Winners Announced for TFX Capital’s 6th Annual Veteran Startup Showcase

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Pyrra from Washington, DC, Wins $50,000 By Demonstrating its Powerful Solution to Make the Internet and World Safer through Actionable Intelligence into Dark Social Media

I am really proud of how our team’s work showed through at the Showcase. The TFX Startup Showcase was not just an opportunity for us to tell a new audience about Pyrra, but it was also a fantastic way to get to know four other dedicated and talented founders.

TFX Capital (TFX), an early-stage venture capital investor in technology solutions that make the nation more secure and society stronger, hosted the 6th annual Veteran Startup Showcase on September 29, 2022, as part of its commitment to elevate the resilience, perseverance and grit of B2B startup founders who have served in the U.S. military and intelligence communities. At the Showcase, Washington, DC-based Pyrra, represented by Co-Founder and Army Veteran Welton Chang, won top honors and $50,000 in non-dilutive funding to grow their business. Denver, Colorado-based Aclymate, represented by Co-Founder and Navy Veteran Mike Smith, took home second place honors and $12,500.

Now in its 6th year, the event provides participating founders with the opportunity to compete for non-dilutive funding and grow their networks by meeting with invited investors, corporate executives, innovation leaders and network stakeholders throughout the event.

“Each year, TFX welcomes an elite group of founders to participate in this Showcase, and every year we are consistently impressed with the caliber of finalists. The 2022 Showcase certainly was no exception,” said Kevin Eckert, Partner at TFX Capital. “The judges ultimately selected Pyrra due to their unique market opportunity to deploy a solution top of mind for government, media companies and enterprises with an exceptional team positioned to succeed. Congratulations to the entire team at Pyrra.”

The judging panel included Greg Brown, Owner and President of Cardinal Finance and Administrator at the Charlotte Angel Fund, Karl Hightower, Chief Data Officer at Novant Health, and Jodi Hubler, Board Director and Advisor at Gratum Ventures.

“I’m really proud of how our team’s work showed through at the Showcase. The TFX Startup Showcase was not just an opportunity for us to tell a new audience about Pyrra, but it was also a fantastic way to get to know four other dedicated and talented founders. This is one of the reasons why we competed - to connect into this community that TFX fosters and receive access to startup support that is hard for veterans to find,” said Welton Chang, Co-Founder and CEO of Pyrra and Army Veteran.

This year’s competition included a total of five carefully vetted and selected startup finalists founded by service-driven, high-performing veteran and intelligence community entrepreneurs. Participating startups included:

  • accelEQ, digital healthcare platform that automates medical notes and saves physicians time that can be spent treating patients
  • Aclymate, climate accounting software to help businesses calculate their carbon footprint as the first step toward becoming carbon neutral (runner-up)
  • Essential Personnel, workforce management and wellness software solution designed to help critical personnel build strong teams, ensure the safety and wellness of their employees and advance the professional capabilities of their organization
  • Phalanx, data security provider that leverages its zero trust data access (ZDTA) tool to increase security and visibility of data while increasing cyber resilience, reducing cyber risk, and decreasing the reportable footprint in the case of a breach
  • Pyrra, threat intelligence platform built to detect and protect against threats on alternative social media platforms (winner)

“Having been a direct beneficiary of a rewarding career supported by both veteran mentors and entrepreneurs, paying it forward is just the right thing to do. Investing in a rewarding program with TFX just makes my contributions more valuable, as we are aligned on the mission of creating a force multiplier effect,” said Kevin Hesselbirg, a TFX Investor and Showcase Mentor. “TFX does a great job of not only curating interesting and exciting companies worthy of investment, but also offers invaluable insight and guidance to entrepreneurs setting them on a path to success. Congratulations to the teams at Pyrra and Aclymate and along with all participants in this year’s Showcase.”

This year’s event was sponsored by Kevin and Sara Hesselbirg, Veterans Bridge Home, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Caldwell Partners, Novant Health, Akerman LLP, Dualboot Partners, Brown Advisory, Frazier & Deeter, Lavoie CPA, Lancaster & Hall, and TIAA. To learn more about TFX Capital and its service-driven investment thesis, please visit

About TFX Capital
TFX Capital (TFX) is a veteran-led and service-driven venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology companies founded by high-performing and commercially tested military veteran entrepreneurs likewise driven by service. TFX’s investment thesis is proving that supporting startups founded by those who have served not only results in durable outcomes, but in technology-fueled products and services that can make our nation stronger and our society more secure. TFX has unique and trusted access to service-driven founders of pre-series A and series A technology startups, providing relentless support through a network-driven task force that brings together teams of experts to help turn their ideas into companies that make a difference.

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Anna Stallmann