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Gov. Asa Hutchinson addresses the crowd of the more than 200 attendees at the Plug and Play Batch 1 Summit on Jan. 31 at Crystal Bridges. Hutchinson later met with several of the company founders who have expressed interest in opening offices in the state.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson addresses the crowd of the more than 200 attendees at the Plug and Play Batch 1 Summit on Jan. 31 at Crystal Bridges. Hutchinson later met with several of the company founders who have expressed interest in opening offices in the state.

Plug and Play hosted its first summit to showcase the first 12 startups in its Northwest Arkansas Supply Chain & Logistics program.

The program is supported by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission; founding partners Walmart, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, the Walton Family Foundation, the Northwest Arkansas Council and the University of Arkansas; and anchor partner Georgia-Pacific.

The three-month program facilitates opportunities for pilots, proof of concepts and new relationships between the selected startups and Plug and Play’s global ecosystem, with a special focus on the corporate partners.

The program, which began in October 2019, is structured around focus weeks, discovery meeting sessions, corporate office hours, mentor meetings, pitch polishing sessions, workshops and networking events. At the summit, the program’s companies had their first opportunities to pitch to investors, entrepreneurs, corporations and other industry leaders. 

The following startups participated and presented at the summit:

  • Atollogy, based in Santa Clara, Calif., uses cameras and sensors to generate big data, then perform real-time and trend analysis to digitize physical operations, such as distribution. The company analyzes not just equipment, but also people and products, for comprehensive monitoring and analysis of its customers’ operations.

  • AVRL, headquartered in Seattle, provides intelligent form-filling with voice to bring efficiency to the world of enterprise applications with AI-powered voice systems. The company uses AI to reduce manual and spreadsheet-based input processes. AVRL’s tech is built to support naturally spoken inputs, meaning no keywords or rigid sentence structure is required.

  • Cogniac is based in San Jose, Calif. and offers an AI-based software platform to help companies automate their visual inspection tasks. Cogniac enables enterprises to observe, inspect and extract information from any source of visual image or video data.

  • Gideon Brothers of Zagreb, Croatia developed a collaborative, autonomous logistics robot and heavy-duty pallet carrier with a load capacity of 800 kilograms. Its technology is based on visual perception underpinned by deep learning.

  • Idelic, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is the creator of the Idelic Safety Suite, a safety platform designed for the transportation industry. Idelic provides technology for trucking fleets to automate compliance, improve safety and manage overall driver risk. Using machine learning and a comprehensive data management platform, Idelic can pinpoint which drivers will get in accidents with 90% accuracy and provide the tools necessary to prevent the accidents from happening while ensuring the driver’s full compliance.

  • LogiNext, headquartered in Freemont, Calif., is an end-to-end transportation automation platform which allows carriers and shippers to run their operations in a fully hands-free manner starting from order processing to dispatch, route optimization, real-time delivery exception management and freight auditing.

  • Ocean Insights is a German company that consolidates and evaluates ocean freight information for the logistics industry. The company supplies real-time tracking data and market analysis to large shippers from a broad range of industries, including automotive manufacturing, commodity trading, freight forwarding and chemical producing. 

  • Ossia, of Bellevue, Wash., uses its flagship Cota® technology to improve wireless power by safely delivering remote, targeted energy to devices at a distance.The patented smart antenna technology automatically keeps multiple devices charged without user intervention and enables an efficient, wire-free, powered-up world that is always connected. 

  • Platform Science, based in La Jolla, Calif., developed an innovative enterprise grade Internet of Things fleet management platform for the transportation and logistics industry. Platform Science is the first open platform solution for enterprise fleets to better configure their fleet management solution and meet changing demands of the regulatory landscape, all while preparing for a future of IoT-connected trucks/freight and the digital supply chain.

  • Revvo, a technology startup headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., has built a first-of-its-kind, sensor-enabled artificial intelligence software platform that makes vehicle tires smarter.

  • Shoof Technologies, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a developer of an open architecture wireless technology that connects and transports data from assets to the cloud securely and reliably, providing industrial IoT and logistics markets with low-cost infrastructure with cloud data access.

  • StrongArm is a Brooklyn-based safety science company working to capture, analyze and deliver insights that drive worker safety. Utilizing sensors and machine learning, StrongArm can effectively develop, manufacture and deploy the next generation of industrial safety equipment.

Four of the companies have expressed interest to staff a Northwest Arkansas office, and the other eight startups will have a regular presence in the region.

Read more about the summit on Arkansas Business.

Special thanks to our major investors for their support of the Northwest Arkansas Council and our work in the region: