Milwaukee-based startups washbnb and Rex Academy have been named semifinalists at the Startup of the Year Summit currently taking place in Tampa, Florida. The local startups are the only Wisconsin companies among the list of 82 semifinalists, which are based across the U.S.
The Startup of the Year Summit is presented by Portland, Maine-based consulting agency Established, which helps connect large organizations and startups. The program is a global competition for early-stage, diverse startups. Semifinalists are given the opportunity to pitch their business for the chance to garner up to $50,000 in potential investments and prizes. A finalist will be determined by a panel of judges. In addition, a People’s Choice Award winner will be selected by the audience.
Washbnb provides a turnkey linen rental and laundry service for short-term rental owners, property managers and hosts. The startup is a product of the local gener8tor accelerator program. Washbnb is also the first Milwaukee-area startup to be selectedfor Techstars Atlanta, one of the largest seed accelerators for early-stage companies in the world.
Rex Academy is a K-12 computer science platform that aims to “remove the roadblocks” that exist for computer science education. It was founded in 2019 by software engineer Sandhya Padala.
To be eligible to take part in the Startup of the Year Summit, an applicant must be an independent company, have a working beta product or service, and have raised less than $5 million. A Wisconsin-based startup has never been named a Startup of the Year winner. The Summit runs through Jan. 27.