Weekly Refresh: MassChallenge’s Finalists and Hypergiant’s Algae Farm

by Nona Tepper
September 23, 2019
Austin weekly refresh
image via shutterstock

Smarter Sorting raised $17 million to stop animal testing and help retailers recycle their damaged goods. The Austin firm extracts consumer products’ chemical data and uses machine learning to identify disposal options and potential environmental impact. From there, Smarter Sorting suggests the best way to sustainably dispose of unused, expired or returned goods. It hopes cosmetics manufacturers will eventually use its tools to input the synthetic makeup of their products and their findings on chemicals’ effects, eliminating the need to re-test on animals. [Built In Austin]

MassChallenge Texas named the 14 finalists still competing in its startup accelerator, all of which will face off in a pitch-off to win up to $500,000. Women founded at least half of the young companies left in the game, with firms ranging from a marketplace for short-term commercial rental space to mobile tech that helps beef producers control their cattle. MassChallenge will announce its winner on October 17. [Built In Austin]

Hypergiant Industries unveiled a prototype for small, office-friendly algae factories this week. The Austin firm’s Eos Bioreactor uses artificial intelligence to create optimal growing conditions for algae, in turn helping companies cut carbon emissions. According to founder Ben Lamm, use cases include recycling the air in offices, where carbon levels can run surprisingly high. [Built In Austin]

Elligo Health Research will offer clinical research care to patients visiting medical centers in Walmarts across Canada. The Austin-based healthcare research organization partnered this week with Jack Nathan Health, which operates more than 70 independent clinics in big box stores. Elligo will provide infrastructure and technology to educate Walmart staff about clinical research care opportunities, as well as help connect patients with drug development firms. [BusinessWire]

William Hurley, a serial entrepreneur who goes by whurley, has been named the first ambassador for the foundation for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, commonly known as CERN. In this role, whurley — whose latest venture includes founding quantum computing startup Strangeworks — will promote awareness of the Swiss institution’s operation of the largest particle collider in the world. [Austin Business Journal]

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