The original article was published on Washington Business Journal on July 8, 2021 by Sara Gilgore
It’s time, once again, to single out the Greater Washington companies, investors and players who are setting its startup ecosystem ablaze.
That’s right. We’re unveiling the 50 winners of the Washington Business Journal and DC Inno Fire Awards of 2021. The honorees range from nascent to mature, across industry and geography within the DMV.
These are companies that closed new rounds of funding, launched new products, reinvented themselves and not only survived the pandemic, but helped others through the crisis as well. They are growing headcount, expanding their footprints within and beyond the region, promoting equity and elevating the local startup universe. They are founders and funders, first-time business owners and seasoned executives, builders and believers.
They are all on fire.
We compiled this list from a combination of audience nominations, expert input and editorial coverage. Some have made the list previously; most have not. Of course, it’s impossible to highlight every impressive innovator in this ecosystem. But each member of this group deserves the recognition — and we will tell you why.
Keep an eye out for more about these companies in mid-August, when we’ll also be revealing a top “blazer” from each category and celebrating the honorees at our virtual event.
Until then, read on for this year’s winners.
- Morning Consult, a fast-growing D.C. tech firm that offers polling and research platforms for client firms.
- Employee Navigator LLC, a Bethesda human resources software company that licenses its benefits and HR products to other businesses.
- 10Pearls, a Vienna digital development company that helps customers build digital offerings and experiences.
- Full Measure Education, a District ed-tech startup that licenses its software-as-a-service platform to colleges and universities across the country.
- Omnispace LLC, a Tysons satellite communications company that aims to create seamless 5G connectivity to companies across the world.
- MotoRefi, an Arlington startup whose platform aims to make refinancing car loans easier for consumers.
- Poppy, a D.C. wedding flower startup with a platform that connects brides and event planners with florists.
- Truebill, a Silver Spring personal finance startup working to help users improve their financial health.
- Territory Foods, an Arlington meal delivery service that caters to a wide variety of diets.
- Everything Legendary, a Hyattsville company whose vegan burger patty made its debut at a District community center, then on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
- Puzzle Huddle, a D.C. family-owned business with jigsaw puzzles and other products depicting diverse, career-driven characters.
- Holistic Industries Inc., a D.C. cannabis operator with products, growing and processing facilities, and dispensary locations spreading across the country.
- Remodelmate, a College Park startup with a marketplace for bathroom remodeling projects.
Cybersecurity, software & IT
- ScienceLogic, a Reston software company whose products allow customers to monitor applications and systems across their networks.
- ID.me, a McLean unicorn that helps customers manage and verify their online identities.
- Xometry Inc., a Derwood startup whose artificial intelligence-based platform matches engineers and product designers with manufacturers.
- Base Operations, a D.C. safety startup that helps security professionals protect company staff and provides information to business travelers.
- ThreatQuotient Inc., a Reston software startup that provides threat data and cybersecurity tools.
- ChurnZero, a D.C. customer retention software firm with a platform to help reduce customer loss and boost retention for its client companies.
Biotech & life sciences
- Arcellx Inc., a Gaithersburg biopharmaceutical company developing cell therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases.
- Emmes, a Rockville organization that conducts research and clinical trials for public and private sector customers.
- Sirnaomics Inc., a Gaithersburg biopharma developing therapeutics for diseases that include cancers, viral infections, metabolic diseases and fibrosis.
- Ceres Nanosciences Inc., a George Mason University spinout based in Manassas with a technology to build and improve diagnostics.
- Novavax Inc., a Gaithersburg vaccine maker working to bring a Covid-19 vaccine to the world after decades without a commercialized product.
- AlgometRx, a Children’s National Hospital spinout advancing a medical device that measures pain.
- BrainScope, a Bethesda neurotechnology company with a tool to help doctors more easily assess and treat concussions.
- JuneBrain, a Rockville medical device startup developing a wearable imaging device for patients with multiple sclerosis that monitors disease activity.
- iCE Neurosystems Inc., a D.C. company advancing a brain-monitoring device for critically ill patients.
- OpenBeds Inc., a D.C.-based, Appriss Health-owned company whose platform connects hospitals with substance abuse and behavioral health treatment services.
- DrFirst Inc., a Rockville health-tech company whose products aim to help improve patient outcomes.
- Somatus Inc., a fast-growing health care startup building and expanding a comprehensive care model for patients with chronic kidney disease.
- Hurdle Health Inc., a District-based therapy startup that aims to make mental health care equitable and inclusive.
- Veriheal Inc., a D.C. health-tech startup whose platform connects patients seeking medical marijuana cards with doctors.
- Construct Capital, a young D.C. venture firm with a $140 million debut fund focused on manufacturing, transportation and logistics investments.
- High Street Equity Partners, a District-based early-stage VC and private equity firm raising a $15 million fund to invest in more women and founders of color.
- Academy Investor Network, an investment syndicate and venture platform for U.S. service academy graduates, now raising a $50 million fund.
- Ardent Venture Partners, a new local VC firm shooting to raise $100 million to fill the gap between seed and Series A rounds.
- Zeal Capital Partners, a D.C. inclusive investing firm now raising a $50 million fund for companies overlooked by traditional firms.
- TrueAlgae, a Chantilly clean tech company with a closed-loop system that grows microalgae to support sustainable food production.
- WorkChew Inc., a D.C. coworking startup that turns underutilized hospitality centers into coworking spaces for remote workers.
- Minwo Inc., a Woodbridge startup that connects Black-owned businesses with investors through its marketplace.
- MemoryWell Inc., a District storytelling startup that taps professional writers to better introduce seniors to their caregivers.
- CaryRx, a D.C.-based digital pharmacy with a prescription delivery service.
- Meagan Metzger, founder and CEO of Dcode, a D.C. accelerator that connects tech companies with the federal market.
- Sally Allain, who’s leading Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s JLabs incubator at Children’s National Hospital’s campus at Walter Reed, which is now live.
- Shelly Bell, founder and CEO of Black Girl Ventures, a District nonprofit that connects female founders of color with opportunities and resources.
- Alfred Duncan, a musician and entrepreneur who created Black Men Ventures to foster access to capital for Black male founders.
- Juliana Cardona Mejia, founder and CEO of D.C. nonprofit Street Entrepreneurs, which runs an accelerator for underrepresented entrepreneurs.
- Dahna Goldstein, who’s overseeing impact investing for D.C. social entrepreneurship nonprofit Halcyon.
- Patty Simonton, director of Bethesda Green’s Be Green Business program, whose programming supports startups addressing environmental challenges.
Read original article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2021/07/08/dc-inno-2021-fire-awards-50-winners-innovation.html / https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/inno/stories/inno-on-fire/2021/07/08/dc-inno-fire-awards-50-startups-winners-2021.html