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Last night 1776 hosted the Challenge Cup Global Finals at the Anthem theatre, and it was a tough competition!

Twenty finalists from every corner of the world flew in Tuesday evening to kick things off at our welcome dinner with Comcast. Before the big event on Thursday, the competitors spent two days refining their pitches and meeting with mentors from our network. Over those days they showed us their businesses and some of the impressive technologies and new business models they are building.

Our judges — Tricia Davis-Muffett (AWS), Evan Burfield (1776/Union), Anna Mason (Revolution), Penny Lee (1776), and Jonathan Rivers (3Pillar Global) — did not have an easy choice ahead of them.

Ultimately, Caribu,  a Miami-based platform whose first focus is helping parents, extended family, and mentors read and draw with children when they’re not in the same location, was named champion of the fourth Challenge Cup global competition and won a 100,000 investment prize from our partner Revolution, a Washington, DC based investment firm.

It was a hard choice with ideas ranging from technologies like Empath from Tokyo who uses AI to identify emotion from voice in real-time regardless of the language to Riby from Lagos, which is an open banking platform for African SMEs.

Two other prizes were awarded last night, the first was the fan favorite which went to Washington, DC’s Airside Mobile. This free Mobile Passport app helps travelers breeze through US Customs & passport control. Over 3 million people have used Mobile Passport at 25 leading airports and seaports! Our partner, 3Pillar Global created a specific voting app just for the evening, which allowed the audience to vote in real time to determine their favorite.

Amazon Web Services also awarded a prize of 20,000 AWS credits to MyHappyMind, a UK-based curriculum for parents, schools and nurseries teaching proactive and preventative mental health habits. Delivered via a technology platform and supported by an app, myHappymind’s sole purpose is to give today’s children the skills to thrive in tomorrow’s world.

The night wrapped up with a closing celebration for our finalists and the DC tech community.

Thank you again to all of our sponsors including Revolution, Amazon Web Services, Comcast, 3Pillar Global, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Washington DC Economic Partnership, Virginia Tech, Accenture, HiMSS, &Pizza, Uber, and Global Entrepreneurship Network for all of their support and for being great partners.