-X cohort to date.
We took a spin around the ballroom for Demo Day to meet the up-and-coming founders. Some students are tackling real-world problems they’ve faced as college students, like Nadia Moore with HOM3D. She’s on a mission to build furniture that promotes focus, and she’s starting with a better type of fidget spinner that connects directly to a desk and can help students stay alert. She told Hypepotamus that the opportunity to solve a real-world problem is something that attracted her to the Create-X program earlier this summer.
Building real-world connections was a big trend of this cohort. The team over at Gigsurf is building a peer-to-peer marketplace for college students looking to provide or hire a service, something that co-founder Ford Coleman said was a problem when he was a student at Georgia Tech. He’s linked up with a team of current students to launch the marketplace.
Creating connections is also top of mind for Syfted, a platform connecting those in the beauty industry to more clients, and FRAMED, an app on a mission to make dating more social with a platform that allows your friends to make your profiles.
Other startups are tackling pain points associated with homeownership. Kierra Powell, Rebecca Rhym, and Joe Griswell – all Georgia State law students – spent the summer working on their AI insurance-focused startup that helps homeowners process insurance claims faster via its photo-taking app.
Powell said the concept for Kythe, Inc. was born in the law classroom. “We are used to sitting in class and learning about these issues” surrounding insurance claims, she told Hypepotamus. The team sees Kythe as a way to help homeowners recoup losses during floods or other property-damaging emergencies.
While tech startups make up the vast majority of Create-X teams, a budding dessert company was clearly a fan favorite at Demo Day. Esco Hill describes his dessert brand, Esco Eats, as a two-in-one treat that is both a cobbler and a pie. The team has already landed some major clients, including Amazon and Georgia Tech sporting venues.
ModuWear is bringing together students from Georgia Tech and Illinois University with a sustainable, modular fashion brand. And up in the sky, Pattent is creating a “Google Maps for drones” to help unmanned vehicles find the safest routes around congested cities and more dangerous areas.
HealthTech-related startups were also centerstage, with startups like WalkThru Virtual Reality, Andson Biotech, DroptRx all joining the recent cohort.
You can get a full list of 2022 Georgia Tech Create-X participants here.
The startups that presented this week at Create-X’s Demo Day are following in pretty big footsteps. The program was a launching pad for VC-backed companies like Stord, Grubbly Farms, Gimme Vending, and Insight Optics.