The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on Monday announced the top 15 finalists in the 1 in a Million pitch competition that are vying for a $25,000 grant — and two startups hail from the metro area.
Applicants must have presented their company at 1 Million cups between Aug. 12, 2015 and Aug. 24, 2016. Hundreds of applicants from one of the forum’s 99 participating communities submitted a 60-second video pitch to be voted on by the public.
1 Million Cups was established in Kansas City in 2012. Every Wednesday, two startups present to a panel and community audience and receive constructive criticism. The format was created with the intent to connect the Kansas City entrepreneurial community but has since spread to dozens of communities.
Here’s more on the 15 semi-finalists:
- Aerēz (Bismark, N.D.) connects home internet networks and offers parental control.
- Brilliant Wifi (Riverside, Calif.) allows customers to quickly connect to wifi with social logins which in return gives businesses customer insights.
- Damage Control Mouthguards (Albuquerque, N.M.) specializes in comfortable, protective mouthguards for athletes.
- DraftPak (Lawrence, Kan.) a portable device that attaches to a keg in order to serve cold beer without hassle.
- The Extractor Tool (St. Petersburg, Fla.) is a multi-functioning life saving tool that is part seat belt cutter, window breaker, ice scraper, ruler and more.
- Giveit (Salt Lake City, Utah) is an application that helps find a new home for the stuff you don’t need within 10 seconds.
- The Grooming Project (Kansas City, Mo.) non-profit that connects at risk mothers with the opportunity to learn the trade of pet grooming.
- JoLoMo Smart Mirror (Portland, Ore.) is an augmented reality device that is part mirror, part touch screen with access to over 1,000 widgets.
- Mad Priest Coffee (Chattanooga, Tenn.) seeks to empower and employee refugees while meeting the growing demand for high-quality coffee.
- Major Buzz LLC (Albany, N.Y.) developed the mobile app Zoombeeto which is a food ordering application for college students.
- Mourning Dove Studio Coffins (Asheville, N.C.) creates cardboard coffins, offering customers a cheaper and greener alternative.
- Out There Productions (Syracuse, N.Y.) makes promotional and informational videos for entrepreneurs in efforts to propel good ideas “out there.”
- Pandere Shoes (Anchorage, Alaska) creates footwear for unique feet in a variety of styles.
- Proseeds (Omaha, Neb.) allows consumers to easily give to their favorite charities through loyalty to participating locations.
- Teeniors℠ (Albuquerque, N.M.) connects tech-savvy teens with senior citizens and coaches them in their technology needs.
The 15 semi-finalists will create new pitch videos to be used in the next round of public voting, which will begin Oct. 17, 2016.