Cinchapi, an intelligent data platform for developers, reigned supreme at last night’s installment of TechSquare Labs‘ quarterly startup competition, Atlanta Startup Battle. A sold-out crowd watched five startups (out of over 300 that applied) to pitch local and outside judges and investors for the chance to walk home with $100K.
“Atlanta Startup Battle creates formality around interacting with TechSquare Labs and Paul (Judge) and I with receiving investment from us,” says serial entrepreneur, investor, and Tech Square Labs co-founder Allen Nance. “The consistency of it allows teams to know, ‘Wow, I’m only 90 days from the next one’ and plan on it. Just like we did last time, we brought real VC judges to town and it’s an enormous opportunity for entrepreneurs for real investors.”
After an hour-plus of pitches and challenging questions from the judges, the startups and attendees headed to the rooftop to await the winner announcement. Following a short introduction by other Labs co-founder Paul Judge, the crown went to Cinchapi. The platform allows developers to stream and store decentralized data from any connected data source, see the most important trends and relationships, and automate them.
Cinchapi’s CEO Jeff Nelson, who fell to the floor after the announcement, has big plans for scaling the company in the next few months. “We’re going to grow our team. We’re going to hire new engineers, more sales people, and we’re going to introduce this platform to more companies,” says Nelson.
Cinchapi is a portfolio company of Cyberlaunch, an Atlanta-based accelerator focused on information security and machine learning startups. In his 5-minute pitch, Nelson asked, “what if you could have a conversation with your data?” Their platform allows you to ask questions and get more precise database results in real-time, offering DVR for data to review insights and the ability to turn it into code quickly. Cinchapi answered the judges questions swiftly and backed up their claims with hard numbers, putting their company at the top of the pack.
Along with the funds, Cinchapi will now have access to the resources and mentorship of the Tech Square Labs network.
“I am truly honored,” Nelson told Hypepotamus after his win. “I’m humbled that the judges saw the vision of where we are trying to go and I’m motivated to continue building and continue being part of the TechSquare Labs family. Working with Allen and Paul is going to help us reach that next level that we want to reach.”
Cinchapi was selected by a panel of local and outside investors, including Jen Bonnett, general manager of ATDC; Andrew Dorman, Knoll Ventures; Brendan Wales, E.Ventures; Alex Esteves, Accel Partners; and Ryan Gembala, Pathbreaker Ventures.
The other four startups, selected from hundreds of applicants, include:
- Cytiflife, an AI and IoT-based assistant on college campuses designed to transform how students learn, play, and stay productive.
- Drofika, a cloud-based drone platform for heavy industry that combines aerial analytics with collaborative tools to oversee infrastructure and prevent building cost delays.
- FitSpot, a Techstars company with an in-office fitness program for companies to encourage wellness in employee programs, all through on-demand trainer booking.
- TCPoly, an advanced plastic that can dismiss heat, allowing electronic devices to run cooler and avoid overheating.
Musheer Ahmed, PhD, CEO of last year’s winner, healthcare tech startup FraudScope, took the stage to share a few accomplishments since then: team expansion, new customer acquisition, and most importantly — his experience working with TechSquare Labs.”It’s not just $100K. We became part of this amazing TechSquare Labs community,” he said.
Among the many lessons Nelson learned through the Startup Battle process included telling your startup story . “When you’re selling to customers, it’s about telling them the story about how your vision is going to improve their workflow and their lives. I think we were able to do that today and we’re going to continue to do that as we talk to customers.”