The Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) has awarded 25 SCALE Challenge awards to high-tech start-ups for their work to advance the supply chain and logistics industry.
The SCALE—Supply Chain and Logistics Enterprises—Challenge is an international competition supported by a grant from the Walton Foundation. The contest is aimed at innovating the supply chain and logistics industry by "launching 20+ high-tech startups advancing breakthrough inventions in advanced materials, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, drones, robotics, 3D printing, machine learning, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
Winners include wireless charging technology company Aira and TradeFlo, a blockchain trade facilitation platform for vendor verification, merchandise authentication, and shipment tracking, among others. They will pitch to investors for early-stage funding at an investor forum to be held this September in Arkansas.
"CAI put together a recipe to fuel innovation. It's an initiative that's accelerated growth and is advancing infrastructure," Jake Slatnick, Aira's co-founder and CEO said in a statement announcing the winners. "We are honored to be winners and look forward to continued collaboration and opportunity."
CAI Founder and CEO Rosemarie Truman said the SCALE Challenge is CAI's largest and most innovative to date, noting that it combines high-tech start-up teams, entrepreneurs, and artists to help make projects more "creative, disruptive, and poised for long-term success."
"While SCALE is the largest challenge CAI has ever orchestrated, the Challenge is a first of a kind in two important dimensions," Truman said. "First, it's one where CAI systematically joined high-tech startup teams with entrepreneurs to cultivate the 'art spirit.' Second, SCALE represents the most significant challenge to disrupt supply chains across multiple dimensions, the food supply chain, fashion supply chain, and more."
Visit the CAI website for more information on the group and its programs.