WINSTON-SALEM – From among a heap of applications, early-stage venture firm Flywheel has narrowed it down to a handful of finalist companies competing for a spot in its intense three-month accelerator program.

Of the 13 companies selected, seven are from the Old North State.

“So far the results have been very good,” said program administrator Peter Marsh in statement. “The combined valuation of our portfolio companies has grown to more than $26,000,000 based on priced follow-on investment rounds. Our companies have raised a total of $5,371,500.00, and we expect to be making another investment announcement in a matter of days. Many of our companies are now in a growth hiring mode.”

It’s fourth year running, the New Ventures Accelerator startup challenge has created a portfolio of 14 companies over three cohorts starting in 2016. This year’s finalists include:

  • Loop Health (Washington, DC): Josh Stein, Co-founder, CEO – Creating an integrated marketplace for direct care.
  • Hay Trabajo (Blockchain Solutions from Charlotte, NC): Elizabeth Escobar, CEO – Connecting certified Hispanic labor, Hispanic employers, and MWBE programs.
  • Screensoft (Longview, Texas): Hagen DeRouen and Carl Knowlan,  Cofounders – Employee credentialing for employers using blockchain and a digital wallet.
  • Uweline (Charlotte, NC): Michael Wang, CEO – Coordinating import/export tasks and reducing end-to-end timeline by connecting shipper, forwarder, trucker and buyer on a web portal.
  • Re(FüL) (Breakthrough Technology from Winston-Salem, NC): Cliff Douhon – Cofounder – Integrating biometrics, exercise plans, nutritional analysis and meal plans to fuel athletic performance.
  • LivWell (Philadelphia, PA): Marissa and Josh Gimble- Cofounders – Transparently bringing you the finest vegan protein blends.
  • Nudge AR (Durham, NC): Eric Berkowitz and Asaf Shtekler, Co-Founders – Nudge is an AR gifting platform that connects friends, strangers, and brand
  • Studyfind (Atlanta, GA): Andrew Garcia Almeida and Yohan Jhaveri, Cofounders – App based platform that connects researchers with clinical trial participants and actively recruits the participant pools.
  • Dinggo (Richmond, VA): Nick Molter – Dinggo brings together all the streaming content from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, and helps users  find movies and TV shows, the same way Tinder helps their users find dates.
  • Farmtronix (College Park, MD): Spandan Samiran and Manan Bhalodia, Cofounders – Sensor based IoT driven automation of greenhouse watering and feeding systems.
  • 1772 Solutions (Winston-Salem, NC): Janet McKay Smith and Jason Kramer, Cofounders – A customized gift card service for local small businesses.
  • Wellistic (Raleigh, NC): Oz Merchant, Founder and CE O – A platform for wellness and integrative healthcare solution providers and patients.
  • Appleseed VR (Winston-Salem, NC): Trent Spivey – Inclusive and distributed experiential and content testing for the VR industry

On May 4, the finalists will pitch to investors for acceptance into the program.

New Ventures is an application-based program that invests an average of $50,000 in inception-stage startups that are pre-revenue. While the program intentionally seeks out in-state startups, it also invests throughout the Southeast and beyond. New Ventures primarily invests in software applications (Saas, B2B, and B2C) and device startups that intersect with Triad regional market verticals.

The accelerator will run from June 4 through August 31, with Demo Day on September 6 at Biotech Place.

Flywheel selects 2018 New Ventures Challenge winners