At the end of our Fall 2018 BMoE Bootcamp, four ventures were selected to give a 5-minute pitch to a panel of industry judges. Dental care startup UJU, farming optimization company HexaRoot, product and warranty simplifier Warrify, and scheduling optimizer MultiMeet all presented on Friday, vying to be the winner.
Scroll through to learn more about each company and find out who the winners are.
Based on research he conducted at UCSF, Jordan Coffey created UJU, a company that aims to help people in "dental deserts" with a cavity-reversing toothpaste. Initially intended for expecting mothers — who are often unable to get dental care due to harmful X-rays — UJU hopes to expand nationally and compete with household names like Crest and Colgate.
"We are human centered, and we care for our customers," said the team during their final pitch presentation. "That's why we include safe ingredients, and we don't test on animals."
According to Coffey, the toothpaste takes two months of regular usage for enamel remineralization, and each tube costs $7. This makes it less expensive to use the toothpaste than to visit a dentist several times.
Because the toothpaste is not cosmetic, it does not require FDA approval. UJU will also donate 1 tube for every 3 tubes purchased.
The largest market in Europe is wheat production, which serves as a livelihood for hundreds of farmers across the continent. Rasmus Christensen developed HexaRoot to optimize farming methods in order to yield the best returns for farmers.
Farmers get hardware apparatus with corresponding software to determine optimal sowing. Using the equipment, HexaRoot can precisely identify the depth and distance between grains in the soil. According to the team's presentation, HexaRoot's optimization can reduce weed growth by more than 70 percent.
So far, the team has established partnerships with farmers to run trials. HexaRoot hopes to expand to large corporations that build sowing equipment and agricultural material.
Dealing with warranties got you down? Enter Warrify, a company that makes it easier for consumers to manage their products and their respective products.
After purchasing a product, users can snap a picture of their receipt with the Warrify QR code, which then uploads that purchase information to the user's Warrify profile. From there, the user can see the existing warranty for that particular item and has the option to extend the warranty.
In an effort to keep communication channels open between the consumer and the manufacturer, Warrify takes the retailer out of the equation. Consumers can directly contact the manufacturer to sort out any warranty issues.
The team has built its first functioning prototype and is beginning its testing phase with its first customers.
Theater veteran and Industrial Engineering and Operations Research doctoral student Mark Velednitsky came up with MultiMeet to make it easier to schedule rehearsals within large production companies. MultiMeet allows users to sync calendars, then finds the best times to schedule meetings — all in 1.6 seconds, compared to a typically 5-hour-long process.
The team plans to take the product to local playhouses to pitch to production companies, then expand into sports, industry, and other markets.
After much deliberation, the judges finally selected UJU as the Berkeley-based team winner and Warrify as the international team winner.
An algorithm was also used to determine the winner, in an effort to see whether the judges' choice was different from the computed choice. In this case, the algorithm agreed with the judges' assessment, and UJU was also declared the algorithmic winner.
Congratulations to all of our BMoE Bootcamp participants!
Also published on Medium.