2017 VentureClash Winners Announced

Small Business

Connecticut Innovations, the state’s quasi-public venture capital fund, has announced the winners of VentureClash, a $5 million global investment challenge for early-stage companies in digital health, financial technology, insurance technology, and the Internet of Things.
Of the nine finalists from seven different countries, VentureClash awarded six companies with investments, mentoring, customer introductions, grants, and services to help them grow and succeed.
The winning companies are required to establish a presence in Connecticut.
Netherlands-based FRISS received the top investment award of $1.5 million. The company uses proprietary analytics software to provide state-of-the-art solutions in the fields of fraud, risk, and compliance for the insurance industry.
Two second-place winners will each receive a $1 million investment:

  • SCADAfence—Based in Israel, SCADAfence is a pioneer in securing mission-critical industrial networks from cyber threats, reducing the risk of connecting multiple devices in industries like manufacturing, utilities, oil, and gas.
  • Vouchr—Based in Canada, Vouchr is a secure, payment-agnostic tool that allows users to bundle transfers of funds with photos, videos, social networking, and gamification.

Three companies will each receive a $500,000 investment award:

  • Buzzmove—Buzzmove is the United Kingdom’s only price-comparison and instant-booking platform for all services related to moving and the right level of insurance needed to cover moving-related services.
  • Davra Networks—Based in Ireland, Davra Networks provides a complete Internet of Things platform that allows customers to define, build, and bring to market vertical-specific IoT applications while collecting and easily sharing data.
  • EAVE—U.K.-based EAVE is developing the next generation of hearing protection and communication technology, utilizing noise cancellation and speech enhancement to eliminate noise-induced hearing loss.

The VentureClash competition started with applications from 285 companies from more than 20 countries.

"The talent in this year's competition was incredible," says Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations.
"Judges struggled to make the decision, but in the end, FRISS took home the top award because of its strength in the space and ability to disrupt here in the United States."
The other finalists included:
Bought By Many—A U.K.-based interactive members-only service, Bought By Many offers targeted insurance opportunities designed to help individuals find the right insurance efficiently and customized to their needs.
PeekMed—Based in Portugal, Peek Health offers powerful three-dimensional preoperative planning software for orthopedic surgery that aims to help the surgeon better treat the patient while reducing costs and surgical times.
Tellspec—Headquartered in Toronto, Tellspec is a data company with the ability to scan food, offering non-destructive real-time food testing for quality control, authentication, safety, and nutritional value.

Making Their Pitch

On Oct. 20, 2017, the nine finalists, representing the most promising early-stage companies, pitched their ideas before a live audience and a panel of judges at the Yale School of Management in New Haven.
The judges included investors and subject-matter experts from 1843 Capital, Elm Street Ventures, Greycroft Partners, The Hartford, and Royal Bank of Scotland.
In addition to the company pitches, the VentureClash program also included a keynote address from Tim Armstrong, CEO of Oath.
The VentureClash competition started with applications from 285 companies from more than 20 countries.
After two rigorous rounds of judging, nine finalists were named, and they then went on to compete at the live pitch event.


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