Startup Monterey Bay is proud to announce and congratulate the winners and finalists for Startup Challenge Monterey Bay. We are very excited about this year’s competition and believe this may be the best group of companies yet!

We had 13 finalists for the Venture Division, 8 for the Main Street Division, and 4 for the Student Division. Please browse the companies below for more information on these future Monterey Bay regional businesses. They are listed with the winners and runners up first and hen alphabetically by division.

2018 Venture Division


Cruz Foam logo

Cruz Foam

By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Styrofoam is the second most abundant beach plastic. Cruz Foam  puts an end to this environmental catastrophe. Cruz Foam transforms shrimp shell waste into the ecofriendly equivalent of Styrofoam. Applications include marine, automotive, and packaging(100billion $/year total addressable market). Cruz Foam entry market is the foam core of surfboards (400,000 sold annually). This market entry leverages Santa Cruz brand and positioning in the surfing community, and the identified customer passion and need for eco-friendly outdoor products. Cruz Foam will then quickly move onto styrofoam packaging (10b/ year) specifically related to polystyrene coolers for food delivery.

Runners Up

AudibleRX logo


AudibleRx is the new Consumer Medication Information (CMI) content system designed to meet specific health literacy guidelines. It provides useful and accessible audible, and printed CMI through an easy to access web platform. Tailored to the learning needs of your patients, whether it is filling a prescription at your pharmacy, mail-order, bedside teaching, discharge education or follow-up learning at home. Benefits of improved medication literacy include reduced costs, improved outcomes, and increased patient satisfaction.

Leviathan snack radicle foods logo

Leviathan Foods

Radicle crafts snacks with all natural, nutrient dense ingredients and fortifies them with nootropics and polyphenols from berries, herbs and roots that push our bodies to excel.  Guided by scientific research and a keen sense of YUM, our goal is to provide you with delicious, functional food that helps you live your best mentally, physically and emotionally.


CYEL logo

Check Your Engine Light

The Check Your Engine Light adapter is used to save time, money and build trust at the mechanic by providing you with information about your vehicle.  It’s plugged into the vehicle underneath the steering wheel/dash, paired to a smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth and uses mobile apps to let users see why the engine light is on, turn the light off, see live data, log data and much more.  Users can have a better informed conversation with the mechanic, verify their honesty and save money on diagnostic charges which can be anywhere from $60 to a couple hundred dollars each visit.

einsigns logo


We’ve successfully built enterprise software for many years. Aftab and I worked together at Zenprise. Extremely knowledgeable in creating unique and effective algorithms. We have great experience in starting new businesses, production, construction and sign industries. Have direct connections with over 600 sign businesses. While running a sign company we see the paper template issues all the time. So we wanted to simplify the installation process and having all the above experience came to a solution, which will produce better quality results in less time. And fewer skills required for installers will create more jobs. Note: Papers are replaced with technology in many places, so it’s inevitable that the installation paper templates will be replaced too.

Leavened learning

Levered Learning

Levered Learning is working to close the achievement gap for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds by building smarter instructional tools for the classroom. Levered’s integrated approach to 3rd-5th grade mathematics balances an adaptive, online curriculum with pencil and paper collaborative challenges and whole class activities. Real-time assessment data automatically drives lesson planning and intervention, providing teachers all the tools they need to support and challenge the full range of learners in their classrooms.

litmus box

Litmus Box

LitmusBox is a Digital Engagement Agency dedicated to helping companies solve user engagement problems. LitmusBox has developed a new product, Donation Wall, designed for donation funded organizations to increase donor revenue, capture valuable leads, increase brand engagement, and increase social media sharing. The Donation Wall allows organizations to raise funds through micro transactions with donors names projected digitally onto a physical wall.

New wave programs logo

New Wave Programs

New Wave Programs, LLC is a company dedicated towards advancing education. We are home to the Life-Strategies Through Chess learning curriculum- A life enrichment program that teaches youth sustainable strategies for emotional intelligence. We provide our programs to school districts, after-school and before-school youth organizations, and families, in order to help them positively impact the lives of the ones they care about the most.

Ohana Shave Ice logo

Ohana Shave Ice

There is a saying at Ohana Shave Ice “If you’ve never been to Hawaii, Ohana is bringing the flavors of the islands to you!” Ohana Shave ice is a Hybrid business that provides an authentic Hawaiian shave ice experience through our brick and mortar and catering vehicle. We offer authentic Hawaiian shave ice, Dole whip, locally roasted 100% Kona coffee, Marianne’s ice cream, Acai and Pitaya bowls…all within a vintage Hawaiian vibe!

passion slam logo

Passion Slam

Passion Slam is an innovative healthy beverage company. We create nutritious, delicious, tropical organic beverages to the health conscious consumer at an affordable price. Our first product, Passion Slam – Original, is simply passion fruit juice. It helps eliminate free radicals and has natural calming Effects! We’re committed to being an integral part of an adventurous, healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Sea Change logo

Sea Change

SeaChange is a mobile application that facilitates donations and communication between non-profit organizations and their donors. SeaChange will initially focus on marine-conservation organizations and will create a new community of integrated relationships that will revolutionize how organizations and the public communicate, fundraise, and create change. One-part Kickstarter, one-part social media, one mission to ‘see change’.

time lock docs logo

Time Lock Doc provides mobile apps, setting a new standard in professional certification and commissioning documents in the construction, facilities and service industries. Their patent-

pending, time-locked documentation process includes embedded photos watermarked with time, date, ambient temperature and GPS location. The application incorporates automated code insertion and allows for sorting, storing and emailing documents with signature capture (e-sign). Cloud syncing is available on multiple devices (iOS).

turnkey solutions logo

Turnkey Solutions and Services

We manage your IT so you can manage your business. We are a one-stop-shop for small business IT services. This lets management focus on the things they are best at, and makes the business more efficient at doing what it does.

