12 Startups Poised To Make A Major Impact On The B2B Market

Ingram Micro worked with MassChallenge to select some of the hottest startups with technology applicable for business-to-business markets and reward them with some startup money and a lot of instant brand recognition.

B2B Startup Challenge

Ingram Micro, the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor, in 2018 teamed up with MassChallenge, a Boston-based global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, to form the Comet Competition.

The Comet Competition is unique in that it evaluated over 300 startups that were developing technology specifically for the IT channel. Those startups presented their plans and their channel potential in one of three events held in Tel Aviv, Israel; Boston; or Austin, Texas, where the list was cut to the top 46 applicants. Those 46 presented their technology and channel prowess to a panel of industry influencers, who selected 12 finalists, with four each from the geographic area around the three cities.

The 12 finalists, including the three winners, were present at the recent Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, with all 12 sharing a total of $300,000 in cash prizes and over $1.5 million in go-to-market support.

Nimesh Dave, executive vice president for global cloud at Ingram Micro, said the Comet Challenge was launched 10 months ago as a way for Ingram Micro to identify new sales opportunities.

Dave also said to expect more such challenges in the future. "We hope to have more than 1,000 new SaaS technologies for you to sell," he said.

Check out the kind of innovations that could some day have a major impact on the B2B market.

Modernizing The User Experience For Salesforce: Addapptation

Addapptation, Exeter, N.H., creates a modern user experience, or UX, platform for clients by working with the Salesforce.com database and the Salesforce APIs to connect them directly to the customer's Salesforce. The result is a new user experience with a modern web development framework that the company said works 10 times faster than building the application within Salesforce.

Addapptation has a library of over 40 prebuilt solutions covering what it calls the most important Salesforce challenges, including solutions for sales, operations and executive users.

Cutting Shipping Costs With Custom Packaging: Boxologic

Boxologic could be a product shipper's dream. Somerville, Mass.-based Dome Zero developed Boxologic, a robotic instant random-size packaging solution, or "box-on-demand," that uses technology to create the right-size box instantly for e-commerce fulfillment. This results in boxes that can be created in any size on demand from one SKU of corrugated stock without human intervention. The company said it eliminates waste from traditional packaging technologies that leads to an average of 40 percent unused space and increases void filler use 60 percent, corrugated cardboard use 15 percent and transportation costs 20 percent.

Bringing Communications To Those Who Cannot Communicate: EyeControl

EyeFree Assisting Communication is the Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer of EyeControl, which is technology targeting people suffering from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) or other conditions who are unable to communicate. EyeControl is a wearable personal communication device that gives a voice to patients. Using audio feedback and eye gestures, EyeControl is a stand-alone portable device that allows for immediate and around-the-clock communication.

Reducing Data Breach Risks: ItsMine

ItsMine, Jerusalem, Israel, is developing a new take on data loss prevention the company terms as unique and proactive because it requires no policies and no permanent endpoint agents even as it protects against internal and external attackers. ItsMine is a fully automated offering that adds data protection as well as alerts if data is leaked outside the user's business, all with negligible false positives and without affecting productivity, the company said.

Real-Time Bidding To Optimize E-Commerce Shipping: OnRout

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based OnRout has developed an optimization platform for e-commerce shipping based on a real-time bidding platform that routes individual parcels to the most efficient carrier for delivery. OnRout said this helps consolidate shipping routes, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce shipping costs by an average of 9 percent. One goal of the company's technology is to help e-commerce shippers compete more effectively with Amazon while helping make e-commerce delivery more financially and environmentally sustainable.

Software-Defined Secure Network Access: Perimeter 81

Tel Aviv, Israel-based Perimeter 81 has developed a secure network-as-a-service offering the company said simplifies secure network access for modern, distributed workforces. The company's software-defined perimeter architecture replaces legacy VPNs to allow gateways to be automatically deployed in any location to simplify network security. It features single sign-on, native applications that provide 256-bit bank-level encryption to protect mobile employees when connected to untrusted networks.

Going Big With 3-D Printing: Re:3D

Re:3D is the manufacturer of Gigabot, billed as the world's largest industrial 3-D printer with prices starting under $9,000. The Gigabot allows 3-D printing of objects of up to 23.2 x 23.6 x 23.6 inches in size using a variety of materials with resolutions between 150 microns and 300 microns. The Houston-based company also does custom printing for businesses that do not want to purchase their own 3-D printers. The company is working on modifying the Gigabot to print using reclaimed plastic waste.

Bringing Speed To Triage: Sempulse

Sempulse, Austin, Texas, develops a medical device and software platform that offers a patented, non-invasive vital signs sensor that adheres to the back of a patient's ear to collect five major vital signs: blood pressure, pulse oximetry, heart rate, respiratory rate and core body temperature. This data is combined with geolocation and a variety of environmental data to provide quick medical triage. Designed originally for military requirements, it is also being offered for civilian use.

Accelerating Corporate Diversity: The Mentor Method

The Mentor Method is a Washington, D.C.-based developer of an enterprise platform that helps promote mentoring as a way to build leaders rather than checking off the right boxes on diversity forms. The platform helps bridge the access gap between diverse candidates and companies seeking to hire more diversely. Its approach helps companies attract, screen and engage diverse candidates.

WINNER: IoT Anywhere: ClearBlade

ClearBlade is an Austin, Texas-based developer of an IoT platform that securely spans cloud, on-premises and edge infrastructures. The platform allows businesses to ingest, analyze, adapt and act on any data in real time and at scale. The company's suite of products includes a version for working only at the edge, an artificial intelligence and machine-learning option, complete security, and a low-cost pilot program for building and testing IoT solutions.

Eric Simone, CEO of ClearBlade, told Ingram Micro Cloud Summit attendees that ClearBlade integrates with systems that have been around for decades to standardize how IoT is delivered across every cloud and every device. "I don't care if it's COBOL written in 1974," he said. "We connect to it."

Simone also said that IoT is too difficult for many companies to integrate today, and that it should be as easy to deploy as any consumer technology. "ClearBlade enables this out-of-the-box experience," he said.

WINNER: Behavior-Based Security Verification Without Passwords: Verifyoo

Tel Aviv, Israel-based Verifyoo takes the password out of security with a unique take on user verification. Instead, the software, when run on a mobile device, lets users write alphabetically with their fingers on the screen to train the software in their writing style, and then uses that training to recognize the user by asking them to write random characters every time the device is used. The pattern is stored on a cloud and works on any device, unlike biometrics, which is device-dependent.

Verifyoo CEO Roy Dalal said at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit that selfie-based, photo-based, and biometric login solutions can all be defeated. With Verifyoo, he said, there are "no passwords and no hassles."

WINNER: Endpoint-Based Phishing Prevention: Pixm

New York-based Pixm has developed what it calls the first endpoint-based phishing prevention technology that shuts down phishing attacks in real time, including attacks on applications protected by two-factor authentication. When the Pixm application is running on a device, and the user runs an application, Pixm can sense if the application log-in page is authentic or not. If not, it does not let the user log in, thereby preventing the theft of user credentials.

Arun Buduri, co-founder and president of Pixm, told Ingram Micro Cloud Summit attendees that Pixm's technology was recently featured at the RSA conference as one of the top 50 exciting security companies.

"We are here to stop phishing attacks for good," he said.