Introducing Free Ventures’ Batch X

This article is part of the FreeV Spotlight. Subscribe for monthly highlights of our portfolio and Berkeley startup activity!

Our batch program has always been focused on helping ambitious entrepreneurs at Cal who juggle a rigorous academic environment with the challenges of growing a company. We cater our program to help founders regardless of background — from liberal arts majors to mechanical engineering PhDs.

The variety and range of innovative companies that apply to our program continue to amaze us, and Batch X was no exception. Companies that applied were solving problems in spaces including fitness, nutrition, media, automotive, and many more. We also saw a rise in companies who were creating marketplaces across different industries. Each applicant presented a clear and well-thought out idea, and it was extremely difficult narrowing our batch to six outstanding companies.

Free Ventures Internal Team

Batch X

Here is a short introduction for each of our companies in Batch X:

RoBhat Labs: Using machine learning techniques and cryptography to stop the spread of misinformation. Signed contract with the DNC and frequently feature on MSNBC, Wired, and other outlets. Currently focused on making their product production-ready and doing demos to secure paying clients for the November 2018 elections. Read more in this feature on Wired.
Gainful: Personalized protein powder, delivered directly to your doorstep. Since launch 8 months ago, Gainful has been growing revenue by 80% month over month. They did over $55K in revenue in March, have over 1200 active subscribers, and are profitable on each customer’s first purchase. Recently completed YC’s Winter ’18 Batch and is finalizing a target $1M seed round. Learn more in this recent article.
MadTech Labs: Developing tertiary hybrid power trains as B2B products to disrupt the transportation market. Two-person founding team with deep industry expertise comprised of a PhD in mechanical engineering and an undergraduate specializing in customer development. To date, they have validated the technology in the lab, and are seeking to scale with customers this year and raise a small seed round.
Spotlight: Spotlight is a social video app where K-pop fans create and share fun music videos. Users select from a library of songs and record themselves lip-syncing and dancing. They can also add special effects such as augmented reality face stickers. They currently have >100k users (70k MAU) to date with strong engagement metrics, and currently raising a seed round.
YearBook: A platform seeking to revolutionize the way photos are shared between teachers and parents during early childhood development. YearBook optimizes efficiency by decreasing the distribution efforts required on the teacher’s part while providing an aesthetically pleasing, easy to use platform for parents to view photos of their beloved. Signed initial contracts with customers with intended launch date within the next few months.
Stealth Mode Startup: Under NDA due to contract with a distributor, this company is working to replace physical ownership with global access while helping consumers realize more utility out of the cost of everyday items. Team of serial founders and hackers with experience at leading companies such as Affirm, Google, Expo and Uber.

If you’d like to personally get in touch with any of our companies, feel free to reach out to me at pratik@freeventures.org and I can help set up an introduction.

Visit the Free Ventures website to learn more about our current and past batches, and subscribe to FreeV Spotlight for monthly updates and articles about our amazing founders!

The FreeV Spotlight and this article were written and edited by Pratik Bhat, from the FreeV Internal Team.