KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Nov. 10, 2014) — An Austin, Texas, medical device startup aiming to revolutionize the collection of blood samples without the use of a single needle delivered the knockout punch in the final round of “Get in the Ring: The North American Startup Clash,” hosted by the Kauffman Foundation.
Spot On Sciences’ founder and CEO, Jeanette Hill, sparred verbally with seven other finalists for the title of North American champion, a $10,000 prize and an expense-paid trip to the Netherlands to compete in the global finals.
Maieutic, an Oakville, Ontario, startup represented by its CEO and cofounder, Asif Khan, took home runner-up honors and a $5,000 prize. The company has developed a unique die- and surface-casting technology with a real-time programmable surface to help manufacturers eliminate costly downtime.
Interestingly, Maieutic happened to go head-to-head against Spot On Sciences during its initial clash but was rescued from elimination as the “judges’ save,” shortly before the winners were announced.
In addition, in-person attendees and online viewers cast a vote for “Audience Choice,” which went to FitBark from Kansas City, Mo. Founded by Davide Rossi, FitBark is the world’s smallest wireless activity monitor for dogs and was awarded $1,000.
More than 250 people attended the primetime event Nov. 7 at the historic Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., while nearly 100 more watched online via live webcast. A recording of the event is available to view at www.Kauffman.org/GITR.
The international judges for this final round of the competition were:
- Devon Brooks (Canada), cofounder of Blo, North America’s original blow dry bar;
- Hernán Fernández (Mexico), director and cofounder of Angel Ventures Mexico, the first professionally managed angel investor network in the country;
- Mark Hasebroock (United States), serial entrepreneur and founder of Dundee Venture Capital;
- Leslie Jump (United States), founder and CEO of Startup Angels and a board member of UP Global; and
- Paul Kedrosky (United States), cofounder and managing partner of SK Ventures and Garibaldi Capital Advisors, entrepreneur, and writer.
The five other finalists were Advolve Media (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Hydrobee (Seattle), Identified Technologies (Pittsburgh), PPLCONNECT (Montreal) and The Rumie Initiative (Toronto).
“We’re thrilled that our at-home blood-collection device, HemaSpot, has been recognized for impacting global healthcare,” said Hill of Spot On Sciences. “We were blown away by the caliber of pitches by the other Get in the Ring combatants and feel honored to have won.”
She explained that while more than 80 percent of healthcare decisions are based on diagnostic testing, obtaining blood samples is difficult — especially for individuals who are homebound, elderly or in remote areas. Spot On Sciences, therefore, enables anyone anywhere to take an effective blood sample with only two drops of blood, without the need for laboratory equipment or personnel.
Event sponsors for Get in the Ring: The North American Startup Clash were Sprint and Combat Brands; media partners were Inc., Marketplace from American Public Media and Kansas City PBS station KCPT. Visitwww.Kauffman.org/GITR for more information.
Hill now travels expense-paid to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to compete against the best startups in the world. Winners from eight global regions (North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe and the Middle East) will compete for a chance at prizes, exposure and the opportunity for angel funding.
The global Get in the Ring finals will be held on Nov. 21 and is one of the signature events of Global Entrepreneurship Week.