The Mill in Bloomington has named the winners of the Fall 2022 Crossroads Pitch Competition. South Bend-based heARsight won the pre-seed competition, while Nashville-based Wave Therapeutics won the seed competition, earning a $20,000 investment.
heARsight, which won for its augmented reality smart-glasses that provide subtitles during in-person conversations, will receive a $10,000 investment from Flywheel Fund. The company, which was founded by Danny Fritz and Riley Ellingsen, uses an embedded microphone, speech-to-text, and AR technology to provide wearers with real-time subtitles during in-person conversations.
“We’re proud to have been selected as the winners of the Crossroads pre-seed track, amongst an impressive and diverse group of startups,” said Ellingsen, who serves as the company’s CEO. “The feedback we received from each round of the competition was invaluable, and the cash award gets us closer to our target for unlocking our next product development milestone. This recognition inspires confidence in our team that our recent efforts have demonstrated sufficient validation and traction to move forward with our pre-seed raise.”
Wave Therapeutics won for its therapeutic devices and software, which help prevent bendsores and blood clots among mobility impaired patients. Led by CEO Jessica Bussert, the company has already secured one patent, as well as a contracted research agreement with the VHA.
“We’re working on a life-saving technology to prevent bedsores, and it’s gratifying to know that the judges understand and support the work we’re doing,” said Bussert. “We’ve been a part of The Mill for several years, and we appreciate the support we get there and from the Indiana business community. Americans are 50% more likely to die of a bedsore than in an automobile accident, so the fact is we’re working on a product that impacts almost every family at some point in their lifetime.”
Bussert says the company’s first product to market will be the Wave Therapeutic Cushion, which prevents pressure injuries and reports data automatically to physicians.
The Mill says the winners will also receive priority to pitch at Elevate Ventures’ Nexus Regional Pitch Competition. Crossroads is open to Indiana-based startups with less than $250,000 in annual recurring revenue.
You can learn more about the competition and view the Fall 2022 Crossroads Lookbook by clicking here.