Three St. Louis-area startups were awarded a combined $100,000 for their entries into the Accelerate St. Louis Challenge.

The competition was held during Startup Connection, an event at Washington University highlighting St. Louis's budding startup community.

The first-place winner was Geneoscopy. The developers received $50,000 for their method of stool sample testing which provides a non-invasive screening for colorectal cancer that is more accurate than a traditional colonoscopy.

“I feel honored to have been selected for this prestigious award,” Erica Barnell, founder of Geneoscopy, said in a press release. “The competition itself was instrumental in developing Geneoscopy's business plan and the award will provide funds to support a 1,000 patient pre-clinical FDA trial. This pivotal trial will bring our test one step closer to the 80 million Americans recommended to undergo regular colorectal cancer screening."

Second place was Babyation, a startup that developed a smart-phone enabled breast pump that enables women to pump with out removing their shirts. The company was awarded $30,000.

The third-place finisher was Pro-Arc diagnostics. This startup developed a next-generation lab test for people at risk of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy(PML). PML is caused by the John Cunningham virus and is responsible for thousands of deaths each year, the press release said.

Three other top finishers were awarded $5,000 each.

For more information, visit the Accelerate St. Louis Challenge website.