Startup Challenge Finale logo

Don’t miss the 2019 Startup Challenge Finale!

Startup Monterey Bay is proud to announce the 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! This year we introduced the Social Venture Division for companies with a mission of social enterprise.

We had 8 finalists for the Venture Division, 8 for the Social Venture Division, 8 for the Main Street Division, and 3 for the Student Division. Please browse the companies below for more information on these future Monterey Bay regional businesses. They are listed alphabetically by division.

Meet the 2019 Startup Challenge Finalists!

2019 Venture Division


Dance Minds, LLC logo

DanceMinds LLC

DanceMinds LLC, is a company that provides specialty dance programs. We create dance programs in areas of dance education we see can spice up the markets engagement and areas where majority of teachers struggle to engage the market. We license dance studios in our programs, sell online lessons/materials for class,

certify dance teachers and offer our programs to the public. Our biggest branded programs we are pushing are (La Quinceanera Dance Program, Moves Made 4 Me, DanceMinds Rec. Dance Series)

Foundry Platform

We’re building a tool that simplifies and accelerates mobile app development for startups and enterprise companies. With our platform, our customers can build apps in 1­2 days, as compared to several months using contractors and other existing solutions. And the apps developed can vary widely in functionality and visual design, to solve a broad spectrum of business cases. We started the company in early 2018, and now have 20 paying customers, including a university and a pharmaceutical testing company. Currently, we’re deliberately growing the customer base slowly so we can work directly with our customers and understand their needs, before doing a larger launch in summer 2019.

Musician’s BASS, Inc.

Musician’s BASS ­ Business Administration Software for Success ­ is an enterprise software for independent artists that empowers them to market, monetize, and manage themselves more efficiently while increasing their bottom line. We are dedicated to helping independent artists build and sustain long­term careers in a severely disrupted industry.

Plus One Living logo

We are a tech company that is mindful of health of the world.’s first product is a sustainable indoor farm growing micro greens, cut herbs, wheat grass, and living basil located in Monterey California.
micro-greens are grown hydroponically in modern climate controlled environments.

All of our facilities are state of the art and our computer control systems are
specially adapted from greenhouse growing using the for scalable cloud solutions. Produce are grown indoors where we are not limited to a single
growing season. Our advanced growing systems allow our produce to have strong root systems, vibrant colors, and rich taste. We believe that our produce is
superior because it is fresh, simple, and delicious.

The is a Next Generation Digital Ecosystem
Our Mission:
To facilitate life on earth via a digital platform and network that enables ALL with the ability to obtain powerful, easy to use Affordable life technologies for learning,
working, playing and communicating but most importantly living a healthy prosperous life!
Our Vision:
To build a platform and network for businesses and customers whose purpose is to “live, create & consume.”


SEEVI, INC., is a brick and mortar camera leasing business with an online social networking internet market. Our company is segmented into two separate revenue
streams. First is our hardware unit that we lease to business owners. Second is the advertisement revenue that will be generated on our social network.
The platform will provide valuable analytics that can be used by the business owners. By analyzing the video feed with machine learning technology we can discern certain features within it. This can then later be used by the venue owner to better their business decisions.
The same platform will also provide a social networking phone application that consumers can utilize.

Skywriter Systems, Inc.

Skywriter is an early revenue stage, seed funded SaaS startup. In the past 12 months, the Skywriter team has developed their own Scalable SaaS Omni­Channel
Content Broadcast & Delivery Platform for Customer and Employee Engagement.
Skywriter already has some large corporate clients and is pushing into some targeted verticals with the most recent product offering. We are projecting significant revenue, >$700K, in 2019 from existing and new clients. Key vertical markets have been identified based on our early customer activity.
The Platform provides a simple to use solution providing integration and management of contacts, content, scheduling, and analytics for web, email, SMS, twitter,
Facebook, Instagram, et al social platforms with a single platform. EVERYTHING REQUIRED FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION’S DIGITAL FOOTPRINT

Standby Health

Standby Health is a software­as­a­service company offering punctuality solutions for healthcare currently generating $200K in annual revenue at 80% gross margin.
Mission Statement: Standby Health aims to become the American patients virtual waiting room, allowing for same ­day appointments and real­time service on arrival.

Company Goals and Objectives: Standby Health’s goal is to simultaneously reduce wait ­times, and patient no-­shows, delivering $100K in value per American doctor
per year. In 2019, Standby Health is on track for $500K in booked revenue and reference customers in each of 4 groups: health systems, primary care, specialty
practices and urgent care clinics. Also in 2019, Standby Health aims for 1 substantive reseller relationship with an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system vendor.
Business Philosophy: No ­wait healthcare.

2019 Social Venture Division


Abilities Café

Abilities Cafe is a non­profit organization that fills the need to train and employ Special Needs Individuals (SNIs) who are underrepresented in the workforce. Abilities Café is currently serving as a pop­up corporation raising capital to open a community-­run coffee shop that will combat the local unemployment rate by assisting SNIs with training, State sponsored internships, raising awareness of SNIs abilities to future community employers and the general public.


