RoboBusiness Pitchfire: Meet the 4 competing startups



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The Pitchfire Startup Competitors has been an opening-day spotlight for years now at RoboBusiness, which runs Oct. 18-19 in Santa Clara, Calif. Pitchfire, which occurs on Oct. 18 from 4:15-5 PM on the Santa Clara Conference Heart, is a must-attend occasion for traders, robotics entrepreneurs and innovation leaders alike. Attendees get a primary glimpse at cutting-edge applied sciences from robotics’ most enjoyable rising firms, and the chance to forge new business partnerships.

This 12 months, 4 robotics startups will compete for the $5,000 first-place prize. Every startup will get 5 minutes to explain their firm’s resolution, enterprise mannequin, worth proposition and extra. After all of the contestants have pitched, Pitchfire judges will evaluate notes, come to a consensus, and announce a winner primarily based on who they consider to be finest primed for business success.

RoboBusiness is the main occasion targeted on creating business robots. There will probably be 60-plus audio system, 60-plus exhibitors and demos on the expo flooring, networking receptions and extra. RoboBusiness is co-located with the Subject Robotics Engineering Discussion board, an occasion targeted on the best way to efficiently develop robots that function in wide-ranging, out of doors, dynamic environments. Additionally co-located with RoboBusiness is DeviceTalks West, the premier business occasion for medical know-how professionals, at the moment in its ninth 12 months. Each occasions appeal to engineering and enterprise professionals from a broad vary of healthcare and medical know-how backgrounds.

Corporations which have beforehand competed in Pitchfire embrace Tatum Robotics, Southie Autonomy, Sadako Applied sciences, Autonomous Marine Techniques, inVia Robotics, Catalina Well being, Cubit, Rokid, RightHand Robotics, Gentle Robotics and Knightscope.

Here’s a take a look at this 12 months’s contributors:

Date Based: September 21, 2021
Location: Seattle, Wash.
No. of workers: 2
Funding up to now: $0
Web site:

AIVOT gives software program for robots to carry out numerous open-ended duties in unstructured settings. AIVOT learns new expertise by following spoken directions and observing human demos. The self-learning agent improves expertise with suggestions and expertise and makes use of imaginative and prescient to carry out the duties. The tip-to-end software program stack will be deployed on any third-party {hardware} (robotic arms, AMRs, and humanoid type components).

Date Based: January 30, 2023
Location: Seattle, Wash.
No. of workers: 4
Funding up to now: $200,000
Web site:

Glidance is creating a self-guided mobility help, known as Glide, for individuals with sight loss. Glide helps an individual with sight loss get round with ease and confidence by guiding them to the place they need to go utilizing superior autonomous guiding applied sciences and a novel mechanical design selling a way of company and independence. Glide additionally makes use of haptic and audio suggestions to assist present a protected strolling expertise for its customers.

Date Based: March 14, 2023
Location: Detroit, Michigan
No. of workers: 3
Funding up to now: $150,000
Web site:

Staxel automates micro-fulfillment utilizing robots and synthetic intelligence, optimizing stock administration and fleet operations. Staxel makes use of a novel autonomous cellular robotic design that may transfer alongside flooring, vertically and between cabinets. Staxel mentioned it would quickly launch a totally automated darkstore with a 10x increase in operational effectivity.

TRIC Robotics
Date Based: June 17, 2017
Location: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
No. of workers: 10
Funding up to now: $802,000
Web site:

TRIC Robotics helps farmers management pests and illness utilizing ultraviolet gentle as a substitute for chemical pesticides. Ultraviolet gentle is a resistance and chemical free resolution that’s extra sustainable and efficient than chemical substances. The corporate’s resolution is a tractor-scale robotic that carries UV lights up and down the rows as a pest management service that replaces their current pest management prices.

Meet the Judges

The panel of judges will embrace:

Sanjay Aggarwal: Enterprise Accomplice, F-Prime Capital

Aggarwal is a Enterprise Accomplice targeted on frontier know-how funding alternatives. Previous to becoming a member of F-Prime Capital, he was CEO of Unicel Applied sciences, an India-focused cellular messaging firm. Aggarwal scaled Unicel to turn out to be a frontrunner within the Indian market and efficiently exited the enterprise to Karix Cell.

Earlier in his profession, he labored at Devonshire Traders (the personal fairness group of Constancy Investments), McKinsey and Firm in its U.S. and India workplaces, and at Berkeley Course of Management (acquired by Moog Inc), the place he constructed machine automation programs. Aggarwal holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan College of Administration.

Mike Oitzman, Editor, Robotics, WTWH Media

Mike Oitzman is Editor of WTWH’s Robotics Group and founding father of the Cell Robotic Information. Oitzman is a robotics business veteran with 25-plus years of expertise at numerous high-tech firms within the roles of selling, gross sales and product administration.




Daniel Theobald, Chairman & Founder, Vecna Robotics

Daniel Theobald is the Chairman and founding father of Vecna Robotics, a versatile, clever materials dealing with automation firm.  Daniel has many years of expertise main analysis scientists and groups of engineers in creating cutting-edge know-how. He has 67 issued patents and greater than 30 patents pending.

Daniel has been on the forefront of robotics for greater than 20 years, working intently with DARPA, DOD, NASA, NIH, USDA and lots of others to advance using robots and AI software program to enhance provide chain automation. Along with founding Vecna Robotics, Daniel additionally co-founded MassRobotics, a non-profit devoted to the worldwide development of the robotics business and Twisted Fields, an natural analysis farm devoted to the development of automation in agriculture to permit humanity to farm sustainably—as nature supposed—whereas nonetheless assembly the calls for of recent agriculture. Daniel is devoted to the concept that know-how can be utilized to empower individuals worldwide to stay extra fulfilling lives.

Oliver Mitchell, Accomplice, ff Enterprise Capital
Oliver Mitchell is a associate at ff Enterprise Capital. Oliver first joined ff VC in 2014 as a Restricted Accomplice, after which in 2018 as a Enterprise Accomplice. Right now, he takes a number one position on the funding staff in increasing the portfolio’s deep tech place with holdings in robotics, drones, synthetic intelligence, and industrial automation applied sciences.

Oliver additionally works with ffVC’s investor relations in forging strategic relationships for our restricted companions and company enterprise teams. As well as, he serves on the boards of Civ Robotics, Cambrian Intelligence, AppBind, Storyfit, and Cardflight.


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