TechfestNW, Portland's annual festival for entrepreneurs and startups, has just announced the initial group of startups that have been admitted to PitchfestNW—the competition within TechfestNW, where companies compete for prizes and bragging rights.

Seventy-five startups from all over the country (and one from Canada) were chosen from a larger group of applicants.

"It's the most impressive group yet," says PitchfestNW Director Sarah Nanbu. "Healthcare, AI, VR, blockchain, food, fitness and consumer products are among the industries represented."

Startups will pitch during TechfestNW, which takes place April 4-5 at the Viking Pavilion at Portland State University. (Sign up for emails here so you are the first know when TechfestNW speakers are announced and tickets go on sale later this month.)

Pitchfest is now accepting applications for the next round of startups. An application form can be found here.

TechFestNW 2018 (Sam Gehrke)
TechFestNW 2018 (Sam Gehrke)

Here are the startups that have been accepted into the first round:

AirShip Technologies Group is a developer of clean tech drones for Defense, Homeland Security, Civil 1st Responders, and Commercial Agri-Business markets.

Alexandros Eyewear is a lifestyle eyewear brand innovating to provide fashionable options for consumers that struggle to find frames in their sizes.

Attensa uses AI to curate most relevant content to your business and delivers the articles and news updates you need, organized by topic, from any source, in one place.

Automaton Marketing Seattle-based developer of an AI-based testing and monitoring tool that confirms integrations and configurations in marketing, sales and ad-tech stacks.

Barcast is building a point of sale TV advertising platform.

Bladebox makes keeping your kitchen knives sharp downright delightful.

BrainXpluS is a wound care software for physicians.

BrandLoyal, based in Toronto, helps businesses improve online ratings, collect valuable customer feedback and help business owners take control of their online presence.

Brightswitch replaces old light switches with smart technology that controls security, music and intercom throughout your home.

BrokerageBox is the first complete cloud-based operating system enabling collaboration between independent brokers industry-wide.

Building Bits Holdings is an online real estate investment platform that offers a new class of conservative investments designed to complement all level of investment portfolios.

Caregiven guides caregivers to skillfully support the needs and wishes of loved ones from diagnosis to passing

Cocacao is a dark chocolate and coconut experience made with 3 organic ingredients.

Coleman Innovative Solutions is a manufacturer of innovative products designed to make commercial industrial projects and heavy equipment transportation tasks more efficient.

Cosmic Life a dating app that finds matches based on astrological chart analysis.

Cricket Flours develops ingredients made from edible insects raised for human consumption for the commercial and consumer food product industries.

De Las Mías is a healthy lifestyle platform built for Latinas by Latinas.

Debias VR, based in San Francisco, leverages VR technology to restore equity and reduce hidden biases in the classroom and workplace.

Digital Collateral, based in Denver, lets you combine your deck, website, and supporting docs into a single, clean, modern interface.

Dwellingo is a property scheduling and management software designed to help real estate agents save time and increase efficiency.

e1ectr0n, makes pr0t0n, a bench top robot that brings automation to small manufacturers.

Event Cherry lets event planners quickly select and organize vendors on one convenient digital platform.

EYEON18 uses patented technology to improves irrigation management practices.

First Ascent Biomedical personalized cancer treatment

Five to Nine, based in Chicago, helps businesses increase workplace connectivity and inclusion by leveraging analytics to enhance the employee experience.

Glbl Corp is the maker of Mrkt, an app that lets you shop through photos with instant checkout.

Goodwell offers 100% natural, subscription-based, sustainable oral care products.

GRAD529 is an app to help families harness the power of micro-investing to save for college.

Headstart is to be the Amazon of insurance, warranty and personal loans.

Help Me Worldwide is a mobile app that bridges the gap between DIYers and Professionals.

Here, Not There sets up rentable closets with ready-to-wear articles in your hotel, so can travel #LuggageFree.

Homecooked, based in New Haven, is a social dining app that lets home cooks organize small communal meals out of their own home dining rooms.