GreenFit is a health club powered by human kinetic and solar energy. Instead of being a conventional energy­sucking gym facility with a myriad of electricity-consuming exercise machines, GreenFit will capture the energy generated provided by its clients exercise to both power­up its operations and reward users for their effort without the damaging carbon footprint. This encourages members to utilize our facility, adhere to their fitness goals, and increase the energy pushed back into the power grid. When plugged into an outlet, the equipment converts the energy produced through the workout into kilowatts that can produce more than 160 watt-
hours of electricity in a single workout. In turn, customers receive rewards for discounted merchandise, membership dues, and personal training sessions among many other benefits.

We believe improving society starts with a change within ourselves.

JMM Dance Co.

JMM Dance Co., is a non­profit (501c3) who serves the community currently through dance and arts classes for those populations who are under served and whose emotional and developmental needs are not being focused on in other outlets. We use dance and movement as a tool for social/emotional development and self-esteem build up in the lives of people and kids who are under served and need it the most. We partner with other organizations who serve low-­income and special needs populations.

We also integrate cultural and bilingual programs to reach those people who would otherwise not be exposed to quality dance and arts education.

New Wave Programs logo

New Wave Programs, LLC

I sell an educational curriculum that teaches students social­emotional intelligence through chess. We use it to help improve student’s lives, and to strengthen
communities by getting community leaders like police, fire, political, into classrooms to bond with students in a positive way.

Play Full Ground logo

Play Full Ground

PLAY FULL GROUND (PFG) is a Social Practice Art space providing customized learning programs (workshops), exhibits, and community activities.
“Play” and being playful, is necessary for creativity.
“Full” describes the sense of satisfaction.
“Ground” comes from playground and also means earth, land, and base. A safe space to be one’s self and explore their own creative process.

Thomas Farms Films logo

Thomas Farm Films

Thomas Farm Films offers hands on, project­based filmmaking education for youth of all socioeconomic backgrounds in our community. From script to screen, kids
will learn the process behind filmmaking in a fun and collaborative way. Each after­school program and each summer camp session will result in a short film. These
short films will be screened at a film-­festival­-like event at the end of each season, e.g., summer camps, fall & spring after school programs.
Located on the 35 acre organic Thomas Farm in Aptos. Each group of 10 kids (divided by ages 7 to11 & 12+) will be guided by 1 film professional (recruited from
local college graduate film programs, e.g., CSUMB, SFSU, UCSC, UCBerkeley) and 1 to 2 camp counselors (recruited from local high schools) to complete a short
film from script to screen. We believe recruiting employees/interns from our local colleges and high schools is in line with our mission to provide opportunity and build confidence in the local youth.


Vanly is a centralized online marketplace and hospitality service connecting the vanlife community with homeowners willing to rent out their driveways.

Worth Saving Mercantile & Thrift Store

Worth Saving Mercantile & Thrift Store is an extension of Hollister Community Outreach, a 501(c)3 Non­Profic Corporation. The store was opened in August 2018
with a goal of providing quality and affordable clothing and small household goods to the Hollister community in a pleasant and inviting environment.

2019 Main Street Division


American Wholesale Light

The LIGHTING INDUSTRY ­ touches mostly every building, it’s a $17 billion industry. I have worked in the Commercial Lighting Industry many years. I am Emeritus Member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of NA, and have deep knowledge of the evolution of Lighting technology, up to the current. I am able to buy materials at best costs and have access to all manufacturers. I am current on all codes, State and Federal, and all Utility rebate Programs and regs. I am able to pull together TEAMS for all type lighting projects. I subcontract installations and keep a low overhead to be low bid on commercial projects, and competitors. I want to add sales staff and grow. Lighting, now we know, does much more work than most building owners know or understand. NOW ­ PURELIGHT ­ THE LIGHTING WAREHOUSE can serve the LIGHTING EDUCATION needs of the entire community.and sell WHOLESALE. to all industrial, commercial, municipal, and residential customers, AND have Educational classes on THE EFFECTS of LIGHT on ALL THINGS. We will have experts in every aspect give free workshops, have samples, and SELL WHOLESALE TO THE PUBLIC, all type lighting supplies. CLASSES for all school children on electricity, Lighting and automatic controls. All our employees will be enrolled in The IES as Emerging Professionals and helped toward their careers. At PURELIGHT ­ THE LIGHTING WAREHOUSE ­ people can learn EVERYTHING about Light.

We are long time Lighting Geeks.

The eDirector

The eDirector is the first of it’s kind educational business product for social media influencers and companies with major market influence. We provide technical
service solutions that enable leading entrepreneurs to deliver their high quality education to their students anywhere.

