Three weeks after announcing Catalyst, our brand new incubation program for early stage technology ventures at Blue Ridge Labs, we received over 40 outstanding applications! Although it was tough, from those 40 we selected 12 semi-finalists. Each semi-finalist pitched their idea to a panel of judges who assessed the organizations on the following 5 criteria:
Product: Does the team have a clear and focused product idea that addresses a real need?
Impact: If executed successfully, will the product have a sizeable impact on the lives of low-income New Yorkers?
Business: Is the team thinking in a way that is feasible and operationally sound?
Team: Are team members the right people to do this?
Program Benefit: Will participating in Catalyst help them accelerate their progress in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible?
From our judges’ deliberations, 7 finalist teams emerged. Three of which will be selected by our all-star panel of finals judges to join us for six months of support, workshops, and a $40k cash stipend.
Without further ado, our 2015 Catalyst finalists are:
Addicaid is an affordable, scientifically-informed technology platform that provides resources, therapeutic techniques, and peer & professional support to make addiction treatment enjoyable and effective. Our ultimate vision is to transform addiction care for insurers, providers, and employers to lower costs, improve success rates, and help individuals lead happy, healthy dependence-free lives.
JustFix.nyc empowers tenants to get things fixed. It is a tool that helps tenants document, organize, and take action in securing repairs on their apartment. This mobile-first site is built to work alongside the invaluable person-to-person services that many neighborhood tenant organizations and legal services currently offer – users can easily share their case with advocates, lawyers, and judges as a way to take action and add transparency to their situation.
Heat Seek builds web-connected temperature sensors to help tenants when their landlords don’t provide adequate heat. Our hardware and web app records temperature readings once an hour, analyzes the data for housing code violations, and provides tenants with the reliable, objective data they need to hold their landlords accountable and get their heat restored
Populace is a lightweight SMS communications platform used by community organizations to connect people with the programs they need. We give experts effective methods to get more people in the door, retain more people over time, and follow up after a program has ended.
Rescuing Leftover Cuisine
Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides solutions for food waste and hunger by crowdsourcing the transportation solution between companies that have excess food and agencies that need it. The automated, online-scheduling calendar system Rescuing Leftover Cuisine has created allows the public to get engaged in the solution.
Yenko‘s mission is to increase the number of students who graduate from college. Its mobile engagement platform helps busy college students track and optimize their academic success, financial aid and enrollment through graduation.