Eight Maine companies will attend an international conference for tech startups, thanks to backing from a state advocacy group.

Startup Maine, a nonprofit that advocates for entrepreneurship, announced Monday that it will send eight startups to TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco for a three-day conference in October.

The companies will have the opportunity to meet venture capitalists, investors, founders and other entrepreneurs, according to Startup Maine.

This is the first time the group has sent Maine companies to this conference, known in the startup world for introducing rising startup stars to an international audience. The eight companies will exhibit in a Maine pavilion, providing an opportunity to elevate the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, Startup Maine said in a statement.

The companies, all headquartered in Portland, selected to attend are:

Defendify, a cybersecurity startup with products for small- and medium-size businesses;
Friday, a software startup building a product to improve communication and engagement among teams;
Highbyte, a startup building off-the-shelf industrial software that solves data and security problems;
KinoTek, a software startup born out of the University of Maine that uses virtual reality and motion capture technology to improve athletic output and reduce the chance of injury;
Nearpeer, an educational technology startup with a social media platform designed to connect college students and reduce “summer melt,” the phenomenon of high school graduates bound for college who then decide not to go;
VETRO FiberMap,  a company that’s developed a mapping platform used by telecommunication companies;
Wallit, (formerly Ourly) a financial technology startup with a product to help families manage money better; and
Yarn Corp., a startup that’s building publishing tools to help people tell interactive stories using virtual reality.

Startup Maine hosts a three-day conference for Maine entrepreneurs in Portland every summer. The organization used money from its ticket sales to finance the trip for the eight companies, according to a report in Maine Startup Insider.


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