Co-written Tishin Donkersley
The Arizona technology community of co-working spaces, incubators and startups came together this past Saturday for the inaugural Challenge Cup AZ where startups from around Arizona competed for a seat in the next round held in San Francisco.
Co-hosted by CO+HOOTS, Seed Spot, Blind Society, Coplex, StartupAz Foundation, Local First Arizona, Nerdery, Stealthmode Partners, DeskHub, Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, Hopscratch, Arizona Tech Investors, Chandler Innovations and Giftcard Zen at The Newton in Phoenix, Challenge Cup AZ’s first round of winners went to two startups from Phoenix and one from Tucson; these startups will move on to the next round of the Challenge Cup competition.
The Challenge Cup is a global pitch tournament for the most promising, world- changing startups to win cash prizes, make international connections and share their vision. Winners receive a slot in the regional competition then on to the global finals in Washington D.C. for a slice of the big $1 million in prizes. Read more about the Challenge Cup here.
The winners included:
AZ Vision and Hearing – Phoenix
Started by Danna Evans, a teacher of 19 years with a passion for helping students, she started AZ Vision and Hearing (AZVH), a SaaS program that helps schools accumulate and manage data collected during state mandated vision and hearing screenings at schools. Through the platform, screeners, mostly school nurses, are relieved of the mounds of paperwork and lessens the chance of students falling through the cracks for vision and hearing impairments. The software also improves the communication between parents and school; parents receive a report of their child’s results and alert parents if their child was not at school the day the test was administered.
READ: Meet Danna’s AVA, the next ed tech superhero for school-age children
Evans tells AZTB what it means to move onto the next round, “It feels great to be able to move onto San Francisco and represent Arizona and SEED SPOT. With education budgets where they are today, schools need our help; It’s encouraging to know people want us to bring this solution to schools nationally. We are here to help schools, help students and knowing that our mission translated to the judges is very validating,” she said.
Recently AZVH completed their pilot in 15 local schools. Evans said it was “very successful. We have been very happy with the results. AZVH is now available on iOS and Android.
CODE Technology – Phoenix
CODE Technology helps physicians, hospitals and group practices collect patient-reported outcome data efficiently, accurately and securely. “We created CODE Technology to allow you to do what you do best…care for patients. We do all the heavy lifting, automating the process for you,” said founder Breanna Cunningham. CODE works with health providers across the country to collect outcome data pre- and post-operatively at various care points and report a capture rate over 90 percent.
NoteBowl – Tucson and Phoenix
This ed tech startup helps students adapt to college life and is a social learning platform that combines the core components of a learning management system with a social interface to give students and faculty an intuitive and easy-to-use platform. Notebowl also helps students adapt to college life by adding in information about clubs, organizations, events, etc. to the product.
“We are very exited to win the Arizona 1776 Challenge Cup and move on to regionals in San Francisco. It’s especially exciting to represent Arizona in the competition and showcase our revolutionary product to investors and the Silicon Valley community,” said CEO and co-founder Andrew Chaifetz.
Chaifetz shared advice for his startup peers about giving up equity for our Startup Journal web series.
The best part about this competition was the camaraderie we have between the startups. Kay Tanstrum, project director for CO+HOOTS, said, “One of the greatest things happening during Challenge Cup AZ was actually happening off stage and when no one was really watching or listening. The startups, though competing for the same thing, were talking and supporting each other before and after the presentations. It was a really awesome thing to see, and just goes to show how collaborative and supportive Arizona [startup community] is.”
Stay tuned for more coverage of the Challenge Cup AZ
Check out more Arizona startup coverage here
Lead photo courtesy of CO+HOOTS
This article has been updated since its original posting
Co-written Tishin Donkersley