LiRA Takes Home Top Prize in Covintus Tech Tank Pitch Competition

Covintus Awards $85,000 to Five Startups in 1st Tech Tank Cohort

All five startups finished the Tech Tank a bit more tech-savvy and much more connected to their products. We applaud their future success.”

— Brian Flood, Covintus co-founder and Tech Tank program coordinator

RICHMOND, VA, UNITED STATES, August 18, 2021 / — LiRA, a developer of lip-reading technology for voiceless individuals, has won the $25,000 first-place prize in the Covintus Tech Tank pitch competition, hosted by Covintus on Tues., August 17.

Nessle, an online directory connecting new and expectant parents with perinatal resources, was awarded the $10,000 second-place prize.

The live, virtual pitch competition was the culmination of the 10-week Covintus Tech Tank, a technology-focused accelerator designed to “savify” startup founders. Members of the 2021 Tech Tank cohort included D.C.-based All Bets, Denver-based House of Trade, Chapel Hill-based LiRA, Boston-based Local Food Stuff and Richmond-based Nessle.

For successful completion of the accelerator, each startup received $10,000; together with the additional $10,000 and $25,000 pitch competition prize money, Covintus handed out a total of $85,000 to the 2021 Tech Tank cohort. The award funding is matching credit applied towards software development, UI/UX design and/or technical advisory support and consulting with Covintus.

“Tech Tank has been an incredible learning experience, affording us a deep dive into software development,” said Andrew Prince, M.D., founder and CEO of LiRA. “This experience has already improved our collaborations with various consultants, and it’s certainly set us up to move forward more confidently as a startup. The matching credit we received will allow us to further our collaboration with Covintus in machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision resources.”

By developing easy-to-use lip-reading communication, LiRA is working to alleviate the handicaps in voiceless individuals impacted by voice disorders, laryngectomee, tracheostomy and more. By restoring communication between aphonic or voiceless patients and their providers and caregivers, LiRA is helping to raise the standard of medical care.

In the pitch competition, an independent panel of judges evaluated each cohort member’s five-minute pitch, asked questions of the founders, and scored them accordingly. The judges included Chris Trebour, president of Covintus; John Espey, CEO and co-founder of Defiance Ventures; and Blue Crump, an entrepreneur and former director at the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation.

“During the pitch competition and in the weeks leading up to it, several cohort founders expressed how valuable this accelerator has been to them and their businesses, and how they are applying the concepts and expertise we’ve shared throughout the program,” said Logan Ryan, Covintus delivery manager and Tech Tank program coordinator. “I couldn’t ask for a better result. Hearing this feedback makes it worth the time and effort we have poured into Tech Tank.”

Through Tech Tank, Covintus has pledged $1 million in development and support enabling startups to achieve success and high growth potential. The cohort featured expert-led virtual sessions advising cohort participants on how to be fluent in digital product decision-making partner optimization, development processes and methodologies, as well as protecting intellectual property.

“All five startups finished the Tech Tank a bit more tech-savvy and much more connected to their products,” said Covintus co-founder and Tech Tank program coordinator, Brian Flood. “We applaud their future success and are especially grateful to the thirty-plus hours they dedicated to the Tech Tank sessions, as well as from our subject-matter experts.”

Information on the Covintus Tech Tank can be accessed here:

About Covintus

Founded in 2010, Covintus is an innovative, first of its kind international managed crowdsource company. The company serves Fortune 500 companies and businesses of all sizes, including startups, with software solutions that propel their businesses forward. With a unique managed crowdsourcing model, Covintus taps into the top developers and coders in the world, who have proven their skills in international programming competitions. Along with its team of in-house project management professionals, Covintus delivers custom software solutions for their clients faster, better and cheaper than anyone else. For more information, visit Follow Covintus on LinkedIn to stay informed on the latest company news.


Windy Campbell
+1 804-314-0205
Campbell Communications
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Windy Campbell, Campbell Communications

August 18, 2021, 18:56 GMT

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