MA Startups

Lowell-based Nonspec and Boston-based PlenOptika are on their way to Delhi, India for a chance to pitch for $1.5 million in equity-funding.

The two startups were among five selected from a batch of 16 finalists in the Boston round of the inaugural Smart Fifty Competition to get the prestigious opportunity.

Meet the nine Massachusetts companies that competed in Smart Fifty

The purpose of the competition is to identify 50 start-up companies from around the globe that are addressing India’s biggest socio-economic needs in the areas of agriculture, living, learning, health, money and sustainability.

The Brandeis business school, TiE Boston and the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park in association with the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology are co-sponsoring the competition.

“This competition is one-of-a-kind – and first-of-its-time,” Praveen Tailam, president of TiE Boston, said in a statement. “We are positive we will see more collaborations between countries, universities and entrepreneurs that will make the world a better place.”

“The teams who presented last week represent the fantastic entrepreneurial ecosystem we have here in the U.S. and it was a pleasure to watch them pitch their solutions in the context of the Indian market,” Debarshi Nandy, associate professor and MSF program director at Brandeis International Business School, said in a statement.

Nonspec is committed to providing affordable, adjustable prosthetic limb systems to all amputees. PlenOptika responds to the problem of low vision suffered by more than a billion people worldwide. The company’s QuickSee device enables accurate autorefraction, which helps doctors prescribe people with the correct glasses or contact lenses, anywhere at the touch of a button.

The other three winners were San Francisco-based Girls Health Champions, Sukriti and Vermont-based Village Industrial Power.


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