Meet Cohort Nine

Highway1’s next batch of startups gets going

Day one: for the very first time, Highway1’s ninth cohort sat down together under the same roof to take their first sip from the firehose of knowledge, which will be running more or less constantly for the next four months. Let’s meet our startups:

  • HydroVirga lets users analyze their water for chemicals and impurities with the same technology that powers a hospital MRI.
  • Mirada’s microfluidics system is the key to a low-cost, high-performance, long-lasting LiDAR sensor that brings autonomous cars one step closer to reality.
  • Orbityl is helping insomniacs take their night back with smart earplugs that monitor brain activity for personalized sleep coaching that gets results.
  • Redox North presents a graphene-based supercapacitor for quick-charging, long-lived energy storage.

Cohort Nine jumped in with both feet, absorbing a welcome lecture, facilities tour, and the first of many pitch practices. Seeing everyone’s pitch was enlightening, notes Orbityl CEO Sean Kaiser: “I did a bit of research online ahead of time, but it was good to hear it from them.” Orbityl CTO Kristina Pearkes is looking forward to getting her hands dirty in the electrical engineering lab, as the equipment is a big step up from their mostly-eBay-derived setup back home. She’s also excited about the other teams in the building. “Coming in at this stage,” she says, “it’s interesting to see where we’ll hopefully be in a few months’ time.”

The work has already begun: teams are having meetings, trading pitching tips, and testing electrode references. It’s only the first day, people!