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Central Coast Innovation Awards & Startup Village


Date: Thursday, March 25th
Startup Village: 2:30 pm
Innovation Awards: 4:40 pm

The Central Coast Innovation Awards recognize the rising tide of technology in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Louis Obispo counties. This event celebrates the Central Coast as a distinct innovation hub and puts the spotlight on the region’s entrepreneurs, both established and emerging.

In collaboration with UC Santa Barbara’s Office of Technology & Industry Alliances, the Pacific Coast Business Times is pleased to present Startup Village, which focuses on the region’s burgeoning innovators. As an integral part of the Innovation Awards, Startup Village has historically provided a place for embryonic companies to make connections, initiate deals and, in some cases, make their first public appearance among a hometown group. Though COVID-19 precautions require the event to be virtual this year, the goal of Startup Village remains unchanged.

This year, Startup Village showcases 18 startups from three sponsoring Universities – UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly, and Cal Lutheran. There will be two concurrently scheduled break-out sessions where each startup team will have ten minutes to introduce their company and answer audience questions. Scroll down to get a sneak peak of the startups before the event and use this quick reference schedule to plan which presentations you would like to attend.

After Startup Village, there will be a short break followed by the awards ceremony recognizing this year’s Central Coast Innovation Awards winners! Read more about the award winners in this year’s special report and use the following links to register for the Central Coast Innovation Awards and Startup Village. If you would like to attend both events, please be sure to register for both.

2021 Pacific Coast Business Times Startup Village Presenters:

  • Authenticate

    Rita Mounir, Chad Spensky, Evan Blasband
    UC Santa Barbara
    Track 1 – 2:40-2:50
    More Info

    Allthenticate’s products allow enterprises to unify all of their employee’s credentials for both digital (Authentication) and physical systems (Access Control) into a single, secure smartphone app, the Allthenticator. Unifying user credentials into one secure app greatly reduces the Credential Management overhead, resulting in a seamless on-boarding, management, and off-boarding experience for administrators and a more enjoyable work experience for employees, who are no longer burdened with the variety of security products and protocols. Now, users can seamlessly interact with their workplace using our patented technology to open doors, unlock computers, login to web services, and access important servers, saving time in both training and using credentials. When the user leaves with their phone, any door, computer, or service that they have access to is automatically locked-down and secure.

  • Homepie

    Brad Rice, Sean Crosier, David Berens
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 1 – 2:50-3:00
    More Info

    Homepie is the first free marketplace for home buyers and sellers, that enables the sale of homes online like other commodities. Homepie uses platform technology to solve for the 3 largest pain points in traditional sales: Commissions; Communication; and Confidence, by offering a step-by-step intuitive wizard process from start to finish, along with live support. Now you can sell your own home just like the pros do and save all your equity…Keep Your Piece of the Pie!

  • Huan

    Gilad Rom
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 1 – 3:00-3:10

    Losing a pet is traumatic. Huan Smart Tags and subscription network help you find what matters most.

  • Alwell

    Nathan Brickman, Ryan Murtaugh
    Cal Poly
    Track 1 – 3:10-3:20

    We are increasing access to quality mental health by connecting verified mental health professionals across the United States on a secure referral and messaging network. We help licensed and pre-licensed mental health professionals consult with colleagues, find reliable referrals, promote their practice, share about events, office space, job opportunities and more.

  • LegTrek

    Kevin Huynh-Tran, Alice Wen, Saloni Methi, Phu Tran, Brandon Luu
    UC Santa Barbara
    Track 1 – 3:20-3:30
    More Info

    The novel technology of LUMI was born when we combined a power chair and a gait trainer. Our innovation to couple LUMI with a sit-to-stand mechanism and smart walk system allowed Sophie, a 7th grader, with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, to walk independently for the first time. Inspired by the positive impact of LUMI on Sophie, our mission is to develop assistive walking devices to empower those with lower limb disabilities. With a projected 7.6% CAGR and a market size of over $9 billion by 2026, we strive to bring our products into both homes and clinics. In August 2020, LegTrek was incorporated and established itself as one of the few medical device companies in Santa Barbara, California. Our dynamic co-founders are alumni of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with various backgrounds ranging from engineering to technology management to biological sciences.

