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Verizon gives three innovative start-ups $1 million dollars each to advance their world-changing ideas
[December 09, 2015]

Verizon gives three innovative start-ups $1 million dollars each to advance their world-changing ideas

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Three innovative start-ups with world-changing potential were named $1 million winners of the 2015 Powerful Answers Award contest, a year-long global challenge to discover and help bring to market technologies that show promise for addressing some of the world's greatest challenges in the emergency response, transportation and Internet of Things categories. The winners were announced today during a live event in San Francisco hosted by Chris Hardwick.

Verizon awarded a total of $6 million to twelve winners. A top prize of $1 million was up for grabs in each category of the Powerful Answers Award contest, with $500,000 and $250,000 prizes awarded to one first runner-up and two second runners-up in each category.

"The last ten months have been an incredible journey for all twelve of these companies and it has been truly inspiring for our team to learn so much about their technologies and potential for solving real-world issues," said John Doherty, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Verizon Ventures. "There's a lot of excitement around these ideas and we are looking forward to working with each of the winners to help make their ideas a reality."

All 2015 award winners are invited to the Powerful Answers Accelerator program at BootUp Academy. This program is designed to strategically accelerate companies' growth through intensive workshops and knowledge exchange sessions that provide best practices in business planning, product development, UX/UI design, global go-to-market strategies, communications, financing and growth hacking. 

Learn more about the Powerful Answers Award>

2015 Powerful Answers Award winners by category:

Emergency Response

$1,000,000 winner

Bounce Imaging - Boston, MA
Bounce Imaging provides first responders with cutting-edge technologies that allow them to see what lies ahead in those dangerous environments so they can make decisions that are safer for them and for the civilians they seek to serve and protect. A user can toss low-cost, throwable omnidirectional cameras into a room, tunnel, attic, or other potentially-hazardous area and get back real-time - 360-degree video and sensor data about what is happening inside.

$500,000 first runner-up

EmergenSee® - Malvern, PA

EmergenSee's technology turns smartphones into a personal security system that instantly streams live video, audio, GPS location and movements to pre-selected contacts or EmergenSee's professional responders when threatening and potentially dangerous situations are encountered.

$250,000 second runners-up

Disaster Mesh - San Francisco, CA
Disaster Mesh provides an air-deployable, Wi-Fi mesh network to disaster zones. The Disaster Mesh Ephemeral Physical Network uses small devices, or "Seeds," that serve as the network's nodes, spread over the disaster area.

Lifeguard Drone - Plano, TX
Lifeguard Drone combines an unmanned aerial vehicle, communication modules and a collapsible floatation device to save swimmers in distress.

Internet of Things

$1,000,000 winner

Zizmos Technology - Palo Alto, CA
Zizmos provides earthquake early warning and high-resolution earthquake hazard maps for urban areas.  The company is building a novel sensor network with mobile technology and cloud computing.

$500,000 first runner-up

CityTaps - lle-de-France
CityTaps has developed water metering service that enables the urban poor to micro-pay for water from their local utility, at any time with any mobile phone. No smartphones or apps are needed.

$250,000 second runners-up

Owlet - Provo, UT
The Owlet Baby Monitor is a monitor that uses hospital technology — pulse oximetry — to alert parents if their baby stops breathing.

Smart Barn - Kettering, OH
The Smart Barn app and wireless sensors allow farmers to obtain, store, and track data seamlessly.


$1,000,000 winner

Pogo - Seattle, WA
Pogo is building communities and giving parents the information they need to share rides. Pogo helps users streamline existing carpools and discover new carpool connections across trusted groups and guarantees paid rides as a back up.

$500,000 first runner-up

iHelmet - Kadawatha, Sri Lanka
iHelmet is an intelligent motorcycle helmet that is capable of providing safety, convenience and situational awareness features found in high-end automobiles, to motorcyclists.

$250,000 second runners-up

i4drive - Tel Aviv, Israel
i4drive enhances driver safety and driving experience by turning the smartphone from a distraction into a powerful driver assistant.

Swiftmile - San Mateo, CA
Swiftmile built the world's first Light Electric Vehicle sharing system where users can check out/in e-bikes or e-scooters using the SwiftmApp at any Swiftmile charging station.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) employs a diverse workforce of 177,900 and generated more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with 110.8 million retail connections nationwide. Headquartered in New York, Verizon also provides communications and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. For more information, visit

VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts and other information are available at Verizon's online News Center at News releases are also available through an RSS feed. To subscribe, visit

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SOURCE Verizon

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