Connecticut Innovations, the state’s quasi-public venture capital fund, announced Oct. 22 the winners of the 2018 VentureClash competition, a $5 million global investment challenge.

The competition focuses on early stage companies in digital health, financial technology, insurance technology, and the Internet of Things.

Of the nine finalists, which came from six different countries, six were awarded with investments, mentoring, and customer introductions.

The 2018 VentureClash started with applications from 300 companies from more than 15 countries.

Israeli firm Voiceitt captured the top investment award of $1.5 million.

The company is developing the world’s first speech recognition technology designed to understand nonstandard speech, an advancement that will help 10.4 million people in the U.S. and Europe who suffer from speech disabilities.

VentureClash winning companies are required to establish a presence in Connecticut.

$1 Million Winners

Two second-place winners were each awarded a $1 million investment:

  • DOZR is a Canadian company that has developed a marketplace for the online rental of heavy equipment, enabling business owners to earn additional revenue from their idle equipment and allowing contractors to rent equipment at lower rates than traditional rental companies.
  • IronYun is a Stamford-based next-generation, AI deep-learning, big-data video search business-to-business software company providing enterprise customers with hyper-converged, private cloud computing and big-data video software products.

$500,000 Winners

Three additional finalists were selected to each receive a $500,000 investment award:

  • CloudKPI is an Irish company developing an insight engine that enables SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) businesses to predict likely outcomes.
  • Invixium is a Canadian manufacturer of modern biometric solutions for markets needing strong user authentication, convenience, and data analytics.
  • Paygilant is an Israeli technology company working to prevent mobile payments fraud on mobile devices in the preauthorization phase.