NORTH ADAMS — Keva Health, of Lexington, bested five other firms, including a company from Stockbridge, to finish first Friday in the Connect Tech Innovation Challenge produced by the startup accelerator and innovation network Lever.
It was the fourth and final event in a series of COVID-19 challenges produced by Lever that focused on state companies developing products to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Edgi Learning, of Stockbridge, was one of the six companies that had been selected as a finalist for the competition.
Keva CEO and founder Jyotsna Mehta was awarded the $40,000 first-place prize bestowed on the winner of the final pitch contest, as determined by a panel of judges. Thrive Community, of Boston, received $10,000 for finishing second.
Keva finished first for developing an app that helps asthma patients manage their care. The idea was inspired by the health care journey of Mehta’s daughter, who was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 4.
This year, Keva Health had received $25,000 to work with Baystate Health in Springfield on further development of its platform through the Digital Sandbox Program at the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech. The money covers setup for a pilot with Baystate Health asthma patients, which will give Keva valuable information about how to continue refining its product.
Thrive Community will use its money to build the company’s app platform, which lets seniors, families and caregivers check in, and monitor health and wellness, and offers ideas about connection that go beyond the daily check-in calls familiar to many adults living far from their elderly parents.
The Connect Tech challenge focused on Massachusetts entrepreneurs and startups working on innovative solutions to enhance resiliency and guard against potential disruptions in industries like e-commerce, manufacturing, digital health, fintech and ed tech.
Thirty-six companies participated in the four-event series, which started in June 2020. The series was funded by a $250,000 grant from the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the state agency that also manages the Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team. The series also received financial support from the Mass Technology Collaborative.