ARK Challenge II Names 3 Winners: Info Assembly, Overwatch, Langhar

by Mark Carter  on Thursday, Sep. 5, 2013 1:55 pm  

Info Assembly, Overwatch and Langhar were named winners of the second installment of the ARK Challenge startup accelerator Thursday in Bentonville.

Each winning startup will receive $150,000 in funding.

The three, along with six other competing teams, already received $20,000 in seed funding and access to product development and a host of mentors during a three-month boot camp, much of which was held again at the Iceberg co-working space in Fayetteville.

The ARK Challenge is a federally funded startup bootcamp and part of the Department of Commerce Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. It completed its second year at Thursday's Demo Day, held at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. During the event, the nine teams from Arkansas, South America and India pitched their products in a competition for $150,000 in funding.

ARK Challenge teams are focused in the northwest Arkansas industry clusters of retail, food processing and transportation and logistics. Their work over the course of the three-month boot camp is designed to meet industry needs in those areas.

Info Assembly is a venture led by Aditya Goel and Karthik Vaidyanath from Delhi, India. It has developed a search and analytics platform for investment research.

Langhar, also from Delhi and led by Karanpreet Singh, Pankaj Sharma, Pawan Saini, and Sunil Kumar, developed a mobile app to access a marketplace where users can order home-cooked meals for delivery or pick-up.

Overwatch was the lone Arkansas winner. Overwatch is a mobile app that combines core game features from combat video games for enhanced live-action paintball, airsoft and laser tag games. 

The idea was hatched by Catholic High School senior Josh Moody, who teamed with RevUnit co-founders Joe Saumweber and Michael Paladino (himself a Catholic High grad) to develop the startup. For his participation in the ARK, Catholic High allowed Moody to work a flex school schedule.

Moody said he physically has been to school at CHS for seven days so far this school year. Moody's father is David Moody, president of Innovate Arkansas firm LGWI and a startup and technology business consultant.

Josh Moody credited Saumweber and Paladino with the success of Overwatch, which has already signed a marketing deal with Cybergun, a maker of air soft guns.

"It started out as just an idea," Josh Moody said. "It's been an incredible journey and it's just beginning."



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