techcrunch battefield finalists

TechCrunch has officially announced the finalists of its Startup Battlefield contest – an event that reunites 200 promising startups that can pitch their ideas to a team of experts for a grand prize of $100,000 in equity-free funding.

The contest was part of the agenda of the magazine’s popular Disrupt event this year and 20 of these startups were selected to pitch their ideas to the event’s audience.

Now, the five finalists have been chosen and the winner will be announced later today. This is the list of the top five startups that have made it to this stage.

#1 – Advanced Ionics

This startup is pursuing the noble goal of actually making hydrogen a clean source of energy. Even though hydrogen has been promoted as “the fuel of the future”, the process of making energy out of this chemical element demands the use of a significant amount of electricity and substances that can pollute the environment such as platinum and iridium.

The technology created by Advanced Ionics aims to reduce electricity consumption and takes advantage of industrial-level heating to produce low-cost hydrogen at a large scale. The firm claims that its Symbiotic™ electrolyzers can reduce electricity consumption by 50% for every kilogram of the element produced.

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#2 – AppMap

AppMap aims to make the process of creating software and writing code easier for developers by introducing visuals that can easily map how the various elements that make up the code interact with each other and contribute to the end product.

The system is designed to flag possible errors, security flaws, and solutions that can be easily implemented by developers to save time. Currently, the software supports five programming languages (Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, and Ruby).

It works as an extension of code editors such as Visual Studio and JetBrains and the service supports two free and two paid subscriptions that cater to different needs – individual or corporate.

#3 – Intropic Materials

Intropic Materials is aiming to either solve or potentially reduce plastic pollution by introducing living organisms that can be added to the polymers used to create the material at the earliest stage of the cycle to produce biodegradable plastic.

The company’s technology consists of providing enzymes with the appropriate environment so they can consume plastic materials over time. By doing this, any product that contains Intropic’s enzymes can self-degrade and turn into regular commercial compost down the road.

#4 – Minerva Lithium

Lithium is in high demand nowadays and will continue to play a key role in the world’s fight against climate change as the metal is used to produce the batteries that power electric vehicles.

However, extracting lithium demands the use of extensive amounts of water and this can result in the undesired pollution of this precious and scarce natural resource. Minerva has four areas of interest that it intends to create solutions for.

First, the firm is focused on making lithium extraction easier and cheaper through a high-end filtration system that can process up to 12.5 gallons of water per minute. Minerva’s water filtration system uses a technology called “nanomosaic” to extract the lithium out of brine water. This residual water can be commercialized by Minerva as well so it can be reused by other industries.

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#5 – Swap Robotics

This startup is looking to solve an issue that solar energy farms typically experience by using robots. That issue is cutting the grass that grows beneath the panels, which is typically a time-consuming and costly activity that, if performed by humans, can take quite a long time to complete.

The firm’s solar vegetation-cutting robots are powered by solar energy and they can save as much as 20% of solar farms’ grass-cutting costs. This is a niche business but one that could potentially grow rapidly in the future as the market for solar farms is expected to quadruple its size from 2019 to 2027 as both industries and countries continue to look for alternatives to generate power without harming the environment.

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