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September 25, 2018

Maine elder-focused tech company vies for Startup of the Year title

Upbyte, a Maine startup that aims to use technology to improve care of the elderly, is among 100 semifinalists vying for global glory as Startup of the Year in a Boston-based competition.

Winners in the 6th Annual Startup of the Year competition will be announced during the Innovate Celebrate conference taking place in Boston from Oct. 15-17 showcasing corporate innovation and entrepreneurship..

Described as "Innovative, intriguing, problem-solvers and game changers," this year's semifinalists represent 25 states and six countries. Half have minority founders and co-founders, 46% have female founders or co-founders, and 8% were launched by veterans.

From a global applicant pool, a panel of online judges selected the top 100.

Now the public has until Oct. 8 to choose their favorite in an online poll open through Oct. 8. Only one vote per person is allowed.

upByte, spotlighted in Mainebiz's Sept. 3 cover story on '10 Maine Startups to Keep an Eye On," was founded last year by Aron Semle and two partners.

"We're excited to represent Maine on the national stage and show how we're innovating to care and prepare for our aging community," Semle told Mainebiz on Tuesday.

Their first product, called upBed, uses sensors worn on a patient's ankle to detect when the leg position changes and signals a bed exit, then silently alerts the caregiver by smartphone of a possible call.

The company's biggest customer is Avita, a provider of assisted-living memory care facilities where upBed is testing an algorithm to predict falls.

Semle previously said that if it works, it will be hard for any competitor to copy, noting, "We're building our special sauce."

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