Greenbean Recycle, WaySavvy, Strohl Medical Take Home XSITE Xpo Prizes
The first time you do something, it’s a novelty. The second time, it’s a pattern. The third time, it’s a tradition. After yesterday, the “Xpo” lightning-presentation portion of Xconomy’s annual XSITE conference now qualifies as a Boston-area tradition—one that’s so fun we think we’ll keep it around for a while.
A dozen early-stage startups joined the informal competition, where audience members were the judges (we used a mobile applause-meter app to gauge the response to each startup). Prizes were awarded in three categories: information technology, cleantech, and healthtech/life sciences. The prize for each category winner was a $100 gift certificate at Gilt.com, generously donated by Gilt Groupe (whose co-founder, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, was an XSITE speaker earlier in the day).
Today we want to recognize and honor the three winners:
The winner: Greenbean Recycle, Shanker Sahai, founder. Greenbean is developing a new type of “reverse vending machine” that encourages recycling by ingesting soda cans, water bottles, and juice and sports drink bottles and providing refunds (in the case of containers covered by bottle-bill refund law) in the form of digital cash sent straight to a user’s PayPal account or campus cash card. The refunds can be tracked on a mobile app, which also provides a platform for gaming and competition between individuals or teams. The company is pilot-testing the machines on the MIT campus this summer and plans to try them at Tufts starting this fall.
The winner: WaySavvy, Michael Raybman, co-founder. WaySavvy is combating travel-info overload. Rather than visiting dozens of sites to find the right hotels or flights, WaySavvy users can find the best flights and hotels within their budget in a single click, thanks to optimization technologies and social-profile data. Visual tools allow users to validate and customize the algorithmic recommendations before buying. Raybman says the company is starting out by targeting business travelers who manage their own travel reservations.
The winner: Strohl Medical, Heather Keith, founder and CEO. “In the world of stroke, time lost is brain lost,” Keith says. Strohl Medical is developing a medical device aimed at helping emergency-room doctors diagnose ischemic strokes as quickly and reliably as they can use EKG machines to diagnose heart attacks. The Strohl kit fits over the patient’s head and can detect differences in activity on the right and left sides of the brain that indicate stroke. That means some patients could be treated sooner with medicines such as tPA that can reduce the damage.
Congratulations to our winners, a hearty thanks to all of our competitors for taking part, and good luck to next year’s Xpo startups!