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Pitch competition winners

Two UD student startup teams compete in College Pitch Philly

University of Delaware teams placed first and fourth in the College Pitch Philly competition at the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s (USASBE) annual conference on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Amira Idris, founder of Vibrating Therapeutic Apparel (VTA), took first place and Jason Bamford, Jordan Gonzalez and Keith Doggett, founders of Geoswap, placed fourth. UD teams competed against 18 teams from 12 schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Temple University and Drexel University.

“Seeing our students’ learning lauded by our peers and peer organizations is like winning an NCAA academic championship,” said Vince DiFelice, faculty member and venture support lead with UD’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship.

VTA helps people with amputated limbs better manage pain. It combines wearable and vibrating technologies to create a line of apparel that helps increase blood circulation and tissue activity.

Idris, who was recently named entrepreneur of the year during Delaware Innovation Week, has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and design.

Geowswap is a location-based file sharing and unlocking platform. It has been used by SantaCon NYC 2016 and Delaware Innovation Week. The team boasts affiliation with two colleges: Bamford and Doggett are seniors in the College of Engineering and Gonzalez is a senior in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. The rules of the competition allow for only one team from each school to be awarded. The Geoswap team waived formal placement.

Both teams were part of the pilot Summer Founders program during summer 2016 in addition to participating in UD pitch competitions and the VentureOn program at the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship.

The College Pitch Philly competition was organized by the Philadelphia Region Entrepreneurship Educators Consortium (PREEC) as part of the USASBE conference.

More than 100 USASBE members from universities and colleges, for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. selected the top five teams.

The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship is the largest independent, professional, academic organization in the world dedicated to advancing the discipline of entrepreneurship. It has more than 1,000 members from universities and colleges, for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations and the public sector.

About the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship

The Horn Program in Entrepreneurship ignites imaginations and empowers world changers through educational offerings that emphasize experiential learning, evidence-based entrepreneurship and active engagement with entrepreneurs and other members of the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Through participation in Horn Program offerings, students gain the knowledge, skills, personal capacities, experiences, connections and access to resources needed to successfully manifest innovation and thrive in the rapidly changing world. 


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