6 tech startups named finalists for over $200,000 awards in Flywheel Investment Conference
The Flywheel Investment Conference is an annual event that brings entrepreneurs, investors, and community members together to cultivate momentum for growing companies across Washington State. In addition, the conference also serves as a hub for investors and entrepreneurs to connect with each other and the community, and generate exposure for early-stage companies.
Started as a pilot event in 2017, the Flywheel Investment Conference has quickly grown into a premier event for Washington State founders raising their first investment round. Last year’s competition had over 1,200 people tuned in to watch the competition live, online due to the global pandemic.
Flywheel, held each spring in Wenatchee, draws companies from across the state of Washington. Over 50 companies based in 17 different Washington cities applied this year, each vying to be one of the Top Six companies presenting live on stage for the chance to win investment awards funded by the Flywheel Angel Network.
Today, Flywheel announced its 2021 investment awards will be on May 20 with $200,000 in investment awards, a $50,000 relocation offer, and a $5,000 audience prize. Tech startups from various industries are competing head-to-head — finalists for the competition are: Cognition Med, Fuchsia Inc., lasis Molecular Sciences, Motis, PetHub, and SyncFloor.
Commenting on the awards, Tim Jenkins, president of private investment company Colchuck, said: “I was introduced to the organizers of the Flywheel Investment Conference and the newly formed Flywheel Angel Network in 2018. The Flywheel Angel Network is a group of investors who have an affinity for North Central Washington and a desire to support long-term economic development. The network has a mix of individuals with varied backgrounds in healthcare, telecom, agriculture, and the broader corporate world.”
Jenkins added: “As an active investor based in Leavenworth, I often need to cross the mountains to spend time with entrepreneurs, so I was intrigued to discover that an angel group had formed in my backyard. Even better, Flywheel has given me exposure to interesting companies and investment opportunities from all parts of our state.”
Like its namesake, Flywheel is rapidly gaining momentum and is creating an ecosystem of investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders from across the Pacific Northwest. Past Flywheel speakers have included Geoff Entress of Pioneer Square Labs, Howard Wright of Seattle Hospitality Group, Diane Fraiman of Voyager Capital, Raj Thiagarajan of Microsoft for Startups and more. Even Covid-19 couldn’t stop Flywheel’s momentum: when the conference had to quickly move online in 2020, over 1,200 people tuned in online to see the competition unfold live.
This year, a limited number of in-person attendees will gather in Wenatchee while the conference streams online allowing for public attendance from anywhere in the world. Attendees will have the chance to watch a new crop of founders compete for the investment offers and the opportunity to showcase themselves to the broader investment community.
“As both a Flywheel sponsor and investor, I am pleased to present this year’s Top Six companies, says Jenkins. “Our Flywheel investor group is working closely with each of the six companies, and each will be well-prepared to make their pitch on May 20.”
Competing on May 20
Cognition Med, Dr. Gautam Nayak, CEO; Wenatchee
Coltrain is a mobile clinical collaboration application for medical providers empowering patient-centered care with any colleague in any system at any time. Coltrain takes us from pager to a curated clinical experience, focused on improving the lives of patients and their providers. Join them as they reimagine care collaboration and how care is delivered across the country.
Fuchsia Inc., Afshan Abbas, CEO; Kirland
Fuchsia makes beautifully handcrafted artisan shoes that are comfortable and sustainable while changing the lives of marginalized communities in South Asia. They are revolutionizing the traditional non-athletic footwear industry ($33 billion market opportunity in the U.S.) with sustainably produced and functional footwear. The company is producing on-demand shoes incorporating social and eco-consciousness practices in their innovative supply chain and is experiencing a 4x YoY Growth.
lasis Molecular Sciences, David J. Vachon, CEO; Spokane
lasis Molecular Sciences is an advanced materials company developing and commercializing materials science-based solutions to prevent the transmission of infectious pathogens from surfaces. Their advanced materials solutions are broadly applicable across different industries and products. Their primary product development focus targets disposable urological medical devices – a product group where healthcare-associated infections are prevalent, expensive, and deadly.
Motis, Rick Beaton, CEO; Seattle
Motis Grow is a cloud-based application that reimagines and personalizes the employee development and performance management experience and creates a high-performance business culture. Designed for the new hybrid/remote context, Grow empowers managers to understand, develop and upskill every employee in the organization from C-Suite to the new hire.
PetHub, Tom Arnold, CEO; Wenatchee
PetHub is a data platform that puts your pet at the center for all aspects of their life from the time they’ve joined your family. Their mission is to make it quick, easy, and safe to find and use your pet’s data. Today, PetHub has 700-800 new pets joining the site daily and over 600 communities using PetHub’s ID tags as their license or rabies tag.
SyncFloor, Kirt Debique, CEO; Seattle
SyncFloor enables businesses of all kinds, including websites, services, and apps, to “use music everywhere,” by aggregating content from the world’s best independent catalogs and creating a streamlined discovery and licensing experience via their proprietary technology and platform. SyncFloor currently offers two online marketplaces for music discovery and is actively building out its platform capabilities so that businesses can integrate SyncFloor’s discovery and licensing experience directly into their website, app, or service.
You can learn more and register for the 2021 Flywheel Investment Conference at www.flywheelconference.com.