Sixteen teams took to the stage Sept. 10 for the 2021 delta V Demo Day, marking a return to the in-person startup showcase, as well as the tenth anniversary for the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship's premier event.
Demo Day is the culmination of the Trust Center’s delta V accelerator — the name comes from the scientific term meaning a change in velocity. The accelerator provides teams with entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring, and mock board reviews, as well as funding, office space, and prototyping tools. Notable alumni include Biobot Analytics, which is studying wastewater across the United States as a way to track COVID, and Spyce, a restaurant with a robotic kitchen, which was just purchased by salad chain Sweetgreen.
Speaking to the audience in the Kresge Auditorium on MIT’s main campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Trust Center’s managing director Bill Aulet pointed out that the institute has programs to solve problems in science, technology, design, and management. Why, he asked, would it also need entrepreneurship programs?
“Entrepreneurship gets you to figure out what you can do, and make a difference,” Aulet said, later adding, “There’s no fear about attacking problems here, and I love the problems we’re attacking.”
The problems many of the 2021 teams are attempting to solve reflect the challenges created in the past 19 months — a registry for unpaid family caregivers, platforms for monetizing online content, and a “vaccine” for crops.
Here are the 17 startups to watch:
Almond Finance is a money transfer system that allows customers of the more than 250 Southeast Asian mobile wallet apps to send and receive money internationally regardless of which app they use.
Carestry is an online registry where unpaid family caregivers and their care teams can list needed items and services, such as accessible furniture, help with medical bills, and meal deliveries.
Empallo uses artificial intelligence to analyze patient data and build a customized health care treatment plan aimed at avoiding heart failure.
Fit for Everybody crowdsources female-identifying body measurements which are then used to make more accurate sizing recommendations to customers, and also to better inform retailers about product size and fit.
flairr is a digital platform where artists can monetize their work, interact with their fanbase, and connect with other artists as they develop their careers.
Havvi Fitness is a fitness platform where users can find exercise content, and content creators get access to performance analytics and a digital storefront.
Hibiscus Monkey is a skincare startup with products for hair and body.
Invictus BCI is building a more functional prosthetic hand for amputees through a combination of machine learning and wearable sensor technology.
Ivu Biologics is a technology platform focused on making, storing, and delivering microbes for use across a variety of industries. Ivu Biologics’ first use case is to improve crop harvests.
La Firme matches low- and middle-income families in Latin American with affordable architectural and engineering services for self-built homes.
Pelicargo is a digital booking platform connecting companies that need to ship cargo with airlines that have open cargo capacity on their planes.
Project Restore Us is a nonprofit organization that delivers groceries to in-need families in the Greater Boston area. The groceries are purchased through local restaurant supply chains.
Project Us uses artificial intelligence to analyze a person’s online interactions with employees or coworkers, and offer actionable feedback on their inclusion and diversity-related efforts.
Rivet provides content creators with a website and personal fan community platform, allowing them to learn more about their fanbase, create repeat customers, and monetize their content.
Robigo is a biotech startup engineering pesticides that work like vaccines for plants, targeting pathogenic bacteria without killing the plant or harming crop workers through toxins.
Sidewalk’s platform helps similar brands form partnerships and sell one another’s products, reaching a broader customer base.
Stack uses augmented reality to help warehouse employees count items faster and find the most efficient route to a product.