  • Nectir

    Kavitta Ghai, Jordan Long
    UC Santa Barbara
    Track 1 – 3:30-3:40

    Nectir is a modern campus communication system for higher education that leverages data to predict student success. Nectir gives students the control by allowing them to join and create their own class channels, chat with anyone on campus, and add value to their education wherever they need it most. Our platform creates a powerful network effect that draws students, instructors, and admin in day after day by placing them all within the same virtual playground where they can chat and build communities. We utilize the data from students’ daily behavior on Nectir to predict their academic trajectory and ensure their success in order to mitigate the $16.5 billion dollar dropout problem in the US. After one full year of launching our MVP at UCSB, we’ve aggregated over 24,000 users on their campus, or approximately 90% of the student body, across more than 20,000 channels that they built themselves.

  • Trees

    Jonny White, PhD
    Cal Poly
    Track 1 – 3:40-3:50
    More Info

    Platforming has changed travel, shopping, entertainment, and information. Trees is a platform that helps people thrive in new situations. We’re running a successful beta on university students and will focus on that market initially. Our university partnerships have enabled funding and attentive iteration, but we’re also running trials of the platform for at-risk populations (one paid partnership underway), mental health for first-responders (in negotiation), and new moms (local trial starting soon). New users enter the platform and scroll through “action plans”, then use a questionnaire to personalize their results. The questionnaire uses a (patent pending) novel “slider” for rapid responses and learns demographics, habits, personality, and preferences. The app recommends action plans that worked for similar others, and the user provides ratings continuously so that the (patent pending) machine learning backend makes ever-improving recommendations. The app is a paradigm shift — it’s Google when you don’t know what to search for.

  • Rabble Health

    Aubrey Kelly, Jenny Sohn, Bluegrass Biggs
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 1 – 3:50-4:00

    Rabble Health Inc. is a B2B2C SAAS digital health company focused on addressing the information gaps throughout a cancer journey. Our Direct to Patient Platform, myRabble, helps cancer patients and their care team manage through cancer better while serving as a direct to patient education channel and data exchange for life science organizations. We are currently seeking seed stage investment.

  • Konectcity

    Rayaan Arif
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 1 – 4:00-4:10
    More Info

    Konectcity Technology is an innovator in the management of smart cities, airports, utilities, logistics and buildings. The Konectcity technology platform offers a 3D bird’s-eye view of connected and geo-located (GPS) services and assets. Konectcity enables managers to analyze complex data streams, act on alerts and alarms, and manage workflow and operations using a touch-activated user interface.

  • Armadillo Designs

    Sam Hunt, Fabian Araujo
    Cal Poly
    Track 2 – 2:40-2:50
    More Info

    Armadillo Designs creates customizable shells for the back of pickup trucks that have a convertible roof. Their mission is provide construction workers, and other trades alike, a secure and easily accessible storage space for tool and equipment storage.

  • Pantry Party

    Lauren Jack
    UC Santa Barbara
    Track 2 – 2:50-3:00
    More Info

    Pantry Party is on a mission to upgrade your meals at home. We believe that great ingredients make great food, and great food is pure joy. By partnering with restaurants and small-batch food artisans truly committed to craft, flavor, and responsible sourcing, Pantry Party is making it a little easier for you to cook great meals at home through our online marketplace and pantry subscription.

    There is a demonstrated rise in online food spending since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and this trend is expected to continue to grow even after COVID-19 concerns subside. Shelf stable pantry basics have seen incredible growth, and consumers are showing an increased desire for products that are more adventurous than their basic needs. Pantry Party brings the flavor to your cooking, and threads the needle between meal kit and grocery delivery to provide exciting, better, and easy to use ingredients, without dictating the whole meal.

  • Khyron Technologies

    David Meng, Luke Theogarajan, Prajakta Kulkarni
    UC Santa Barbara
    Track 2 – 3:00-3:10

    UCSB research spinout focused on the stabilization of proteins on silicon semiconductor substrates for electrochemical biosensor applications. Khyron’s therapeutics and diagnostic solutions leverage FETs and microfluidics to enable digitally-native, electronic medical technology platforms automated by AI directly at point-of-care (PoC).

