“Everyone you meet will blow your mind,” the Kairos Society promised earlier this year when it introduced its pick of 50 innovative startups from a global pool of hundreds. Kairos, a global startup incubator, showcased all 50 startups for some of the biggest venture capital firms in the world this week at the Kairos Global Summit 2015 in Hollywood, California. At the Summit, the most promising 13 startups were selected to receive special recognition, and prizes including mentoring, consulting, thousands of investment dollars, and other resources.
Communication, global logistics and mobility were among the themes to emerge in the winning group. Our favorite: a “personal captioning” app for the hearing impaired. Runner-up: a touch-free computer interface that looks like you’re caressing an invisible sphere.
Here are the 13 award winners:
1. Delta Award sponsored by Delta Airlines: Cosmos Labs, for an app that makes mobile Internet more accessible to low-income persons. The app lets you buy unlimited access to other apps for mere pennies, compared to the tens of dollars needed to buy into a data plan.
2. Fast Growth Award sponsored by 500 Startups: Rumarocket, a talent management platform that uses skill-based assessments and big data to help companies find the right people.
3. Legal Services Award sponsored by the Law Firm Morrison Foerster: BioBots, for its low cost desktop 3D bioprinter that builds living tissues out of human cells.
4. Three NASDAQ award winners:
BioBots (yes, the same BioBots).
Bionik Laboratories, a lower body exoskeleton that enables paraplegics to rehabilitate and and walk.
Erghis, a hands-free interface activated by manipulating an invisible sphere.
SunCayr, a color-changing marker that indicates when your sunscreen needs refreshing.
5. eBay Award: Dray Technologies, a “transparent” on-demand freight brokering app that for truckers and carriers.
6. Three TM Forum awards:
Saisai Wireless, technology that pumps up the performance of wireless networks.
Leap Year, an end-to-end platform that enables organizations to securely mine their databases for new insights.
Trimaker, 3D printed supplies that improve hardware and materials manufacturing.
7. Social Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of footwear company TOMS: Ava for Transcense, a mobile app that acts as a “personal captioner,” enabling the hearing-impaired to access multiple conversations in real time.
8. Formation 8 VC Award: Mi Águila, a business-to-business app that facilitates transportation for executives and other employees.
9. Audience Award: Fleet, An online platform that simplifies global supply chain management.