The MassChallenge startup accelerator on Thursday announced the winners of its annual business competition, awarding $1.5 million in grants to companies that included the maker of equipment that treats water in remote areas, and the developer of a virtual fence for livestock.
OffGridBox, whose product generates solar power and clean water off the grid, and Vence, which uses GPS to control animals, were among the recipients of the $100,000 top prizes. Pykus Therapeutics, which makes a device to improve retina surgery, and CozyKin, a company that connects families with trained nannies, also each received $100,000.
The winners were chosen from a group of 128 startups that have been working for four months in MassChallenge’s South Boston facility, where the organization provided advice and other resources to help them grow. The group was later narrowed to 26 finalists.
“It’s never been more clear that ideas — even at the earliest stage — have the power to change the world,” Kiki Mills Johnston, managing director of MassChallenge Boston, said in a statement. “With support from the community, these ideas have since grown into capable, profitable, and sustainable ventures.”
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the International Space Station, and The Boeing Company selected another three startups to share in a $500,000 prize.
Those startups are Cellino, which uses lasers and nanotechnology in gene editing, Guardion, which makes affordable radiation centers for government use, and MakerHealth, which creates spaces in hospitals where people can work on developing medical devices.
Twelve startups will also receive $50,000 grants to continue work on their projects.