The hustle of Venture Atlanta week reached a fever pitch at the seventh Atlanta Startup Battle at Midtown’s TechSquare Labs last night.
The quarterly pitch competition selected six finalists for this round after an exhaustive application and selection process. These top startups earn the chance to pitch a panel of investor judges and the local tech community to win a $100,000 investment from TechSquare Labs’ early-stage venture fund.
“What I love about Atlanta Startup Battle is that when we came up with a wacky idea, the goal was, ‘how do we create something that is the purest form of encouraging entrepreneurship?'” TechSquare Labs co-founder Paul Judge said on stage as he welcomed the sold-out crowd of 500+ attendees.
“It’s not about who you know, it’s not about your network,” Judge continued. “We’re democratizing access to capital. Anyone can apply and the goal is to encourage people to chase their dreams. Take a chance to build something from nothing.”
Since its inception in October 2016, Atlanta Startup Battle has received a total of 3,200 applications. That breaks down to 120 semifinalists, 36 finalists, and nine investment checks across all seven iterations of the quarterly competition.
After some deliberation with the investor judges, Judge and co-founder Allen Nance crowned smart home startup Inirv as the winner on TechSquare Labs’ rooftop.
In addition to the $100,000 investment, Inirv will gain access to resources, mentorship and a network within TechSquare Labs, which is also Atlanta’s Google for Entrepreneurs hub.
“The experience of Atlanta Startup Battle was amazing. We got so much valuable feedback during mentor day and we were able not only to incorporate it into our pitch, but to our plan as a company,” Inirv CEO Akshita Iyer told Hypepotamus after her startup’s victory.
“This win is just really the next step in our company’s life cycle. We’re excited to join the TechSquare family and all that is to come.”
Inspired by her mom’s accidental kitchen fire, Inirv wants to help consumers make their regular stoves smart with their IoT stove knobs. Consumers can monitor and manage their stoves through the app to avoid any dangerous situations.
“It’s a tough sell when your appliances have an average lifespan of at least 12 years,” Iyer told Hypepotamus earlier this month. “The kitchen is really lagging behind in the connected devices industry.”
Refrigeration logistics startup Fridgio also earned a spot at the Point A Supply Chain Innovation Center, an Atlanta-based corporate innovation center focused on bringing new technologies into supply chains. Fridgio offers a digital marketplace for companies to connect with truckers that have expertise in transporting refrigerated loads.
The innovation center already has over 30 member companies, including Delta, UPS, and Siemens. They operate on a unique member model to encourage collaboration.
The Battle was judged by Point A’s Duriya Farooqui; Ambition Fund founder Tanya Sam; BIP Capital Sr. Vice President Dan Drechsel; Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Lyons; and MailMosh co-founder Sanjay Parekh.
The other four finalists were:
- BearTax (Atlanta, GA) — a tax platform for cryptocurrency traders and accountants.
- StrattyX (Cambridge, MA) — a trading interface designed to strategize stock market outcomes based on data and social media and execute orders on the stock market.
- VoiceWorx (Atlanta, GA) — an AI-powered startup that helps enterprises enable voice on their software platforms, with no coding required.
- Lucky Mobility (Atlanta, GA) — Previously called Parka Solutions, the startup optimizes location-based marketing using mobility services to gather data from customers while rewarding them.
While the majority of Atlanta Startup Battle alumni were traveling, ASB winner Cove.Tool stopped by to update the sold-out crowd on the company’s growth.
CEO Sandeep Ahuja told the audience that Emory University has become the latest customer to use their energy efficiency automation platform for the building industry to inform one of their new building’s sustainability features. Cove.Tool offers a platform where sustainability consultants can estimate energy costs and adjust the project’s features to optimize energy efficiency.
The next iteration of Atlanta Startup Battle will happen in the spring. Stay tuned and see more news about TechSquare Labs here.