Meet the Destination Innovation Sweet 16

And then there were 16.

Online voting to select the most compelling companies to pitch at Destination Innovation this year has concluded with 16 top vote-getters emerging from a field of 29 contestants. But this version of technology company March Madness is far from done.

The finalists must now make short pitches to attendees at the April 2 event, after which the audience will narrow the field to just two companies in four categories: social, commerce, government and security.

Then, a panel of three judges — Gerald Gordon of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Matthew Koll of 410 Labs and Rose Wang of Binary Group — will select a single winner in each category.

Destination Innovation is organized each year by the Northern Virginia Technology Council. It will be held at The Washington Post headquarters this year, and Capital Business is a media partner.

Online voting closed March 21 for the security category. The four companies advancing to the next round include Cyber Squared and Key Cybersecurity, which came in first and second, respectively, with less than a percentage point between them. Salient Federal Solutions and ACS round out the group.

Take a look at all 16 finalists and the technology they’ll pitch April 2:

Security

Arlington-based Cyber Squared has developed a platform called ThreatConnect where cybersecurity professionals across industries can share data about potential attacks and how to thwart them.

CyberMerlin, a software product created by Dumfries-based Key Cybersecurity, helps companies detect and report problematic files on corporate networks.

Salient Federal Solutions of Fairfax has developed Assure6, a series of products to prevent cyberattacks for Internet Protocol version 6.

ACS, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., has a system called SecureSmart MSS that monitors wireless networks for possible intrusions.

Social

VetAdvisor from Three Wire Systems is a software platform that connects veterans with life, financial and career coaches.

Kona from Deltek is a software platform that allows employees inside a company to work more collaboratively.

LynxFit from Byte an Atom Research uses Google Glass to simulate the experience of working out with a personal trainer.

Infosys ReachOut from Infosys Public Services provides an app to track shelter occupancy and other services to assist the homeless.

Government

Forward from Unisys helps companies shift their information technology systems to the latest version of Linux.

OpenPolicy from McLean-based LMI makes it easier to sift through massive documents.

Cloud Ecosystem Hub from Rockville-based Infosys Public Services helps government agencies operate in the cloud.

Sterling-based Octant offers Web software for government contractors to manage the proposal and procurement process.

Commerce

Seattle-based RealNetworks has created Listen, which plays a song instead of a standard ring tone.

District-based Homesnap has created an app for home buyers to find real estate information by snapping a picture of a home.

Ubiquity from Nxtbook Media in Lancaster, Pa., makes publications easier to read on devices with different screen sizes and capabilities.

Lighting Efficiency Calculator from Fairfax-based ICF International shows homeowners how ditching incandescent light bulbs can save them money.

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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