  • Equation1

    Dale DeHart, Tamma Davis
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 2 – 3:10-3:20
    More Info

    The Vortex demand-pull technology offered by Equation1 is an off-spring of the consulting services provided by DeHart Consulting LLC for over 20-years and the software development services we have offered for the past 5-years. Our consulting services are oriented toward lean manufacturing implementations, particularly factory layouts and production pull systems, while our software services are B2B enterprise solutions. The Vortex technology melds these two strengths into an enterprise-level solution that reduces costs for high-variety manufacturers and fleet management services. Dale DeHart, the President of Equation1, has over 30-years of experience in the technology industry, serving in officer-level positions in publicly owned companies as well as start-ups with successful Private Placements and IPOs. He is a Stanford graduate-level engineer and holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. His development team consists of engineers that are highly trained in software development and quality assurance.

  • Vidami (Utility Designs)

    Amy Hayashi-Jones, Wayne Jones
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 2 – 3:20-3:30
    More Info

    With YouTube, it’s never been easier or more affordable to learn to play guitar online. But taking your hands off the instrument to control the video wastes time and completely disrupts the learning process. And so our family created a solution that keeps your hands on the instrument and puts the controls at your feet. In just 18 months, we’ve manufactured and sold thousands of our patented Vidami YouTube Loopers, and launched a flourishing startup, reaching customers in over 43 countries through a network of talented online artists, domestic and international retailers and impact focused educational organizations like Little Kids Rock and the Les Paul Foundation. Since March of 2020, Fender, Gibson, and other major brands continue to break all-time guitar sales records, making one thing crystal-clear: millions of new guitar owners will be looking for inspiration and Vidami will be there to meet them where they’re already learning, online.

  • Xiresta

    Patrick Dietzen, Alex Moreland, Robert Postrozny
    UC Santa Barbara
    Track 2 – 3:30-3:40
    More Info

    Xiretsa is developing a new class of antibiotics that can treat infections unresponsive to current antibiotics. The need is urgent: 700,000 people die each year from antibiotic resistance, and as the problem grows, it threatens to make organ transplants, cancer treatments and even routine surgeries risky. Xiretsa’s technology relies on Anti-Infective Conjugated Electrolytes (ACEs), a paradigm-changing platform that has been demonstrated to cure mice of untreatable superbug infections, representing the first new class of broad-spectrum antibiotics to be discovered in the past 50 years.

  • SciKare

    Prajakta Kulkarni
    UC Santa Barbara
    Track 2 – 3:40-3:50

    SciKare is revolutionizing diagnostic devices for the early detection and monitoring of kidney disease. Kidney disease affects 37 million Americans and costs Medicare $120B per year.  As the early stages are asymptomatic, the disease is often diagnosed at a later stage. Treatments for advanced-stage kidney disease include dialysis and kidney transplant. These treatments are expensive and affect the quality of life of patients and their families. The National Kidney Foundation predicts that one in three Americans are at high risk of developing kidney disease. SciKare is developing non-invasive, point-of-care diagnostic devices for real-time monitoring of renal health in this population. These devices will empower the patients with an opportunity to receive timely treatment and control the rate of disease progression for a better quality of life.

  • Videoms

    Evan Brandt, Jason Schwetz
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 2 – 3:50-4:00

    Videoms is a Commercial Real Estate video tool to visualize commercial data. Through strategic data infusion into 3D satellite and drone footage, Videoms reduces transaction time and enables virtual deal making. Videoms clients include both global and boutique brokerages, developers, investors, lenders, landlords, tenants, city governments, environmental consultants, and law firms.

  • Baby Barista

    Cara Armstrong, Lisa Silverstein, Jud Currie, Doug Levinson
    Cal Lutheran
    Track 2 – 4:00-4:10
    More Info

    A turnkey solution, Baby Barista combines a patented “Nespresso-like” machine that makes the perfect infant formula bottle in under 30 seconds (even from bed at 3 am), a mobile app for remote bottle preparation and feeding logs, and a monthly subscription box of clean, organic infant formula. Baby Barista was invented by Cara Armstrong, a registered nurse and mother of three. Her youngest daughter Mia was born with Down syndrome and was unable to breastfeed. Baby Barista’s ecosystem is the first real formula feeding innovation in over 100 years, bringing convenience, safety, and ultimate nutrition to a new generation of parents who look to technology to solve problems.

Thank you to the generous support of our sponsors for making this year’s Start-Up Village possible.

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