OPINION: The Seven Most Intriguing Startups I Saw at Last Week's Investors Choice Conference

What were the seven most compelling and intriguing businesses that presented during last week's Investors Choice conference? I share my thoughts in this report.

OPINION:  The Seven Most Intriguing Startups I Saw at Last Week's Investors Choice Conference
Photo by Mufid Majnun / Unsplash

Last Wednesday, Kinect Capital held its 41st Investors Choice conference, an event designed to showcase startup enterprises actively looking for outside investment capital.

As reported by Utah Money Watch last week in "Kinect Capital Welcomes 23 Presenting Companies to this Week's Investor Choice Conference in Salt Lake City," since 2009, Investors Choice

"... alumni firms have raised over $1.2 billion in investment capital while also achieving financial exits of over $10 billion."

To be honest, this year's event was quite good.

That said, I thought it might be helpful / instructive to share my thoughts on the top businesses / investor pitches presented at Investors Choice 2024.

So here goes.

My Take on the Seven Most Intriguing Companies to Present at Investors Choice 2024

Outlined below are what I saw as the seven most compelling and intriguing businesses that presented during last week's Investors Choice conference.

[NOTE: The list outlined below is NOT a ranking of my expectations for future results, but merely an alphabetical list by company name, followed by the headquarters city for each firm and a brief description of each.]

Company #1 Diagnostic Ventures (Salt Lake City, Utah): Diagnostic Ventures is currently pursuing marketing clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a highly accurate and easy-to-use testing system to determine the presence of the five most deadly sepsis pathogens in under three hours, down from the 12—72 hours currently required by existing testing platforms.

Why does this matter? A lot? Because 1.7 million Americans get sepsis annually, leading to 350,000 deaths (1/3rd of all hospital deaths in the United States), at a cost of $62 billion.

Diagnostic Ventures has previously raised $225,000 in funding from friends and family members, with an additional $5.2 million received as a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The company is raising $3.0 million to fund it through FDA clearance and its Go-To-Market rollout.

To learn more, interested parties should contact CEO Brian Bentley at brian@diagnosticventures.net.

Company #2 — Harmonious Capital Administration (Salt Lake City): Last year, over 47,000 investment funds were created in the United States. Yeah, 47,000!

This process is both time-consuming and fraught with serious risk, especially due to the regulatory and legal requirements imposed on those raising capital.

As noted on the video highlighted on this page, Harmonious Capital Administration completely streamlines the entire investment vehicle process through a brain-dead straightforward and super fast online process that can be completed in one day instead of days/weeks. Additionally, the Harmonious platform enables the complete onboarding of new investors in ~10 minutes, something completely unheard of.

In 2023, Harmonious profitably worked with over 400 Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), 15 traditional funds, and over 270 a la carte clients. And in 2024, the company expects to nearly quadruple its revenue. Profitably.

The company is raising $2.5 million, half of which is already committed. To learn more, interested parties should contact CEO Alyssa McEwen at alyssa@harmoniouscapitaladmin.com.

Company #3 — Proactive Health (Lehi, Utah): The Proactive Health solution unobtrusively gathers biometric data from senior citizen patients to establish a healthcare baseline, data that is shared with medical professionals currently serving seniors.

However, when concerning biometric trends begin to emerge, the Proactive Health system notifies care team members so "proactive" (yes, like the company name), pre-acute adjustments can be made to treatment approaches to help prevent and/or minimize hospital visits and stays.

Although this treatment thesis sounds quite simplistic, it's actually not. And neither is the reason for doing so:

To help healthcare providers prevent senior citizen readmission to hospitals by preemptively identifying concerning medical data before prospective patients are even aware their health may be at risk.

In fact, in a year-long study, the Proactive Health system helped reduce 30-day hospitalizations by over 50%.

Proactive Health is raising up to $2 million. To learn more, interested parties should contact CEO Alec Gustafson at alec@proactivehealth.tech.

Company #4 — swiirl (San Jose, California): swiirl has developed a powerful AI-powered, SaaS-based creation engine that allows brands to leverage emerging creators at high schools and universities to create highly focused and socially relevant hyperlocal content to inexpensively drive engaging and revenue-generating content.

Additionally, the swiirl technology ensures such content is not only authentic, but is also aligned with specific community interests and brand objectives.

