MassChallenge Texas Awards $500K in Equity-Free Cash Prizes to Top 8 Startups in Inaugural Cohort

(AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 16, 2018) – MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, last night awarded $500,000 to eight of the highest-impact startups from the MassChallenge Texas accelerator program. Announced at the MassChallenge Texas Awards Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Austin, this news caps off the first-ever MassChallenge Texas program, which accelerated 84 of the world’s highest potential, early-stage startups. 


“At last night’s MassChallenge Texas Awards Ceremony, we proved that small businesses can have a big impact,” said Mike Millard, Managing Director of MassChallenge Texas. “We are proud to announce this year’s winners and to celebrate the incredible community that has played a vital role in supporting these startups over the last four months. We look forward to further strengthening the Texas innovation ecosystem with our next cohort in 2019.” 


The first-annual MassChallenge Texas Awards Ceremony brought together nearly 500 innovation leaders, businesses, policymakers, and enthusiasts from all corners of Texas to celebrate the Lone Star State’s startup community. The event kicked off with a showcase of the 84 startups participating in the accelerator followed by inspiring talks from speakers Cristal Glangchai, VentureLab and VentureGirls, Julia Cheek, Everlywell, and Bryan Daniel from the Office of the Governor, State of Texas. 


This year’s MassChallenge Texas prize winners include: 


$100K Diamond Winners 


Energy/ Clean Tech | Austin, Texas  
EQO uses molecular solutions for environmental problems treating aquatic invasive species like cancer.  



Healthcare/ Life Sciences | Austin, Texas  
Applies to the ear and monitors vital signs within 2 seconds, non-invasively and in non-sterile conditions supporting triage & telemedicine.  

$75K Platinum Winners 

Cloud 9
Healthcare/ Life Sciences | Austin, Texas  
Cloud 9 is on a mission to provide mental healthcare to those who need it most – before they land in ERs, jails, or on the streets.  


Healthcare/ Life Sciences | San Antonio, Texas  
NovoThelium provides a tissue engineered matrix for nipple areolar regeneration after mastectomy.  


$50K Gold Winners 

High Tech | Greece  
Augments is taking the guesswork out of fertilization and pesticide spraying in real time, with a machine vision/learning plug and play device.  
GrubTubs, Inc
Social Impact | Austin, Texas  
GrubTubs transforms food waste from restaurants into animal feed — saving local farmers on feed costs and keeping waste out of landfills.  

$25K Gold Winners 

High Tech | Austin, Texas  
Popspots is building AdMob for the physical world with an initial network in grocery, the highest traffic space in retail.  
The Mentor Method
High Tech | Washington, D.C.  
The Mentor Method creates inclusive workplace cultures through mentoring diverse talent.  

In addition to the program prize winners, the following startups were also awarded prizes through the generous support from MassChallenge Texas partners: 


$10,000 USAA Ventrepreneur Award 

General | Houston, Texas  
re:3D is working to modify Gigabot - the world’s largest, affordable, industrial 3D printer- to 3D print from reclaimed plastic trash.  


People’s Choice Award presented by AngelSpan, A-Player Media, Founding Austin, and Juice Consulting



High Tech | Austin, Texas

What if you could reduce your video delivery costs without sacrificing quality or changing infrastructure? That’s the ZPEG advantage.


About the 2018 MassChallenge Texas Accelerator

In April 2018, 84 of the world’s highest impact, highest potential early-stage startups joined MassChallenge Texas’ inaugural cohort in Austin. See cohort statistics here.


The inaugural cohort represents: 

  • Five continents
  • 11 countries
  • 12 states
  • Five major Texas cities/regions: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio
  • 32 percent female founders
  • Five major industries 
    • High tech (33 startups, 40%)
    • Healthcare and Life Sciences (24 startups, 28%)
    • General Consumer (12 startups, 14%)
    • Social Impact (nine startups, 11%)
    • Energy and Clean Tech (six startups, 7%)


Over the past four months, startups participated in a tailored program designed to support their unique needs: from market research to launching pilot programs, intellectual property and licensing, to fundraising and investor relations, sales and marketing strategy, to working with corporate partners and more.


The 84 companies have worked out of the new WeWork West 6th space home and have access to a complimentary, Texas-wide WeWork community membership for six months.


MassChallenge Texas Founding Partners

Southwest Airlines, TMAC, WeWork, Upstream, USAA


MassChallenge Texas Community Partners

City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler, City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Austin Representative Eddie Rodriguez; founding corporate partners Southwest Airlines, TMAC, WeWork, USAA, and Upstream; AngelSpan, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Community College, Austin Community College Bioscience Incubator, Austin Film Society, Austin Healthcare Council, Austin Technology Council, Austin Technology Incubator, Blackstone LaunchPad at UT Austin, Blackstone LaunchPad at UT Dallas, Bexar County, Borderplex Alliance, Capital Factory, City of Austin, City of San Antonio, CompTIA, Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), Department of Defense (DoD), DIUx, El Paso Hub of Human Innovation, Food + City, Founder’s Institute Austin, Galvanize, Geekdom, Goodworks Houston, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston Partnership, Greater San Marcos Partnership, Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at UT Austin, IC2 Institute, Impact Hub Austin, Juice Consulting, MediaTech Ventures, NASA, National Instruments, Splash Coworking, South by Southwest (SXSW), Southwestern University, Sputnik ATX, STAR Park at Texas State University, Station Houston, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Tech Fort Worth, TechNet, Texas A&M University, Texas Entrepreneur Exchange (TEX), Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities (TFIC), Texas Healthcare and Biosciences Institute (THBI), Texas Small Business Development Centers, Texas State University, University of Texas System, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Dallas and University of Texas at San Antonio. 


About MassChallenge

MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, Texas, and the UK, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, more than 1,500 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $3 billion in funding, generated more than $2 billion in revenue, and created more than 80,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at