Koan puts your team and whole company on the same page by allowing you to set and communicate your mission, vision and goals.

krowdsourced a platform for commercial construction professionals to efficiently find materials and solutions for their projects.

Make It Hapin is a fashion technology company that offers a personal shopping service designed to help busy women re-create the outfits they find online.

Melaknow is an app that uses machine learning to screen and assess moles for skin cancer.

Mimble helps you save for your goals and get rewarded by brand partners.

Minnow Technologies is an Internet-connected network of food delivery and pickup kiosks.

Next Ascent is an adventure app for rock climbers, backcountry skiers, distance hikers, and mountain bikers, and other outdoor pursuits.

Nextplay.ai Nextplay.ai uses AI technology to engage & retain employees.

Nocturn.io, based in San Jose, bridges the gap between coding and CMS platforms.

'Ohana Labs has created an all-in-one application that lets users create, open, edit and save any kind document file.

Onboard Dynamics is the developer of a mobile natural gas compressor to provide fleets an easy and cost-effective solution to compressing natural gas.

PandaSoft is the creator of Pulsage, a app for artist to record music, apply studio sound filters, and to get discovered.

Planet Nine is a microtransactions company bringing gaming into the real world.

PlanSpeak Seattle-based, mobile web app that automatically notifies subscribers when their cell phone or internet plans are offered at lower cost.

Poppins allows anyone who shops online to earn cash back on every purchase, then donate their rewards to a non-profit.

PopSmartKids, based in Seattle, builds apps that transform children's screentime into a platform that ignites imagination through art and writing stories.

PortEngine.Net is a software that connects buyers and sellers of commercial real estate without a realtor.

Prrl Labs is creator of The Prrl, an intuitive vaporizer that gives users better control over their vaping experience.

Pulse Financial uses automated algorithms to analyze short-term investment.

Rap Coach is an app designed to help anyone start freestyle rapping

REdevly is a data-analytics company that integrates public data with our proprietary databases and development assumptions to discover and analyze development opportunities instantaneously.

ReelDx is a cloud-based platform offering a library of real patient video cases used to train future healthcare professionals.

Rewire Neuroscience empowers the future of biomedical research through intelligent laboratory equipment and analytics software tools.

Rock Maker Scissors is a marketplace for arts & craft classes.

SaF is an on-demand mobile app that connects customers to line sitters.

SafeSpace App is a St. Paul-based app to track and aggregate data of police interactions and relationships with the community over time

ShoeBio is a footwear discovery platform that helps shoppers find the best price for their desired shoe.

Speak Technologies is an AI assistant that takes meeting notes so you and your team can focus on being present in the discussion.

Stonestable is a preclinical research and development company, developing stabilization technology for vaccines.

Sundew Studios is a Seattle-based, video game lifestyle company making games for the fashionable and nerdy woman.

SUTUREGARD is a device that allows surgeons to create a linear closure of wounds that would normally require a skin graft or skin flap.

Swag'r is a content delivery platform that uses gamification, AR, and geolocation to drive real actions with national, regional, and local brands.

Text A Lawyer is the starting place for legal users of moderate means.

ToolBelt is a real-time job source and networking platform built exclusively for the construction industry.

Trestle bridges brands to consumers according to shared values.

Unna empowers caregivers by connecting people and resources in a brilliantly designed mobile experience.

Ur Turn is a Minneapolis-based, SAAS tool for middle school and high school students and their families to help visualize the path to graduation and college.

Veana Therapeutics  develops  innovative immune products that safely and effectively treat cancer patients with minimal impact on quality of life.

Vino Voyage is a search Engine for Tasting Rooms, for Wine, Beer, and Spirits.

Virmuze is a Miami-based startup that has created a network of online museums.

Vooks is the world's first streaming service for animated storybooks.

Whatsgud is an app that provides real-time event and activity suggestions based on your location and mood.

Wisedoc is a word processing software for students and researchers writing complex technical manuscripts