Put into plain English, swiirl is new type of marketing, advertising, and content-creation solution that addresses a marketplace where firms are expected to spend over $600 billion on a global basis in 2024 ... just in the digital realm.

swiirl has already landed its first paying customers and is seeking $1 million in seed funding. To learn more, interested parties should contact CEO Daniel Mohanrao at daniel@swiirl.io.

Company #5 — ViewPoint (Salt Lake City): Unfortunately, many students are not engaged in higher education settings. The primary culprit: Because many instructors lean into traditional lecture-based approaches.

Conversely, educator-led ViewPoint has created an easy-to-learn and quick-to-implement SaaS-based platform that allows educators to create new learning simulations in 30 minutes or less, case study simulations that are dramatically more engaging and enhance both student learning and retention.

Currently used by over 24 universities, ViewPoint is projecting ~$1.5 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) by the end of 2024.

ViewPoint is seeking $1 million in pre-seed funding. To learn more, interested parties should contact President Fiona Hayes at fiona@viewpointsims.com.

Company #6 — Voltaic Marine (Beaverton, Oregon): Although roughly half of all Americans "go boating" annually, the majority of such trips occur in boats powered by air- and water-polluting internal combustion engines.

By leveraging decades of combined experience in the electric vehicle field, Voltaic has designed its first, high-performance EV watercraft, a 24-foot-long, 18 passenger 200 kWh boat capable of 8 hours of continuous use.

Voltaic's is already taking pre-orders on the non-polluting and silent $400,000 AEW24 which will be prominently featured on/at lakes and reservoirs across the U.S. in a cross-country demo tour this summer (shown below).

Voltaic Marine's AEW24 high-performance, 24-foot, 18 passenger watercraft. Photo downloaded from the company website 01 May 2024.

Voltaic is seeking $3 million in funding. To learn more, interested parties should contact CEO Richard Phamdo at richard@voltaicmarine.com.

Company #7 — A Stealth Mode Company (Utah-based): At the risk of coming across as if I'm wimping-out, it turns out there is, in fact, a 7th company that I am quite intrigued about, one that I believe has the ability to reach so-called "Unicorn Status" quite quickly ... presuming, of course, that it can execute on its business plan.

However, when I contacted the CEO and explained my intent to include their firm within this story of "The Six Most Intriguing Startups I Saw at Last Week's Investors Choice Conference," this CEO asked that I not include their firm in this write-up as they wanted to stay "under radar" for the time being.

Naturally, I responded back to this CEO's text message with an "LOLOLOL" and pointed out that they were doing a pretty bad job of staying under the radar given that they had just presented at an event with upward of 500 attendees.

However, out of respect for this executive and what they're trying to accomplish, I agreed to leave them out of this story.

[NOTE: To be clear, this "Stealth Mode" firm is not the only one I think capable of reaching "Unicorn Status" out of those looking to raise monies as a result of presenting at Investors Choice 2024. It's just that I believe I think this firm could get there the quickest.]

A Quick Summary

So that's it:

  1. Diagnostic Ventures,
  2. Harmonious Capital Administration,
  3. Proactive Health,
  4. swiirl,
  5. ViewPoint,
  6. Voltaic Marine, and one as yet unnamed
  7. "Stealth Mode" company.

These are my Top 7 Most Intriguing (and perhaps even "Most Investable") startup firms that presented at the Investors Choice conference last week.

That said, I look forward to your take on this list.

And by the way, if you didn't attend Investors Choice 2024, tsk, tsk!!!

It was a really, really good event

Then again, perhaps next year, right?!?!?!


I want there to be no misunderstanding that I am a huge proponent of the nonprofit mission of Kinect Capital and its efforts to help prepare entrepreneurs and their organizations to raise external capital.

In fact, since the late 1980s when I first met Brad Bertoch (Co-Founder of Kinect Capital's originating organization, The Wayne Brown Institute), I have spent countless hours working with/for this organization, primarily on a volunteer basis, but occasionally as a paid consultant.

Additionally, I have also served scores of startups in the preparatory process prior to Investors Choice conferences as both a Mentor Team Leader and a Mentor Team Member, including two of the firms noted above: Viewpoint and swiirl.

However, I have no formal or legal relationship with either firm.


This article was originally published and distributed to our Subscribers on 03 May 2024.

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