Stanford Cardinal Ventures Demo Day: Company ReviewBy Ethan Aldrich
Stanford Cardinal Ventures Demo Day features autonomous drones, semi-truck jet packs
Cardinal Ventures Demo Day featured 14 startups at Stanford this winter, with over 100 venture capital firms in attendance. Cardinal Ventures, a student-led startup incubator, runs biannual programs to support early-stage student entrepreneurs. The incubator seeks to fill a void for entrepreneurs who are honing their ideas and skillsets before they move on to scale their companies.
Seventy minutes and 14 pitches later, we captured snapshots of the top early-stage startups where Stanford entrepreneurs are putting their time and talent.
3 Companies To Watch Closely
I am particularly bullish about the 3 companies highlighed below, as they seek to tackle significant problems in massive industries like healthcare and construction.
It’s 2018 – you shouldn’t need to pilot your indoor drones. At least, that’s what the Stanford team working on Firefly would say. Firefly’s low-cost indoor drones not only pilot themselves autonomously but collect and build 3D mapping data of their environment. It believes that its autonomous drones have applications in a wide range of industries, such as construction, mining, and emergency response.
Firefly Product Demo at Demo Day
Both founders Mihir and Prathik have an extremely strong background in AI research, drones, and more. Their technology has the potential to make an impact in a market dominated by the likes of companies like DJI. The company’s ability to make a low-cost drone that has the ability to fly itself and build high quality 3D maps should make it particularly attractive to enterprise customers. The company will soon be piloting its product with an energy company; as it prepares for this pilot, it is also continuing to build out its onboard computer vision based analytics.
At-home blood testing under a razor-like business model means easier disease monitoring for patients around the globe. Selling directly to consumers, Nephrogen aims to allow its customers to monitor disease progression in the convenience of their own homes. By selling its proprietary blood-testing device at a breakeven cost but making profit off test strip sales, Nephrogen is reducing costs for consumers, and positioning its own scalability.
Nephrogen at Cardinal Ventures Demo Day
We all know startups are hard. But add in regulation, device manufacturing, and a state of the art analytics platform, you have a task few are willing to venture into. Nephrogen, however, is taking on that task and judging by its patents, IP, and team its prospects for success appear robust. Its at-home testing is convenient, affordable, and necessary for thousands of patients. Its business model also appears strong, as their market not only includes consumers, but also research labs looking to skip antiquated blood testing methods.
Scientists and companies spends years trying to bring medical innovation to you. Why? A lengthy FDA approval process that Nova Approval is working to overhaul. Sitting in a $4.6B market, Nova is harnessing artificial intelligence to analyze medical devices, and extract the correct data to process these devices through regulatory applications.
Eric Loreaux, Co-Founder of Nova Approval
Nova Approval is targeting a market few have tried to conquer. The FDA submission process truly is as painful as they say and if they work out the ability to improve its efficiency and ease of use, the entire medical and pharmaceutical market is going to see a wave of positive impact. The company’s team is strong, its market is begging for a solution, and if they continue to refine their analytics platform and deliver actionable processes for customers, I think we will be hearing a lot more coming from them.
Don’t Understimate the Other 11 – Here’s the Skinny on Them
The other companies at Cardinal Ventures’ Demo Day are tackling education, AR, education and more. I have outlined each of the companies at the Demo Day below.
Alma is seeking to build a true college-only social network to aid students with class recommendations and building social circles. Almas has over 1,600 signups so far, and over 50 percent of their users return to use the platform every week. A defining feature of Alma’s product is that it sends users personalized matches every week with other students sharing similar interests and hobbies.
Save 3.2B in medical costs for peritoneal dialysis analysis? Count us in. Cloudcath is developing a medical sensor and companion digital platform for patients and health providers to monitor peritoneal dialysis, detect early complications, and reduce the number of monthly patient visits.
Why is it so hard to be healthy at restaurants? What if we could take a menu and instantly know all its nutrition facts? Arugula’s state-of-the-art computer vision and natural language processing allows users to take any menu and automatically determine its nutritional contents. Arugula is looking to sell to restaurants, arming them with the behavioral data behind their customers’ eating choices.
Building the “World of Warcraft” for augmented reality, Beyond One is utilizing smartphones’ high-tech systems to develop the first truly multiplayer augmented reality gaming experience.
You can also see a full StartU feature on Beyond One here.
Autonomous cars, drones, and flying cars all rely on LiDAR to “see” the world around them. Red Leader is building LiDAR under its innovative new software architecture to address existing systems flaws in range, resolution, and interference.
Cardiovascular diseases impact over a million Americans, generating over $300B in incremental healthcare costs and lost productivity annually. However, current tests and treatments are focused on symptoms, which means it is often too late to effectively address the diseases.
The myHeart.ai team believes that the best treatment is prevention from as early as childhood; however, today, there are no reliable methods for pre-symptomatic screening. After a 500 patient proof of concept study for complex diseases, the team of Stanford geneticists believes they have a solution to this problem. The product is ready for commercialization with IP filed to address the $40B precision medicine market.
Swishh allows users to seamlessly ultrasonic sound beam their contact information with new people. Tapping into the networking conference market, Swishh wants to make real-life encounters easier to share in the digital ecosystem.
Real language exchange is an invaluable learning tool. Worldly is working to create a gamified language platform for schools that would allow students to work with verified native language speakers to develop their language skills. Tapping into a $60B market, Worldly sets itself apart by aiming to collect data on students in order to better users’ learning experiences.
Putting jets on the back of a semi truck? Aeromutable is working to improve the fuel efficiency of freight trucks by utilizing jets to combat the 65 percent of energy lost as drag. Aeromutable’s jets, easily attached to the back of a truck, actively respond to changes in the truck’s environment.
- David Manosalvas-Kjono (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, or just another day, Montage wants to make gift giving unique again by allowing their customers to send personalized group videos to friends and family. Montage has had 18 percent monthly growth; users report loving the ease of use and emotionality of the platform.