An international affair: 10 startups from around the globe to pitch at Founder Showcase

February 8, 2021


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Startups hailing from 10 different cities across three continents will pitch at the upcoming Founder Showcase, the flagship quarterly startup competition from Founder Institute.

The event, which began 12 years ago in Silicon Valley, features presentations from leading figures from the global startup ecosystem and offers pre-seed technology companies with less than $250,000 USD in funding the opportunity to pitch to a panel of prominent investors.

Six countries will be represented at the event which takes place on February 10, including the United States, Canada, Palestine, China, Kenya, and Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Those interested in attending the online event can register on Founder Institute’s website.

Startups selected for the event include:


PaintJet (USA)

PaintJet is a robotic service provider that helps building owners and property managers lower the cost to paint large, commercial buildings. Their technology is portable and can adapt to the specifications of commercial painting projects for customers around the US. The company is based in Nashville, Tennessee (U.S.) and is led by CEO Nick Hegeman.




iFunza (Kenya)

iFunza is a platform bringing together parents, teachers and administrators to improve education outcomes. Educators can communicate with parents and students via an easy-to-use app, empowering them to take charge of their classrooms and share valuable information and lessons with parents, so the child’s education can better continue at home. It also allows a space to showcase a student’s learnings by adding photos and videos to their own digital portfolios. The company is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is led by co-founder Caroline Ndiangui.



Fanalyze (USA)

Fanalyze is a mobile app that helps fantasy sports players and sports bettors speed up research while providing aggregated data to help with winning decisions. Using search, the app allows fans to find information about player performance as well as the option to make side by side comparisons between players or teams. The company is based in Sacramento, California (U.S.) and is led by co-founder and CEO Juan Juan.




AGXactly (Canada) 

AGXactly is an agriculture informatics SaaS provider that helps farmers of high-value crops reduce crop losses and maximize every dollar per acre. The company leverages aerial imaging, proprietary algorithms and a simple customer user interface to help their customers reduce crop losses by 33%, according to their website. The startup is based in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and is led by founder and CEO Russell Cole.




Wearme (China, USA) 


Wearme is a community and marketplace that helps small and medium-sized smart wearable developers to increase their sales. The company connects every part of the process from product development to sales and marketing by working with wearable developers to match them with reliable manufacturers to build, vetted influencers to sell, and customers to buy their products. The company is based in Shanghai, China and Oakland, California and is led by founder and CEO Matt Belachew.




Humaxa (USA)

Humaxa offers its customers an employee retention platform complete with an AI Assistant that predicts and prevents their best employees from leaving. The assistant, called “Max,” is an ad-on for Slack and Microsoft Teams that can ask for feedback on employee happiness but also offer solutions based on that feedback. The company is based in Cameron Park, California (U.S.) and is led by co-founder and CEO Carolyn Peer.




Flowless (Palestine)

Flowless provides smart solutions to help utility companies enhance water supply efficiency, utilizing emerging technologies for automated faults detection and process optimization. According to its website, the system leverages IoT devices to collect real-time data about the water network, analyzing the data using artificial intelligence to interpret insights to help utility companies detect water leaks and health risks. The company is based in Rawabi, Palestine and is led by co-founder and CEO Baker Bozeyeh.




JITbase (Canada)

JITbase is a SaaS company that helps manufacturers to optimize interactions between humans and machines. The company builds on basic CNC machine monitoring by using algorithms to show machinists on the shop floor where to go and when, according to their website. The startup is based in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) and is led by founder and CEO Frederic Scherer.




Bloom Standard (Hong Kong, SAR)

Bloom Standard is deploying the first autonomous ultrasound imaging tech to democratize access to cardiac and COVID-19 screening for resource-limited settings. Utilizing scalable AI technology, Bloom Standard helps to combat poor access to pediatric heart and lung imaging – for every child, but particularly the medically fragile, including heart defects, pneumonia or respiratory conditions. The company is based in Hong Kong, SAR and is led by co-founder Annamarie Saarinen.




ZipLunch (Canada)

ZipLunch is a marketplace that helps busy professionals at home or at the office save valuable time and money by simplifying meal ordering from their favorite restaurants. The app offers users 10-15 menu items daily and says it differentiates itself from competitors by not charging delivery/service fees to its customers while also charging restaurants lower commissions for products sold on the platform. The company is based in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and is led by founder and CEO Majdi Alnabih.




The 19th Global Founder Showcase will also feature renowned angel investor Jason Calacanis as the Keynote Speaker. Calacanis was an early investor in Uber and is also host of the popular This Week in Startups podcast.

The event will be attended by hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, media, and executives, according to a Founder Institute statement.

According to the accelerator, companies who’ve taken the stage to pitch at Founder Showcase have gone on to raise over $1.5 billion in venture capital funding collectively, and past winners include successful startups like Udemy and Thumbtack. In 2011, The New York Times likened the event to “American Idol” for startups.

Founder Institute is the world’s largest early-stage startup accelerator. They work across the globe with chapters in over 200 cities and have over 4,500 portfolio companies with an estimated portfolio value of $30 billion, according to their website. The accelerator was founded in 2009 by Adeo Ressi and Jonathan Greechan.


Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.


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