It was a big day for Techstars Boston as the program introduced its new leader, but, perhaps more importantly, Wednesday’s Demo Day provided the moment for 12 early-stage startups to show off their hard work.
Here are some of the biggest highlights from the day:
Some of the startups presenting at Demo Day revealed that they had raised some new funding. That includes Tive, which has made a smart tracking system for the manufacturing supply chain and said it has a term sheet for a $3 million seed round. You also probably saw our exclusive on RateGravity’s $2 million round from yesterday.
CareAcademy, which provides online classes for senior caregivers, has raised a $1.5 million seed round led by Rethink Education. The startup has reported some good progress so far. That includes signing up hundreds of caregivers at a few large providers. It also landed a $620,000 pilot with a franchisor that could turn into a contract worth $6.5 million in annual recurring revenue. Sea Machines, which is turning work boats into autonomous vehicles using retrofit equipment, said it has closed a seed round led by Launch Capital, with participation from Accomplice and other investors. Solstice, which provides a platform for connecting neighbors with community solar projects, said it has raised money from Obvious Ventures, the VC firm started by Twitter and Medium co-founder Ev Williams.
One of the more intriguing products presented came from Nix, which is making a disposable hydration tracker for athletes. Basically, there hasn’t been a good way for athletes to figure out how hydrated they are at any given time, and this sensor solves that problem. CEO and founder Meredith Unger revealed that the startup is running pilots with the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. She said it has also landed a marketing partnership with Reebok and is working on a channel partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Another cool product comes from OffGridBox, which aims to provide cheaper energy and clean water to developing countries through an all-in-one system that generates electricity using solar panels and creates clean water through filtration. The startup, which was originally based in Italy, has reached an agreement to eventually serve 420,000 families in Rwanda. It has already deployed units there, Philippines, Madagascar and South Africa.
I also have to give a shout-out to Voatz, which is working on a system that lets people vote in elections using their smartphone or tablet. Co-founder and CEO Nimit Sawhney said the system uses a combination of biometrics, cryptography and blockchain to run a secure system.
Brizi has an interesting take on how to help sports organizations monetize fan content: a robotic camera system mounted within a stadium that people can control with their phones. The system has already been used at the U.S. Open, as well as games for NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. The latest partners to sign up for a pilot program? The New England Patriots and New England Revolution.
Now for something completely different: BrainSpec, which is developing a method for a “virtual biopsy” that could be much safer and return faster results than a traditional biopsy. CEO and co-founder Alex Zimmerman said Mass General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital are among the institutions they’ve been working with.