MassChallenge Awards Equity-Free Cash Prizes to Top Startups from the 2020 Austin, Boston, Houston, and Rhode Island Cohorts

Boston, MA – MassChallenge, the global network for innovators, tonight awarded 33 equity-free cash prizes to the top startups from its early-stage accelerators in Austin, Boston, Houston, and Rhode Island. The announcement – made during the 2020 MassChallenge U.S. Virtual Awards Ceremony – caps the non-profit’s eleventh year of programming. 

“Innovators today are working on the ideas, tools, and technologies that will help transform businesses and economies for the future,” said David Herrick, Chief Program Officer for MassChallenge. “I’m proud of our startups and the progress they’ve made over the 2020 program. In just four months, they have experienced great growth including raising $164M in funding, generating $64M in revenue, and creating 1,296 jobs, proving that entrepreneurs will be a driving factor in our long-term economic recovery.”

“Congratulations to the latest cohort of MassChallenge award recipients, each having shown resilience in the face of this year’s unique challenges due to the pandemic, and a commitment to innovation in their respective sectors,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. “As the Commonwealth looks to economic recovery, as well as the continued fight against COVID-19, MassChallenge continues to be a partner in supporting entrepreneurs, encouraging creativity and driving innovation leadership.” 

“As we look toward economic recovery in the Lone Star State, providing space for entrepreneurs to build and scale in Texas is a top priority. Organizations like MassChallenge help new businesses make an impact and we are excited to see the network’s continued growth and the value they provide entrepreneurs across our state,” said Adriana Cruz, Executive Director of Economic Development & Tourism for the Office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “Congratulations to the winners, and all of the startups from this year’s Austin and Houston programs. The work you do now will have a positive impact on our future.”

In June, MassChallenge welcomed more than 200 startups from 18 countries and 34 states to the first virtual accelerators for the organization’s U.S. early stage programs. The MassChallenge program provides startups with the expertise, network and resources to measurably advance their business for no cost and with zero equity taken. Specifically, startups benefitted from bi-weekly sessions with top speakers like Niraj Shah (CEO, Wayfair), Brian Halligan (CEO, HubSpot), Kirk Arnold (EiR, General Catalyst), Deb Benton (Willow Growth Partners), more than 500 hours of tailored workshops, direct access to over 200 mentors, and access to MassChallenge’s global corporate partner network.

To close out the 2020 cohorts, MassChallenge and its partners awarded $1.4 million in prizes to 33 startups across the four U.S.-based cohorts during the MassChallenge U.S. Virtual Awards on October 22, 2020; and additional equity-free cash prizes will be awarded through the end of 2020. The MassChallenge U.S. Virtual Awards brought together more than 2,000 viewers for a livestreamed event to celebrate the transformative power of entrepreneurship. Hosted by Chris Denson of Innovation Crush, the event featured a fireside chat between Arianna Huffington (Founder and CEO, Thrive Global) and Linda Pizzuti Henry (Managing Director, Boston Globe).   


Diamond Awards – $100,000

DanceFight (Austin, TX): DanceFight is a mobile video competition platform. Record yourself dancing to a song, challenge a friend, let the world determine a winner.

PATH EX, Inc. (Houston, TX): PATH EX is focused on the rapid diagnosis and treatment of sepsis through an unique pathogen extraction platform.

RealKey (San Francisco, CA): RealKey is an automated mortgage processing SaaS platform with only one touch through document-centric and network-effect.

Teratonix (Pittsburgh, PA): Teratonix provides the highest efficiency RF harvesting solution to generate electricity from cellular and Wi-Fi for batteryfree IoT, Wearables, and Medical devices.

Platinum Awards – $75,000

Graphene Composites USA (GC USA) (Providence, RI): GC USA combines graphene and aerogel to make the strongest, lightest, most resilient products ever – enhancing the quality of life. 

Presso (Atlanta, GA): Presso is a robot that can clean, disinfect, and press clothes in just under FIVE minutes.

VERI Nano, Inc. (Boston, MA): Veri Nano is an innovative bionanotechnology company with novel encapsulation and antimicrobial nanotechnologies for human and animal health.

Gold Awards – Up to $50,000

At Ease Rentals Corporation (Round Rock, TX): At Ease is like Airbnb but for military. We guarantee all listings will meet federal lodging requirements; ensuring federal employees are reimbursed.

Civic Champs (Bloomington, IN): Civic Champs helps nonprofits truly engage with their volunteers while turning them into donors.

Code 1 Medical Devices (St. Petersburg, FL): Code 1 Medical Devices has developed a novel airway device designed to prevent the aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs.

CUE Audio (Franklin, TN): CUE uses high-frequency, inaudible audio signals to transmit data.

Fractal (Cambridge, MA): Fractal brings the power of a workstation to any Internet-connected device.

FreightFlows (Boston, MA): FreightFlows provides predictive analytics for global trade.

Healium (Columbia, MO): Healium is a biometrically-controlled virtual and augmented reality product powered by consumer wearables for self-management of anxiety.

