LAUNCH Winners Announced at 2017 Demo Day


LAUNCH, the three-month startup accelerator run by the University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business, culminated its nineteenth year last week with 19 startup pitches before a panel of judges. On Demo Day (April 27), the startups competed to win the grand prize of $25,000 — and catch the eye of investors.

LAUNCH is an accelerator strictly for startups in the UC system. To enter, at least one founder must be a current student, faculty, staff, or alumnus of one of the nine UC campuses. Chosen teams are paired with serial-entrepreneur mentors and attend rigorous “bootcamp” sessions.

Oishii Farms, a startup using technology from Japan to grow fresh produce year-round no matter the location, won the $25,000 grand prize at this year’s LAUNCH Demo Day. Runner up Mekonos, a biomedical nanorobotics startup, won $15,000. The audience choice award, which was determined by audience members who downloaded and voted through the LAUNCH app, went to Pop Oats, a healthy snack startup. And Kokko, a startup that helps people make color choices while shopping, won the Plug and Play Award, guaranteeing them a spot in the Plug and Play accelerator.

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