SCALE Challenge Supply Chain Startup Winners Announced

April 6, 2020

The Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) selected 25 winners of the international SCALE -- Supply Chain and Logistics Enterprises -- Challenge. Supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation. SCALE is an open innovation contest to innovate the supply chain and logistics industry sector by launching 20+ high-tech startups advancing breakthrough inventions in advanced materials, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, drones, robotics, 3D printing, machine learning, augmented reality and virtual reality. Winning startups and overviews of their innovations are listed on the website below:

Winners will pitch to investors for early-stage funding at an exclusive, invite-only Investor Forum, planned for September 2020 in Northwest Arkansas. SCALE Challenge winners will engage with business and community leaders in Northwest Arkansas, where they are expected to have a significant presence. Rosemarie Truman, Founder and CEO of CAI, said, “While SCALE is the largest challenge CAI has ever orchestrated, the Challenge is a first of a kind in two important dimensions. First, it’s one where CAI systematically joined high-tech startup teams with entrepreneurs to cultivate the ‘art spirit.’ Second, SCALE represents the most significant challenge to disrupt supply chains across multiple dimensions, the food supply chain, fashion supply chain and more.”

Jake Slatnick, Co-Founder and CEO of Aira, a SCALE Challenge winner, added, “CAI put together a recipe to fuel innovation. It’s an initiative that’s accelerated growth and is advancing infrastructure. We are honored to be winners and look forward to continued collaboration and opportunity.”

The SCALE Challenge was orchestrated by CAI, a 501(c)3 non-profit that launched 300+ startups since 2014. CAI partners with 120+ research institutes -- including the National Institutes of Health, NASA, universities, and hospitals that cumulatively have more than 175,000 inventions combined. CAI and a 15-member committee of industry experts and investors selected 20+ de-risked disruptive inventions -- including breakthroughs -- from research institute partners. Startups launched around selected inventions in the SCALE Challenge.

In partnership with the Silicon Valley-based CODAME, CAI also matched startup teams with “Featured Artists”, who serve as mentors and potential co-founders. Artists cultivate and nurture "art spirit", which will make SCALE Challenge startups more creative, disruptive, and poised for long-term success. SCALE Challenge Featured Artists can be viewed at In addition to artists, leading professionals advised, mentored, and judged the teams throughout the SCALE Challenge as “Advocates”

Ross Devol, President and CEO of Heartland Forward and Walton Family Fellow, said, "Through the SCALE Challenge, entrepreneurs have tremendous support, training on how to SCALE up, and access to capital. It's so critical in the Heartland that we not lose focus that entrepreneurs are our future. Entrepreneurs will determine how successful the Heartland is over the long term."
Winners recognized with the Innovation Excellence Award will receive a cash award. The following startups are recognized as winners:

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