Connecticut’s venture capital arm and leading source of financing and ongoing support for the state’s innovative, growing companies, today announced the winners of the 2019 VentureClash competition, the $5 million global investment challenge for startups in digital health, fintech, insurtech and industry 4.0.
The 2018 edition had 3 startups from Nigeria make the finals and pitched at the Prestigious Yale University
VentureClash is Connecticut Innovations’ global venture challenge focused on startups. The challenge identifies promising companies in digital health, financial technology, insurance technology and the Internet of Things that will receive investments from a $5 million award pool and the support of resources around Connecticut.
In all, 10 companies representing four countries participated in the finals pitch event, which was held at Yale University on Thursday, October 17. VentureClash judges awarded investments to eight of the finalists, all of which will also receive access to mentoring and customer introductions to help them grow and succeed.
The top investment award of $1.5 million went to Pineapple, a South African peer-to-peer insurance company with an application that allows individuals to insure their possessions simply by snapping a picture and uploading it to the mobile application. Pineapple had previously won the $25,000 VentureClash Innovation Prize provided by Travelers, awarded to companies developing solutions and pursuing market opportunities in insurtech.
Other investment award winners included:
An Israeli-based insurtech solution that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to help life insurance companies optimize their books of business.
A company creating a new alternative to buying and building applications that brings data collaboration to the enterprise.
Covr Financial Technologies ($500,000)
A company simplifying the way life insurance is sold by offering financial institutions a digital platform to sell leading insurance products in the most efficient way possible.
A Canadian company building a mobile platform that matches patients to others who understand what they’re going through in a private, secure environment.
An Israeli company developing a platform that uses AI and practical machine learning technologies to create contextual visual storytelling elements, including semiautomated video production.
An Israeli company creating an innovative communication device for individuals who suffer from complete paralysis.
A company creating the next generation of personal care products scientifically proven to be healthy, safe and 100 percent natural.
The winning companies are required to establish a presence in Connecticut. As an investment award winner of VentureClash, companies are eligible for an investment from Connecticut Innovations, pending due diligence and approvals.
“Each year, the number of impressive and promising innovative young companies participating in VentureClash grows, and this year’s competition was no exception,” said Matt McCooe, CEO of CI. “We congratulate the winning companies, which, by engaging in the VentureClash process, have come to learn about the resources and opportunities available to them to grow and scale their businesses in Connecticut. We look forward to continuing to support these companies.”
VentureClash brings together startups from digital health, insurance technology (insurtech), industry 4.0 and financial technology (fintech) companies from across the globe to compete for investment, mentoring, customer introductions and services from CI to help them grow and succeed in Connecticut. This year’s competition attracted more than 300 companies from 20 countries around the world, all of which completed initial applications this past June. Finalists were selected following two rounds of judging by an outside panel of industry leaders and subject matter experts.