What does it look like when startup networks come together? An event in Colombia provided the answer.
Last week, the newly merged chapter Startup Grind Maryland, which includes parishes from Baltimore, Columbia and Frederick, was featured at Startup Grind Maryland’s opening presentation and party. The event, held in the newly opened Maryland Innovation Center, spanned 12 projects and included in-depth discussions with Cide Kic, TotalCare and PetConnect Business.
The event began with brief remarks from Chris Haug, director of Startup Grind Columbia, where he re-introduced Startup Grind, discussed the group’s core values â€‹â€‹and announced that TEDCO, Maryland’s early-stage technology support agency, recently became a lead sponsor for Startup Grind Maryland.
Tim Wilson, Manager of TEDCO’s Seed Fund and Digital Marketing Coordinator Hao Nguyen, spoke briefly about the partnership and what it would mean for the entrepreneurial landscape across the state. They also shared other resources that were available to startups at the event.
Before meeting with the three companies that featured at previous Startup Grind events, Haug also introduced Chuck Bubeck, executive director of the Maryland Innovation Center, the host.
“This building is the culmination of the past 21 years Howard County’s investment in the incubation community,” said Chuck. “Our mission fits in perfectly with that of Startup Grind, and we hope this space can host great ideas and fuel innovation across the state.”
With the formal announcements out of the way, the event’s three main presenters took center stage to answer the following questions:
- Where did the idea for your project come from?
- What problem are you solving?
- What do you need?
- How can we help?
CEO and Co-Founder Hector Ocasio spoke about his company, which is a digital management provider that provides pet-related businesses (i.e., dog groomers, vets and trainers) with branded websites and mobile apps without any coding.
Ocasio and PCB’s journey began a few years ago when they were out with his wife and dog Mason. Outside of rural Ohio, Mason collapsed after a brief bout of vomiting blood. When Ocasio realized that the local veterinary clinics didn’t have a virtual presence, he had to rely on a friend to take them to a hospital to save Mason’s life.
â€œThis experience really opened my eyes to the importance of service providers in the lives of our pets and how important it is for them to have an online presence,â€ said Ocasio. After this experience, Ocasio was surprised to find that today less than 50% of pet service providers have a digital presence and less than 1% have a mobile app component.
Ocasio has talked through the pivots of the business for the past two years, including its original focus on being a marketplace for digital listing improvement.
â€œWe really cash in Open table So we had to make sure that service providers were comfortable using Pet Connect Business without fear of losing their business to competitors, â€he said.
Koch, co-founder and CEO James Hudock and co-founder Jorge Fajardo launched Cide Kic, a digital platform for food and beverage companies to streamline collaboration workflows.
â€œThe average life expectancy for a cook is 50 years,â€ said Hudock. â€œChefs don’t often make it to a retirement party and leave the business for health or other challenges. This lifestyle drove me to an early grave and I knew there had to be a better way. “
Cide Kic was founded with the idea of â€‹â€‹taking the strain off cooks and modernizing back-of-house operations to transform the kitchen into a collaborative, supportive and ultimately less stressful environment. The platform itself enables chefs to plan menus, share recipes, and keep track of staff inventory and availability.
As a company backed by a recent pre-seed investment from TEDCO, Cide Kic continues to grow by introducing it to potential donors, partners and customers.
The team also brought some of the most delicious ice creams Startup Grind has ever tried.
The final presentation of the evening came from Ashok Kapur, President and CEO of Hawkeye MedTech, Creator of the tele-health platform TotalCare. It enables customers to connect directly with health professionals and care providers, as well as their family members. Customers can also share medical records for instant access to entire medical history to coordinate medication and treatments across disciplines.
“Vendors have never been able to check graphical data on blood pressure, blood sugar or other vital signs,” said Kapur. “Doctors can see this information for the first time and specifically ask about previous problems or peaks that occurred between sessions / visits.”
TotalCare has been in development since 2013, with a particular focus on providing people in rural areas with access to medical care and treatment. Due to the pandemic and the increasing spread of telemedicine in our shared lexicon, TotalCare is prepared to make a major foray into the market through an approach with two target groups: Doctors need to be on the platform to get in touch with their customers and patients while patients need to leverage the platform to provide the data needed to effectively connect their care providers.
Another challenge for TotalCare is competition.
â€œYou not only have to maintain market share, you also have to be constantly innovative. If we don’t do that and stagnate, we’re dead, â€said Kapur. “We have to change the minds of so many audiences, get them used to this technology, but still be user-friendly and accessible.”
In addition to the three aforementioned startups, the other nine companies that had booths at the event and spoke to the potential investors and partners were:
- NeuroSonics Medical allows more flexibility for more individual and personalized neurosurgical treatments.
- Tetragram provides you with thorough cataloging and research on the most effective cannabis strains.
- Omnisensory photonics develops innovative, customer-oriented photonic sensor solutions and products for various scientific and industrial applications.
- Bleeding frost helps people confidently control nosebleed treatment anywhere.
- Kyndoo provides a robust, transparent relationship for influencers and groups looking to hire influencers.
- Prothymos technologies specializes in the manufacture and distribution of immersive film and video game technologies.
- Mindgrub Ventures helps technology-driven startups grow through partnerships and product design expertise.
- CarrTech LLC simplifies the injection of medication and thus reduces the number of needlestick injuries worldwide.
- JMakes3D supports entrepreneurs and inventors from the invention to the functional prototype.
A full video and pictures from the event can be found here or here.
If you are interested in unlocking the entrepreneurial potential of Startup Grind or want to get in touch with one of the presenting companies, let Sean know!