Airntell Aerospace, which is developing a drone service to support search and rescue operations, claimed the $1,500 first prize at the Genesis Pitch & Pick competition on Tuesday.
Founded by CEO Mateus Saar, Airntell uses drone technology for offshore search and rescue to help find missing people faster, more reliably, and at a fraction of the cost of current techniques. The company is developing its own fixed-wing drone that can speed up response times.
Saar was chosen as the top pitcher in a field of eight companies that had just completed the Evolution Program, the eight-week program at Genesis for idea-stage or early-revenue companies. We described the full list of companies in a post last week.
The $750 runner-up prize went to Take Care, which is developing an app to help with the care of geriatrics. The $250 Community Choice award was presented to The Fish Market, which is developing an app to connect fishers with consumers.
Saar told his online audience that current ocean-based search and rescue missions use helicopters, which cost $30,000 an hour to operate and take 60 to 90 minutes to launch. Airntell is designing a fixed-wing drone that can launch immediately and uses computer vision to scan terrain. Once it locates a missing person, it can alert rescuers, hover over the subject and even drop supplies to them.
The judges all wanted to know whether the drone could operate in inclement weather, and Saar replied it could operate in all forms of precipitation and in winds up to 80 kilometers per hour.
Founded by Evan Foote, Christopher Lewis and Jason McCarthy, Take Care is developing an app that would provide healthcare professionals, carers and families with warning signs about the declining health of older people. There are competing products on the market, said Foote, but they are mainly concerned with such things as scheduling and billing. The company has already formed a partnership with Eastern Health, the largest health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Fish Market’s Founder Mirella de Oliveira Leis said her company aims to connect fishers to local consumers to support food sovereignty and fisheries sustainability. Her app – which launched Tuesday – aims to increase access to locally caught, sustainably harvested fish and seafood while providing additional economic opportunities to local fishers. Using the app, consumers and fishers can link up and shorten the strands of the fisheries supply chains.