Resale App, IVF Tech Company Win 2023 Spring Crossroads Pitch Competition: Everewear wins pre-seed, ReproHealth Technologies wins seed division
The Mill, Bloomington’s nonprofit center for entrepreneurship, today announced the winners of the Spring 2023 Crossroads Pitch Competition. Indianapolis company Everewear won the pre-seed competition for its AI-powered platform for resale clothing. Indianapolis-based ReproHealth Technologies, the winner of the seed competition, uses biomedical engineering and embryology to improve in vitro fertilization (IVF). Everewear will receive a $10,000 investment from Flywheel Fund. ReproHealth Technologies will receive a $20,000 investment.
“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to accept the Crossroads pre-seed award,” said Everewear founder Anna Dorris. “The support from The Mill and Flywheel Fund for Indiana startups has been incredible to witness, and I am so glad to now be a part of the ecosystem. The cash prize allows for Everewear to further our pre-seed raise and gets us one step closer to moving sustainable fashion forward. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry, and we will not be able to reach circularity until we solve the discoverability problem that is inherent with secondhand clothes. I am very grateful to have Crossroads’ support in our mission.”
Everewear addresses a core problem in the secondhand clothing market: each item has a quantity of one, and there are 200 million potentially unique items. Everewear’s B2B2C platform increases discoverability by using technologies uncommon in the market. API pulls inventory from other existing resale sites, and artificial intelligence matches users with items relevant to their style, size, and budget efficiently. Everewear has no listing fees, no inventory, and no fulfillment. It earns revenue by taking a percentage of each sale. CEO Dorris says her platform’s technology decreases customer shopping time by 60% and increases conversion by 25%.
In her winning pitch, Dorris noted that the resale market is expected to grow 16 times faster than the broader retail market, reaching 82 billion dollars in total addressable market by 2026. In college Dorris ran a paid pilot and currently has over 600 customers on a wait list. An IU grad with a degree in finance, Dorris has raised $45,000 to date and is currently raising pre-seed funds to build a custom website and API.
The pre-seed finals were judged by Doug Applegate, Associate Director of Incubator at Purdue Research Foundation; David Bolling, Executive Director of Launch Fishers and the Indiana IoT Lab; Erik Coyne, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington; Titi Obasanya, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Elevate Ventures; and Audrey Wessel, attorney at Gutwein Law.
Seed winner ReproHealth Technologies solves technical problems in in vitro fertilization (IVF) that have high human and business costs. Founded by a human fertility doctor and embryologist, a biomedical engineer, and a large animal reproductive veterinarian, ReproHealth creates devices to improve assisted reproductive technology in veterinary and human medicine and holds nonprovisional patents in the US and Brazil.
In cow IVF, Donahue explained in his winning pitch, less than 25% of eggs produce a viable embryo. This inefficiency creates a loss of over $1.2 billion across the industry. In response, ReproHealth Technologies has created the world’s first bovine intravaginal embryo culture device, which founder and CEO Dr. James Donahue says will change cattle production, a $66 billion industry.
“The team at ReproHealth Technologies is proud to have been selected as winners of the Crossroads competition,” said Donahue. “We are honored to be part of a diverse group of startup companies, all bringing novel innovation to the state of Indiana. We are especially happy that The Mill will be part of our company going forward with its investment.”
ReproHealth has also created a specialized embryo culture dish that improves human IVF. Donahue noted that while incubator technology has changed, culture media hasn’t, resulting in significant financial loss and emotional impact when IVF fails. Donahue estimates the total addressable market for his culture dish at $23 billion.
The seed finals were judged by Amanda Findlay, Managing Director and Acceleration Lead at MatchBOX Coworking Studio; Jane Martin, Village Ventures, US VP, retired venture capitalist; Jacob Schpok, Partner, Elevate Ventures; Roger Shuman Director of Engagement at TechPoint; and Angie Stocklin, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at Purdue University.
“We had a record number of applicants to Crossroads this spring,” said Andy Lehman, Head of Accelerator Programming, who noted that 55 startups from 17 different cities applied. “Almost 40% of those startups have at BIPOC founders or at least one woman founder,” Lehman added. “This kind of diversity is exactly what our ecosystem needs to thrive. It’s an honor to support all the founders and connect them to opportunity.”
The two winning startups also receive priority to pitch at Elevate Ventures’ Nexus Regional Pitch Competition, where they could win an additional $20,000 or $80,000 investment.
Crossroads Pitch Competition is open to any Indiana-based startup with less than $250,000 in annual recurring revenue. A panel of over 50 entrepreneurs, investors, and business experts selected four finalists for each of the two tracks. The other pre-seed finalists were Bar Bands (out of Carmel, pitched by Andrew Dimond); Dynamic House (Dyer, Eva Rivera); and Soloist (Bloomington, Parker Busick). The other seed finalists were Bilingual Bridges (Indianapolis, Kelly Minks); DiversiFind (Indianapolis, Lesley Crane); and Practical Products (Bloomington, Aaron Farrer).
Visit https://www.crossroadspitch.com/ to learn more about the competition or to download the Spring 2023 Crossroads Lookbook of all startup competitors.
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