Founded in 2017, Turnkey Solutions & Services is formed by a team with over 80 yrs of combined experience in services in the IoT space and dedicate to be the one-stop shop for SMB IT services. TKITSS is a micro business performing IT and IT enabled services like IT architecture, Digital Marketing, Support and custom development for SMBs.

2018 Main Street Division


Spice of Life Catering

Spice of Life Catering

Created by Spice of Life Catering, That Garlic Stuff is a homemade garlic sauce made with locally sourced garlic that simply makes everything taste better.  Use it as a marinade or as your new favorite salad dressing or drizzle over pasta and popcorn, and veggies and chicken, and rice and seafood and… you get the idea.  That Garlic Stuff is gluten and dairy free.

Runners Up

Arti-culture logo


ARTI-Culture is a community based  art studio that strives to make art accessible and affordable for the entire community to enjoy!!! ARTI-Culture specializes in hosting creative art parties. Creative art parties allow for people of all different artistic skill levels to take part in a fun step by step artistic process. Parties are a fun and exciting new way to celebrate birthdays, friends night out, & couples/date night. We host public art parties at local businesses to help fill seats on slow nights all while contributing back to a great cause. ​We also book private parties! We can come to you at your home, favorite restaurant, or you can utilize our studio to host a private event. Our prices never change, we have no minimum requirements of attendees, and no deposit required to book a party. We also can help you raise funds by partnering with you to host a fundraising event.

splendid blended logo

Splendid Blended

Splendid Blended uses whole fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts to create delicious, nutritious blended drinks in a variety of flavor combinations enjoyed by both adults and kids. Enjoyed as a meal replacement or anytime snacking, Splendid Blended is sure to become your new healthy, daily addiction! Hand crafted in Watsonville, CA, blends are raw and bursting with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, fiber and free of added sugars and preservatives.


360 health café logo

360 Health Café

Our mission is to provide healthy, local, organic food and drinks in the Marina Dunes Shopping Center.  We want to be your local, casual place to hang out and visit, a place where you can enjoy high quality food and drinks. We provide boba teas, smoothies, juices, probiotic drinks, salads, panini, acai bowls, puddings and other breakfast items.  360 Health Cafe is located at 120 General Stillwell Dr. Suite 104 Marina, CA 93933.

Abilities cafe logo

Abilities Café

Abilities Café is an inclusive, community café that will train, employ and utilize the many gifts our clients’ posses while enriching their higher sense of purpose, competence, and independence. Abilities Café will provide superior service and quality food while giving our Monterey Bay community an option to spend their time and dollars on a social cause that celebrates and values the exceptional abilities of our young adults.

CGC dog training logo

CGC Dog Training

Our business is going to simplify the dog training certification market. Our solution is an innovative. Mobile APP/DVD based on the nationally acclaimed American Kennel Club’s top selling class Canine Good Citizen. This is the Harvard degree of dog training. The CGC TEST consists of 10 skills needed by all well-mannered dogs. Our product features top quality training Videos, Podcasts, training strategy, exercises and tips from a nationally prominent canine trainer and behavior specialist.

Monterey moments logo

Monterey Moments

Monterey Moments will specialize in providing Monterey Bay inspired products, mainly photos on different mediums, while giving a percentage back to the community for conservation of the area’s beauty. With the launch of the company, Monterey Moments will be selling canvas prints, while also focusing on donating some of the profits to local organizations. In order to bring the most value to our customers, we must establish a brand that will be synonymous with Monterey Bay Beauty, quality products, and conservation ­ things that are important to our ideal customer.

Salad Bytes Media logo

Salad Bytes Media

Salad Bytes Media is a full-­service podcast production company. Full­-service in the sense that we can turn an interesting idea and turn it into a professionally produced show and with a social media plan that will help it reach its largest audience as quickly as possible. We will have a centralized location that will provide podcast creators a space to produce a show with as much potential for success as possible.

2018 Student Division


Boho marketplace logo

BOHO Marketplace

The BOHO (Buy-One-Help-One) Marketplace is an insurance marketplace accessed through the BOHO platform that allows customers to purchase affordable policies while also providing a much-needed insurance product to participants in an emerging market. BOHO incorporates groundbreaking technology to reduce payment processing and administrative costs, speed up settlements and guarantee transparent transactions. It allows customers to compare insurance quotes, and premiums, while also supporting uninsurable communities in emerging markets for as little as $1-2 per month.


ammodo recruiting

Ammodo Recruiting

The aim at Ammodo Recruiting is to minimize unemployment while creating the best fit for businesses and employees. Our smart testing platform combines cognitive job skills testing with behavioral science based testing adapted from the US Military. This combination allows Ammodo to accurately predict job fit, cultural appropriation, attrition rates, and other factors important to individual performance and success. Our platform allows employers to pre-screen candidates with customized tests they can lease from Ammodo.

sauce logo


Sauce is an Italian inspired restaurant that will utilize California-based products in an ethical and sustainable way while priding itself in making the majority of its product in-house. This means that Sauce will utilize the entirety of each and every ingredient by embracing the movement of “root to stem” and “snout to tail”, which gives respect not only to the ingredients themselves, but also the farmers that raise and grow these ingredients.

Work night Creations logo


Worknight Creations LLC is a gaming and entertainment company that plans to launch its flagship product, Knights at the Wrong Table (aka Knights), via Kickstarter in the Summer of 2018. Knights is a card game with a Medieval-style theme, loosely based on the popular game “Kings Cup”, that can be played by small to medium-sized groups in a casual atmosphere.