PRESS RELEASE | APRIL 2015Highway1 announces fourth class of startups & new facility
Highway1 today announced the fourth class of startups in its intensive four-month program, which began in February and attracts teams internationally.
The spring 2015 class will be the first to work in Highway1’s newly opened 10,000 square foot facility, which sits adjacent to PCH’s Innovation Hub in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill. The 11 participating hardware startups represent a broad range of sectors, including healthcare, smart home, agriculture, and drone technology, and represent universities ranging from Stanford to Georgia Tech. Combined, these startups have already raised $4 million in outside funding, making this the best-funded class in the history of the Highway1 program.
The spring class will be the first to occupy Highway1’s new 10,000-square-foot home, which also houses PCH Access, the PCH division that helps startups scale.
“We are very excited about this incoming class, which was selected from the most applications we have received – 275 – for any one semester. Many of them come with outside funding which indicates their ability to get market support from the get-go. Over the next four months, we will see these teams morph into companies that have working prototypes that they can share with investors.”
Brady Forrest – Vice President – Highway1
The facility also features a 1000-square-foot state-of-the-art prototyping lab that includes equipment such as a CNC mill, and 3D printers. The upstairs electrical lab includes such equipment as a spectrum analyzer. The new facility allows PCH to give the startups an environment that fosters creativity and innovation, along with access to some of the best prototyping resources in the world.
Since its inception in 2013, Highway1 has accepted 45 hardware companies including Cue, Drop, Ringly, and Navdy, among others. In total, these companies have raised over $45 million.
Participants gain access to Highway1’s extensive network of mentors, unique classroom curriculum, and substantial lab space. They also embark on a 10-day trip to Shenzhen, China to visit factories and learn first hand about manufacturing.
At the end of the four-month program, graduates pitch their concepts and show their working prototype to investors, industry leaders, and media at the invitation-only PCH/Highway1 “Demo Day” event. Other elements of the program include $50,000 in seed money in exchange for equity, as well as long-term access to Highway1’s prototyping facilities.
“We are glad to welcome another group of talented entrepreneurs into our hardware accelerator program. It’s an exciting time to be a hardware entrepreneur because of growing interest the venture community is showing in products combined with great design. We focus on dramatically de-risking the investment for venture firms, by helping our companies manufacture the best product and get to market fast.”
PCH Founder and CEO Liam Casey
Applications for Highway1’s fall class will open in late spring. Highway1 also accepts admissions on a rolling basis, and applicants may be brought in throughout the year.
The Highway1 Spring 2015 class includes the following (please note some companies are in stealth mode, and are not listed):
Ayda is creating devices that support women in their fertility journey. Ayda is developing its first device, a wearable, which enables women to effortlessly optimize their chances of conceiving.
Apitronics is building Nest for agriculture, and helps farmers increase yields, save water, and become more resilient to drought and heat stress by optimizing irrigation.
Game of Drones
Ballistic UAV, dba Game of Drones produces industry-leading ruggedized drones and parts for first-time consumers, light industry, agriculture, environmental service, wildlife preservation and first responders.
Lully develops smart technology to improve sleep quality for all ages. The first product, the Lully Sleep Guardian, is an under-the-mattress device that prevents night terrors. Night terrors affect 1.5 Million children each year in the US and there is no existing solution.
Sereneti Kitchen automates cooking in the home kitchen using a Keurig style methodology to prepare fresh meals using a robotic arm. To cook a meal, a user loads the machine with fresh ingredients, syncs their smart device, and pushes one button to enable cooking.
Shade is an accurate wearable ultraviolet spectrometer with a powerful platform of analytics to bring precise medicine to ultraviolet sensitive patients.
Transformair is a technology that rapidly and safely destroys indoor air pollutants including viruses, bacteria, mold, airborne fumes and allergens.
In addition to the ten new startups, Highway1 will also host a TV crew this spring for the upcoming Syfy reality show, “The Bazillion Dollar Club,” which will follow companies taking part in Highway1’s accelerator. The show will air in the fall.
Claudia Ceniceros: Claudia@pchintl.com
Lauren Busto: Lauren.Busto@camronpr.com