IndustrialML, Inc. (Somerville, MA): IndustrialML makes factories smarter with machine learning, combining process monitoring and real-time analytics to keep production lines running.

Kura AR (San Fransisco, CA): Kura AR are making people’s lives more productive and better connected by solving the bottleneck to AR adoption with the worlds’ best AR glasses.

Locker Lifestyle (Orlando Park, IL): Locker Lifestyle creates wearable lockers so you can workout, travel, and adventure with confidence. Stash your cash, keys, ID, and more.

Loo Works (Accra, Ghana): Loo Works manufactures sustainable components from solid waste materials to create container-based toilet solutions in Ghana.

Muxy (Austin, TX): Muxy is an Emmy winning software startup focused on making live video an interactive experience for viewers and the broadcasters.

myBiometry (Boston, MA): myBiometry is a platform to monitor and manage patients with chronic disease using biomarker data and ML to identify patients at risk of treatment failure.

Nautilus Defense LLC (Pawtucket, RI): Nautilus Defense builds advanced textile and composite-integrated systems for monitoring structural assets and their environments.

Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc. (Fayetteville, AR): Ozark IC’s hardware, software, and services bring the internet of things to the harshest environments – from jet engines to earth orbit.

PREEMIEr Diagnostics (Liberty, MI): PREEMIEr Diagnostics’s technology can identify which premature infants need an adjustment to their glucose levels for the prevention of them losing vision.

ReelData, Inc. (Halifax, Nova Scotia): ReelData develops artificial intelligence and computer vision technology for the Aquaculture industry in order to help feed BILLIONS sustainably.

Scout, Inc. (Alexandria, VA): Scout is extending satellite lifetimes, preventing orbital debris, and keeping space secure through data gathered from inspections in space.

TANG app (Cambridge, MA): The TANG app allows Filipinos abroad to send airtime and money home and the receiver in the Philippines to pay bills and p2p.


FM Global Resilience Prize

Paper Crane – $25,000 Award – (Boston, MA): Paper Crane shows great potential in rapid deep data analysis, aiming to empower organizations such as insurance companies, to do more with their data, faster.

Power Polymer’s – $15,000 Award – (Wimberly, TX): Power Polymer’s patented solution shows significant promise in reinforcing existing structures, with the goal to enhance a property’s resilience.

Airgility – $10,000 Award – (College Park, MD): Airgility’s ability to develop artificial intelligence that is hardware agnostic could increase the safety of those that work on elevated surfaces or inside confined spaces.

Innospark Artificial Intelligence Prize 

Articulate Labs$25,000 Award – (Dallas, TX): Articulate Labs makes mobile, adaptive devices to help knee osteoarthritis and knee replacement patients rehabilitate on the go during everyday activity.

Starling Medical – $25,000 Award – (Houston, TX): Starling Medical is developing a tech-enabled urinary catheter for patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

The Quin Impact Award

CauseEDU – $25,000 Award – (Quincy, MA): CauseEDU helps students and their families to better understand the true cost of college & develop sound strategies to pay for it.

Out of the Box – $10,000 Award – (Cambridge, MA): Out of the Box is a mobile, modular classroom-in-a-box with accompanying software for quality preschool learning to take place anywhere

The Houston Angel Network Investment Prize

Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc. – $50,000 Award – (Fayetteville, AR): Ozark IC’s hardware, software, and services bring the internet of things to the harshest environments – from jet engines to earth orbit.


This year, the U.S. programs in Austin, Boston, Houston, and Rhode Island welcomed a total of 244 early-stage startups. Selected from thousands of applicants, the 2020 cohorts represent the best and brightest ideas tackling some of the world’s most massive challenges including affordable housing, Alzheimer’s disease, climate change, waste management and sanitation, and more. In total, the cohorts represent 18 countries, 34 U.S. states and five industries: 36% High Tech, 32% Healthcare/ Life Sciences, 18% General/Retail, 7% Energy/Clean Tech, and 6% Social Impact; and 57% cohorts have at least one female founder.


Agrosuper, Altus Dental, Amica Insurance, Analog Devices, Austin Technology Incubator, Autodesk, Babson College, BAE Systems, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brex, Carta, Central Houston, City of Houston, Cydan Development, Defense Innovation Unit, Dell for Entrepreneurs, Delta Dental, Department of Defense, Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Duane Morris LLP, First Republic Bank, FM Global, Foley Hoag LLP, Hasbro, Henkel, IOwnIt, ISS National Laboratory, J.P. Morgan, Juice Consulting, KPMG LLP, MassCEC, McKinsey & Company, MITRE, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsui & Co., Office of Economic Adjustment/DIA, Oracle for Startups, PwC, Raytheon, Reliant, an NRG Company, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Sanofi, SOMPO, Stadia Ventures, Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities, The Boston Foundation, TMAC, University of Texas at Austin, UPS, Upstream, US Air Force, WeWork, Winstead 


MassChallenge is the global network for innovators. Headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, MassChallenge equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt the status quo and to create meaningful change. Since launching in 2009, more than 2,400 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $6.2B in funding, generated more than $3B in revenue, and created more than 157,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at