Our innovative video production service for the online learning format and bundled target ­marketing technology provide the comprehensive product-to-market signature system business leaders need to attract, enroll, educate, support and certify their students. By leveraging our solutions, our clients can expand their influence while providing educational engagement, experiences, and outcomes to their online student body that exceed those of traditional educational delivery offerings.

Hexbox Fitness


Hexbox Fitness is a Seaside CA based fitness facility that is bridging the gap between your more traditional gym and your community driven small group training facility. We offer 24 hour access for all members, CrossFit classes, our own branded HXBX classes, a virtual cycling room, outdoor training zone, meditation and mobility room, all while integrating the power of technology. Our in-­house HXBX classes integrated real time heart rate sensing that shows up on our TV’s throughout the facility. We have been able to create a game­based workout that utilizes the data collected from this technology integration to make working out fun again, all while providing a complete functional strength and endurance based program that provides quantifiable results.

Our monthly membership package includes all classes and 24 hour access to the facility. No more needing 2 gym memberships.

Monterey Bay Food Tours

Monterey Bay Food Tours

Monterey Bay Food Tours is Monterey’s first and only walking food tour company, offering tours of restaurants and iconic landmarks complete with unique tastings.
We will customize a special experience, from intimate tours for two to large corporate functions.
We are committed to sharing our passion for food in a fun and creative environment and strive to provide exceptional customer service and an unforgettable experience. We have worked with the restaurant owners to provide an experience only found on our tour. Customers may meet a chef, owner, winemaker, or local artist, take a kitchen tour, or discover local art, all while learning a little history of Monterey and some fun facts along the way.
We offer walking food tours in Old Monterey, including Fisherman’s Wharf and Historic Downtown Monterey. Tours are open to the public through online booking and can accommodate up to 12 people. The Old Monterey Tours are offered Thursdays ­ Sundays from 11am–2pm.
We offer private and custom tours as well. Private tours can accommodate 1­100 people. Tours can follow our Old Monterey tour line or be customized to meet the
needs of the group.
Previous clients have included bachelorette parties, class reunions, and team building tours for groups of 10­45. Customized lunches from our tour partners as well as evening tours have been provided. We can incorporate bicycles or classic cars for transportation, and include restaurants that are not a part of our regular tours.

Salad Bytes Media logo

Salad Bytes Media

Salad Bytes Media is a podcast production and social media marketing company. We create high­quality podcasts that cover a variety of topics. We also create and
manage social media campaigns for local businesses.

Seaquoia logo


Seaquoia is a commercial kelp harvesting company based out of Santa Cruz, CA. We hand harvest wild California kelp and seaweed for culinary use, produce a kelp
supplement for thyroid health, as well as a CDFA and OMRI approved liquid kelp microbial food source; used as a fertilizer for local farms. Our mission is aligned with environmental health of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary ecosystem. Our small batch harvesting is a sustainable practice, only taking what we need, and assessing our environmental impact from harvesting from the sea. Intertidal seaweeds are harvested for restaurants and seafood distributors, and we participate at farmers
markets, selling fresh seaweed, sun­dried seaweeds, and produce a seasonal seaweed chip.

Our goal on the path to sustainability is to initiate kelp reforestation
projects in the Monterey Bay, in collaboration with organizations within the area. Our new kelp supplement is our scaleable focus for the business at the moment.
Macrocystis pyrifera kelp is harvested by hand, freeze dried, and milled into a fine powder. It’s main purpose is as an iodine supplement, which is crucial for thyroid
health for humans. We have tested the nutritional analyses on the kelp, radiation, heavy metals, and microbiology to insure its safety and transparency to consumers.

Our focus is creating this unique product, harvested within the Monterey Bay Sanctuary to educate society on the importance of kelp forests, while providing a
product that benefits humanity.

Tacklebox logo

Tacklebox Creative

Tacklebox Creative is an art and design company in Carmel Valley, California that inspires women of all ages through original art, workshops, and mentorship.

White Glove Movers

White Glove Movers

We are a commercial moving company, with a focus on large furniture and specialized antiques. Our business is focused around delivering and installing furniture, antiques, art and specialized items.

2019 Student Division


Charge City

Charge City plans to provide a service to transform large retailers traditional parking lots into Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) utilizing Federal and State incentives. Charge City provides a turnkey approach to secure financing, obtain permits, and manage the stations.

We are able to provide a scalable solution to bring new customers to the stores while they charge their vehicles.

Howe Neat, Inc.

Howe Neat, Inc. was founded in November of 2018, as a sole proprietorship. In February of 2019, it was incorporated as an S­Corp. It uses innovative problem-
solving techniques to create new solutions for municipal, industrial and agriculture markets.

Daniel Philip Howe is the President and CEO of Howe Neat. He is a Senior at CSUMB in the Computer Science Program. The following is his Capstone Project for
the CSU Monterey Bay Computer Science Program.

Late Night Life

Late Night Life is an entertainment/talent platform that is becoming the middle man for all nightlife on college campuses by bringing outside talent through different event packages to Clubs and facilities.