After narrowing a pool of over 250 contenders to three highly-qualified finalists, it all came down to this: three teams of startup founders pitched to an esteemed judging panel in front of a live packed house at Snowflake Summit. Who would take home the coveted title of Startup Challenge winner?
After an intense, difficult deliberation, the judges made the decision. Benoit Dageville, Co-founder and President of Product at Snowflake made the big announcement: Houseware is the 2022 Snowflake Startup Challenge grand prize winner!
“This is as good as it gets,” said Houseware Co-Founder and CEO Divyansh Saini. “All of the credit goes to our team, and thank you all, judges, for choosing us as the winners. It’s raining here in Bangalore today, but all I can see is snow!”
Scrutinizing the startup finalists for innovation, market opportunity, and more
The 2022 Snowflake Startup Challenge invited early-stage startups to build innovative applications and products powered by Snowflake for the chance to win a share of up to $1 million in potential investments from Snowflake, along with exposure and additional go-to-market opportunities. This year, hundreds of startups from over 70 countries entered the competition. Snowflake judges selected 10 semi-finalists, then our three finalists: Houseware, HyperFinity, and Modelbit.
All three teams presented live to the four judges: Benoit Dageville, Co-founder and President of Product at Snowflake; Denise Persson, CMO at Snowflake; Carl Eschenbach, Partner at Sequoia Capital; and Jayshree Ullal, CEO of Arista Networks. The Houseware team made their pitch over a video feed from the Snowflake office in Bangalore, India.
Judges evaluated the finalists for several elements, including overall business potential and market opportunity, innovation, how they leverage Snowflake, and the ability of the teams to execute on their vision.
“The team is critical,” said Dageville. “They need to have passion, they need to have vision, they need to be really ambitious.”
Houseware shares vision of no-code data apps for everyone
The judges were impressed by Houseware’s vision of building a scalable, flexible, collaborative data app ecosystem and how they extend data access beyond data teams, allowing knowledge workers in sales, product, and marketing to interact with the Data Cloud using familiar terms and metrics. Judge Jayshree Ullal noted that the Houseware team did a “great job simplifying complex things and making it simple to understand.”
The Houseware executive team includes Co-Founder and CEO Divyansh Saini; Co-Founder Shubhankar Srivastava, who also leads engineering and product; and Head of Data Nipun Jain.
“Houseware is no-code data apps for everyone, empowering sharing of these apps across organizations,” says Saini. “We have been inspired by tools like Retool and Streamlit, which have previously paved the way for engineers and data scientists to do the same inside organizations.”
According to the management team, Houseware uses several workloads as “Lego blocks” to take the guesswork out of scaling data apps. Snowpark, Snowflake’s flexible architecture which enables multiple deployment models, and other Snowflake capabilities enable Houseware to democratize access to data by empowering non-data practitioners to build data apps.
The company has spent hundreds of hours in customer discovery and working with their current customers to deliver the speed, agility, and flexibility business workers demand. Houseware isin the private preview for Hybrid Tables and are now looking forward to exploring Native Application Framework (currently in private preview) offerings to enhance Houseware’s offerings
“The non-technical and quasi-technical users are dying for a product like Houseware,” said Srivastava. “They’re dying for an experience where they can experience the Data Cloud at their fingertips. As a data scientist myself I could feel how Snowpark would enable me [and] I wanted to pass that on through to the non-technical users.”
Congratulating the runners-up: HyperFinity and Modelbit
The competition was fierce, with all three finalists delivering compelling technologies and visions for the future.
“Three really great companies at very different stages,” said Persson. “What I love is they all know their markets very well. They had a very, very clear understanding of their customers and the problems they’re trying to solve for them.”
While HyperFinity and Modelbit did not take home the top prize, their efforts will not go unrewarded: both will receive up to $250,000 in potential funding from Snowflake.
HyperFinity is a no-code decision intelligence platform that puts data science and AI in the hands of nontechnical decision makers. It helps retailers and brands optimize decisions about what products to offer, how to price them, how to market them in personalized ways, and how to make them available when customers want them without relying on scarce data science and AI talent. HyperFinity leverages Snowpark to enhance its lightweight serverless architecture, which enables faster deployment of new features and a quicker time to release.
Modelbit enables data scientists to train and deploy ML models in the cloud without leaving their Jupyter notebooks. It leverages Snowpark for Python (currently in public preview) to run ML models in Snowflake, allowing data scientists to deploy their models straight from their notebook. ML workloads can run adjacent to their training and live scoring data, unlocking scale and efficiency.
Watch the Startup Challenge Finale video to see all of the finalists’ pitches first-hand. And if you’re an early-stage startup company with a great idea percolating, start getting your build plan together—the entry window for the 2023 Snowflake Startup Challenge opens this fall!