Six Startups Present Their Pitches At CED-Led GRO Incubator Demo Day

The startups and their coaches at the end of last night's Demo Day for CED's GRO Incubator, held at the Red Hat Tower in downtown Raleigh. (Photo: Jackie Sizing)

Six startups presented their company pitches last night to the Triangle entrepreneurial community as part of the Council of Entrepreneurial Development’s (CED) GRO Incubator Demo Day, taking place at the Red Hat Tower in downtown Raleigh. The event was sponsored by Hutchison PLLC and Red Hat. 

CED’s GRO Incubator is a biannual 12-week accelerator program for founders of early-stage startups to learn from weekly classes and a network of industry professionals to help launch their ventures. This year’s group of startups—all but one are based in the Triangle—is the sixth cohort to come out of the GRO Incubator. 

Preet Mankad, CED’s Startup Programs Associate, introduced this year’s Demo Day by highlighting the growth that CED has seen in these early-stage companies. 

“I have a lot of good memories to reflect on, but two stand out in particular,” Mankad said. “We have seen some founders come in with uncertainty from the beginning to gaining more clarity as they went through the program. We’ve seen them put in all of this effort and preparation into their pitch for Demo Day and understand how to tell a compelling story, and I’m really proud to share their hard work.”

The six startups that pitched at Demo Day are listed below, in order of presentation:

  1. Carpool.School (based in Cary) streamlines busy family schedules to simplify the process of connecting families who carpool to and from school. Inspired by his own experiences spending two hours everyday to transport his kids from school, Founder and CEO Krishna Kamath believes that with the support from school administrations, this platform can make a real and sustainable difference in their communities. 
  2. DiffyQ (based in Durham) is a prescriptive analytics platform that accelerates learning outcomes with data-driven insights. Co-Founders Susan Mahlburg and Jyostna Kamat designed the easy-to-use platform to save K-12 teachers time to facilitate their students’ individualized learning needs. (We previously featured DiffyQ last month.)
  3. EMF Disturbance Monitors (based in Cary) is a new cardiac diagnostic platform—co-founded by Dr. Paul Browne and Les Hamashima—that creates a less expensive, easier and faster analysis for people potentially suffering from heart disease. 
  4. Growterra (based in Charlotte) is an agtech software platform aimed at driving the digital transformation of indoor farming. Co-Founders Hugh Chin and Connor Kneply hope to take agriculture out of its outdated present into a digital future that will make farming more efficient and sustainable for not only the farm but also for the farmer. 
  5. Kimia Bazaar (based in Raleigh) is an e-commerce platform co-founded by Hossein Maleki and Amir Mirzanejad to distribute specialty chemicals to scientists and researchers in academia and industry. 
  6. TeachBase (based in Durham) is an online lesson planning application founded by Claire Benton, a high school math teacher in Durham. Drawing on her experiences in having to figure out how to effectively plan lessons on her own through trial and error, she created a platform that allows teachers to easily manage their tasks and plan lessons. 

The seventh startup that was a part of the GRO Incubator’s sixth cohort but didn’t get to present at Demo Day is Cary-based Spidernow, a search engine optimization (SEO) “Spider Tool” that captures vital website data to perform site audits in real time, getting results quickly. 

Following the presentations, the founders were able to engage with entrepreneurs, coaches and fellow members of the entrepreneurial community to bring their journey with GRO to an end. 

Said Susan Mahlburg of DiffyQ: “The greatest part of the incubator was the mentorship throughout the program. We had an individual coach but we were also able to interface with the other coaches as well as industry experts, which allowed us to accelerate some of our processes faster than if we weren’t engaged in such a tight-knit community.”

About Kaitlyn Dang 50 Articles
Kaitlyn is a reporter covering tech startups and entrepreneurs. Before starting at GrepBeat, she graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in media and journalism in May 2023. She has written for The Daily Tar Heel. In her spare time, she likes going to concerts and going on nature walks.