By Dennis Clemente
NEW YORK—Hardwired’s 19th meetup last April 22 might just have assembled the most interesting mix of startups so far —a drone that collects data fast, a pet activity and health monitor, a virtual reality content creator and—are you ready?—a new way of growing meat. Not your typical tech meetup in the city, folks.
Skycatch and Modern Meadow clearly got people’s attention at the meetup held at WeWork. For what it’s used for these days, Skycatch’s founder and CEO Christian Sanz said its drones are being used for making maps and surveying for construction companies and mining operations. They build both the hardware and software.
Sanz said Skycatch is close to getting a series B funding. It leases the drones and offers trained pilots to companies as well.
In its early R&D phase, Modern Meadow is looking to build a future of sustainable eco-friendly and cruelty-free animal products. It got the most people crowding CEO and founder Andras Forgacs afterwards. They were intrigued how the startup may just solve low meat production—even possibly hunger—in other countries. It’s too early to say so, of course.
Modern Meadow claims that it does not produce genetically modified meat nor does it print 3D meat. It also reportedly sources naturally and produces a nurturing environment for them to grow and create high-quality animal products.
Next presenter Christina Heller, co-founder and CEO of VR Playhouse, is looking forward to making virtual reality mainstream by creating content for it. It is looking forward to working with brands in terms of creative and production work, as she stressed its $150-million industry potential.
Heller said plans are afoot to bring a “Being John Malkovich”-like experience in June, referring to the movie that puts you inside the actor’s head.
The last presenter, Steven Eidelman, co-founder and COO of Whistle, talked about his whistle activity monitor, a health tracker for your dog. It attaches to any collar and measures your dog’s activities, giving you a new perspective on day-to-day behavior and long-term trends.
In designing the monitor to work easily, he said, “Just because people want your product doesn’t mean everyone will use it.”