Jeffrey Fry, co-founder of Well Beyond Care, pitching at the Rice Alliance Austin-CTAN Pitch Competition

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Well Beyond Care, an online caregiving matchmaker service, won the first Rice Alliance-Austin Chapter and Central Texas Angel Network pitch competition on Wednesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar.

The Austin-based winner received a prize package worth more than $100,000 including “in kind” prizes from Andrews Kurth, Capital Factory and other companies.

Yip Yap, an Austin-based mobile communications company for kids, and Shower Stream, a water saving device maker based in Austin, tied for audience favorite.

Rice Alliance and CTAN picked ten Texas-based seed stage companies to present at the event from more than 60 applicants.

Jeffrey Fry, CEO and Co-Founder, came up with the idea for Well Beyond Care after caring for his ailing mom, who lived in Alexandria, Virginia for seven years.

Today, more than seven and half million people are getting in home care, Fry said. The market is $120 billion for in home care, but by the end of the decade it’s going to be $180 billion, he said.

And 95 percent of all the people who get in-home or private duty care use an agency, Fry said. The two biggest problems with those agencies are truancy and turnover of workers, he said.

“So, you get unreliable care,” Fry said.

As an engineer, Fry wanted to create something better than what’s out there. He created an online service that connects caregivers directly with families who need them. That saves the families money and they get a reliable caregiver that shows up because they are making more money, Fry said.

Well Beyond Care, founded in 2014, has raised $310,000 in seed stage capital so far, Fry said. The company is raising additional funds to build new features into its mobile app, Fry said.

One of the audience’s favorite’s Yip Yap, a mobile communications company for kids, has created a $99 kid-friendly mobile device called Pipsqueak. Angela Smith, co-founder and mother of four, created the device as an alternative to handing her kids her $600 smart phone.

Yip Yap makes money on the hardware, sells premium features and has in-app content purchases to make money, Smith said.

Yip Yap has already made 1,300 Pipsqueak devices manufactured in Shenzhen, China. The company has raised a little under $700,000 to date from friends, family and angel investors.

Another audience favorite, Shower Stream, created a motion activated shower head adapter which helps customers eliminate water waste, save energy and ultimately save money on their electric bills, said Greg Floyd, founder. People waste water when they turn on the shower to warm up the water and leave it unattended, he said.

The typical shower is ten minutes long and two minutes is wasted while people wait for the shower to warm up, Floyd said.

The company is targeting hotels and estimates it can save a typical 300 room hotel $30,000 annually, Floyd said. The company also provides a data and analytics dashboard that shows the savings from each shower device. The device costs $100. The company has created a prototype and is in talks with hotel operators about doing a pilot program, Floyd said.

The other finalists included:

Anderson Remplex: This Flower Mound-based startup created a product called ProROX to eliminate pathogens from food products for commercial kitchens and consumers.

HipPocket: This Dallas-based startup created a better search and marketing product for real estate listings using machine learning, data and analytics. The company says it transforms how buyer and sales agents connect and consumers buy homes.

Renovate Simply: This Austin-based startup created a home renovation platform for banks, credit unions and other lending institutions to automate the home renovation process and provide increased transparency and reduce risk.

Cingo: This Austin-based startup provides the technology for companies to embed real time in app customer support in their mobile apps.

Homads: This Austin-based startup created a marketplace for month to month rentals of 30 or more days.

Sandbox Commerce: This Austin-based startup created a simply to use system that allows retailers to create a mobile app easily without any knowledge of coding.

SigTrak – This Austin-based startup created technology for data extraction and analytics for microchip design.