Twenty-Six Local Startups Advance to the Final Round of the Startup Challenge Monterey Bay 2021

Twenty-Six Local Startups Advance to the Final Round

PRESS RELEASE – April 9, 2021

Twenty-six innovative and exciting new businesses have been selected today to be this year’s finalists in the 2021 Startup Challenge Monterey Bay.

The following companies from Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties have been selected to move onto the Final Round:

The ten finalists in the Venture division (businesses intending to scale and provide venture investor-level returns) are:

AGXactly Crop Insights, Blacksite Solutions, Inc., Campus Buddy, Segura Enterprise, Shreddit LLC, The Local Thrive, Trailblazer, Urbanicfarm, StressFree TC, LLC, and Vission by Stratus Media Group                                                  

The eight finalists in the Main Street division (small businesses and sole proprietorships) are AADE Gaming, Agape Brands Corp., Paradox Point, Red Engine Rides, Saucy Otter Brewing Co. Social Monterey, Solar Optimisation Labs aka Dirty Solar, and XterminatriX LLC

The four finalists in the Social Venture division (for profit and not-for-profit businesses with a significant social mission) are Connections, Seeds4STEM, Plus World, and Rework Co-Op 

The four finalists in the Student division (students in middle school through graduate school) are Hempowered, Ironwood Design Studio, Rainberry Beauty and The Sweat Lodge 

This year’s Startup Challenge Qualifying Round was held online. Applicants submitted a 5-minute pitch video that was reviewed by a panel of judges on April 9th. The judges selected the finalists and provided feedback to the businesses.

The Startup Challenge will provide workshops, mentors, and other resources to the 26 finalists to prepare the businesses to compete in the Final Round competition on May 7th.  

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is hosted by the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED) at Cal State Monterey Bay.  The iiED, a leading entrepreneurship center in California, promotes entrepreneurship and fosters the development of a diverse and dynamic entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Monterey Bay region. Each year the iiED challenges and supports entrepreneurs with the Startup Hackathon, Startup Weekend, Startup Challenge, and Startup Investment & Community Capital Expo. The iiED also supports startups through the Startup Launchpad business incubator program for regional entrepreneurs.

For more information regarding the Startup Challenge, visit

You might also like

Leave a Reply