Grapple Leads Creative Startups 2017 Cohort, wins $25,000

What an honor to be in this picture, alongside the founders of Wishpoints and Skil Route! Of course I had no choice but to represent my childhood heroes, the Houston Astros, who are also playing in the World Series.

What an honor to be in this picture, alongside the founders of Wishpoints and Skil Route! Of course I had no choice but to represent my childhood heroes, the Houston Astros, who are also playing in the World Series.

Grapple came out on top of Creative Startups' 2017 accelerator cohort last week, earning the top cash prize of $25,000 in equity-free, interest-free funds. That will go a long way toward getting our first software product, which was deployed online for the first time last week, in the hands of journalists in the coming months.

I couldn't be more proud of the work that our development team put in ahead of time to get our demonstration ready on a tight deadline. The software we've built is an elegant, simple way to quickly sort through research on news topics. It takes the chore of figuring out where an online story came from and turns it into a task as simple and easy as performing a Google search.

Our news research sofware came atop a talented cohort of nine startups, many of which were older and further developed. We were followed up by Wishpoints, another New York based startup with a fantastic solution to help connect travelers to the best airfare deals by aggregating information about their interests in different destinations, and SkilRoute, a startup with an experienced team tackling the future of internet-empowered learning.

All of the 2017 Creative Startups companies have developed fantastic products, led by great founders and deeply talented teams. I had the fortune of spending a week at Albuqurque's beautiful Andaluz Hotel alongside founders of the innovative latino cultural clothing brand All Chola, Denver-based experience design studio Alt Ethos, Albuqurque art tech startup Art Attendant, British Columbia music software startup Sit-Ins and Colorado clothing startup Vela Apparel.

What an absolute honor it is to be recognized among such great companies. We now look ahead to our next ambitious deadline: putting a viable product in the hands of new users by the end of November.

Stay tuned, everyone. Things are about to get interesting.

--John Harper, Founder and CEO

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