Foundry Cup is a challenge competition and forum for bringing together people, ideas and technology to address our nation’s most pressing issues. In June 2015, the demo day style competition, showcased the finalists’ innovative technologies used to detect and treat PTSD.
Recently, we caught up with the winners of Foundry Cup 2015 to see what they’ve been up to since this summer.
First place winner, Qntfy, who brings powerful data analysis to health care professionals, has grown their team from two employees at the the time of the competition to six employees now. Founder Glen Coppersmith, excitedly reported that, “the team has come together a lot.” The group consists of software development talent and mental health care experts.
Qntfy has continued their work in the PTSD community and has spent the last couple months “taking a much stronger look at suicide and seeing what we can learn and analyze about it.” In August, they presented a paper on suicide prevention at the Joint Statistics Meetings in Seattle, establishing that PTSD is “a problem for veterans and non-veterans alike.” When asked what type of data they are looking at, Coppersmith says, “We try to look at a wide variety of data but language data seems to give the most brilliant signal.”
This is all in service of building a prototype of a web-based application for clinicians and patients, which would facilitate seamless sharing of health data between the two.
Coppersmith concluded that, “The Foundry Cup was a great opportunity to expand our group of collaborators. The people and community there gave us a better understanding of the problem space. Everyone was working on a slightly different problem but we all benefited from meeting, working with, and supporting each other - that’s the thing about a sharing entrepreneurial community.” In fact, Qntfy is helping Foundry Cup People’s Choice winner, Sandboxx, with their user and data analysis to help their development process.
Second place winner, Sound Off, who provides veterans with a support system they can trust by establishing ongoing anonymous relationships with mental health specialists, said they have been doing great since Foundry Cup.
Sound Off founder, William Negley, told us that he’s developed and maintained an advantageous relationship with Foundry Cup judge and Director of the Deployment Health Clinical Center at Walter Reed, Dr. Charles Engel. Negley says, “He is very valuable and understands first-hand the problem at stake [the need for mental health support for military veterans].”
They have also grown their board of advisors, welcoming Dale Bendler and General Michael Hagee onto the team. Bendler has more than twenty years of experience as a senior executive overseas with the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency. General Hagee served as the 33rd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.
They are now reaching out to organizations and raising capital to continue turning the engine. The team attributes a lot of their success to the competition, saying, "Foundry Cup was a major public display for Sound Off. It was the first time we’ve shown this model in public and gotten exposure this big. To get third party affirmation was very encouraging for us.”
People’s Choice winner Sandboxx, whose mission is to connect the military community, said they were picked up by the same industry leader, Johnson & Johnson, and are contributing to their work on PTSD.
When asked what’s new, Sandboxx founder, Sam Meek, said, “We are mostly working on the application right now.” They are restructuring the “Units” section of the Sandboxx app to make it easier for recruits, active duty and service members to communicate with friends and family.
Furthermore, they are working with the Marine Corps to increase bootcamp ship and decrease dropout rates. As for the letter mailing side of their business, they are working to decrease mail delivery time.
Meek also mentioned that, “Foundry Cup has helped us get our message out there and receive a lot of positive feedback on what we’ve done and can continue to do to improve. We also learned a lot about other organizations on the east coast working on a similar problem.”
There is also news about Foundry Cup itself: the next Cup will be held March 23-25, 2016 and has begun taking applications for finalists to participate in the competition. Foundry Cup 2016: Portable Power will provide a medium that brings together groups of innovators and helps them refine and showcase new approaches to managing energy. Eastern Foundry is looking for game-changing approaches to versatile, go-anywhere power sources that will decrease government spending, reduce the carbon footprint and save and improve lives.
Raisa Rahman is a marketing strategist at Eastern Foundry and currently enrolled at George Mason University.