The 3rd annual Flywheel Investment Conference in downtown Wenatchee awarded $185,000 to tech start-ups April 18. Hosted by GWATA – North Central Washington’s technology alliance, the event included a six-company competition, with each presenting to a panel of investors.
The big prize – over $100,000 – went to Beta Hatch, a biotechnology company specializing in insect production for animal feed and fertilizer. CEO Virginia Emery founded the company in Seattle but is in the process of opening up their new headquarters in Cashmere. Emery said they’re working to industrialize insect production for animal feed to create more sustainable and predictable nutrients for poultry and aquaculture.
As part of the competition, the audience votes on their favorite and that $5,000 award also went to Beta Hatch. In a surprise move, the local angel investors also awarded $50,000 to Prescryptive Health, a blockchain company working to reduce the cost of medications through a cloud-based commerce platform.
Other ideas by start-ups at the conference included a digital pathology platform for laboratories, a sustainable home construction system and advanced helicopter hoist equipment.
Nearly 40 tech start-ups across the state applied for the Flywheel competition.