A Tucson startup company is working to develop technology that would allow doctors in developing nations to perform ultrasounds with nothing more than a smartphone.
Courtney Williams and her company Emagine Solutions Technology developed the idea to make pregnancies safer for women in developing nations. It landed the grand prize of $25,000, in addition to a $1,000 prize for being selected as the audience favorite, at the Get Started Arizona pitch competition.
Presented by Cox Business and organized by IdeaFunding, Get Started Arizona gave six local entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of six business professionals. Out of the six presentations, four were products designed for the medical field.
“We have the environment here to really launch entrepreneurs,” said Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “We’re especially pleased whenever we’re able to launch and grow a successful business from Tucson with folks who live here in one of our communities.”
Rothschild also said that as a business community, Tucson is “just getting started,” and talked about Tucson’s development of new districts meant to help businesses grow and attract new businesses to the region.
Other finalists who pitched for a chance at the grand prize included:
- Oat Mama: Makes food products, like oat bars and tea blends, with ingredients like fenugreek to help breastfeeding mothers produce more milk. Currently has a kitchen in downtown Tucson, and projects $1.4 million in sales for 2018.
- Hivemetric: Software that helps startup businesses model their finances, in addition to helping them collaborate with investors and banks. Provides business recommendations and insights to users.
- PlasmaGlide: Developed and patented a new fixture table that makes cutting metal easier, safer, and more accurate. Also doesn’t require any computer programming, allowing the user to cut metal to their choice.
- Lum.AI: Software that can locate specific information in documents at less than 10 seconds per page. Makes it easier for medical staff to sift through research documents. This company was selected to work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and has University of Arizona professors among its staff.
- Saccadous: Developed a virtual reality goggle-type helmet that tracks eye movements to diagnose concussions. Will also make the process of diagnosing concussions cheaper, with a baseline test costing $3-$5 and a postgame test costing $50. Saccadous is currently collecting data using prototypes.
Bryce Horner, who helped conduct Hivemetric’s presentation, said he’s pleased to see Tucson’s entrepreneurial community come together in support of one another.
“Any competition supporting a startup ecosystem is fantastic,” he said. “Things like this help keep the ecosystem alive.”