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Hen Hatch semifinalists

Semifinalists in startup funding competition drawn from six UD colleges

Fourteen teams from the student track and 10 teams from the alumni, faculty and staff track are advancing to the semifinal round of the University of Delaware’s 2017 Hen Hatch startup funding competition.

More than 70 teams submitted applications for one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest venture competitions, in which winners are awarded $100,000 in cash and in-kind services.

“These 24 Hen Hatch semifinal teams encompass UD’s engaged and accomplished undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff,” said Vince DiFelice, faculty member and venture support lead with UD’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship. “They represent six of UD’s colleges, and come from across the state of Delaware, the country and the globe. We are privileged to guide and advise these motivated entrepreneurs.”

Student teams will pitch their business concepts at the Venture Development Center on Friday, March 17, and alumni, faculty, and staff teams on Friday, March 24, to a panel of judges, who will decide which teams compete in the final round on April 25.

Student team profiles

• AndAgain: AndAgain is a denim apparel company with a focus on sustainability and consumer individualism. This team includes Morgan Young, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018, and Greg Harder, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2018.

BookBandit: BookBandit is a one-stop shop to find books at the lowest possible price. James Jannuzzio, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017, developed this concept.

• Chalo Inc.: Chalo is a transportation platform designed to increase the efficiency, convenience and safety of drivers. Suryansh Gputa, College of Engineering, Class of 2020, developed this concept.

• Dronespace: Dronespace provides aerial drone users with a low-cost, portable, modularly expandable space to fly drones safely. This team includes Adam Stager, College of Engineering, Class of 2018; Eric Jackson, College of Engineering, Class of 2017; Daniel McCaffery, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017; and Chi Zhang, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Cass of 2017.

GeoSwap: GeoSwap is a social networking app that lets people tap into the pulse of their city. The team includes Jason Bamford and Keith Doggett, College of Engineering, Class of 2017; and Jordan Gonzalez, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017.

• Influencia: Influencia is an influencer marketing platform that brings business and influencers together. Influencia was created by Danilo Vicioso, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2018.

• InvestEgg: InvestEgg is an innovative web/mobile application used to coach people on good financial habits and investing. This team includes Anthony Rossi, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and College of Engineering, Class of 2018; Adam Stager and Duanyi Wei, College of Engineering, Class of 2018.

• N-Space Sensors: N-Space Sensors aims to supply novel multifunctional nanocomposite sensors for in situ quantitative structural health monitoring. This team includes Hao Liu, College of Engineering, Class of 2017; Hongbo Dai, College of Engineering, Class of 2017; Erik Thostenson, associate professor, mechanical engineering; and William Johnson, business development specialist, Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships.

• Prominence: Prominence serves as an integrated social media and online shopping platform. This team includes Yiran Liu and Harrison Leavitt, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017.

Reviresco: Reviresco is a social venture that works to bridge the civilian-military divide by engaging, educating and empowering society to go beyond saying “thank you for your service.” This team includes Micah Petersen, College of Arts and Sciences and College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, Class of 2017; Alessandro Chiodo, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017; and Angel Ortiz, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2017.

• Revive: Revive helps women find a purpose for the clothing they no longer wear through the use of a mobile application. This team includes Rachel Weinberger, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017; Emma Lynch, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2019; Avalon Greene, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2018; and Palina Ivanova, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017.

• SolaBrid: SolaBrid aims at realizing high efficiency and affordable solar by fabricating hybrid solar devices. Abhishek Iyer, College of Engineering, Class of 2017, developed this concept.

• Vote Lock: Vote Lock provides secure online voting solutions. This team includes Jonathan Wood and Corey Hahn, College of Engineering and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2017.

• Wilminvest: Wilminvest provides supported housing environments for third party community based organizations. This team includes Joel Amin, College of Arts and Sciences and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2019, and Bryce Fender, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2019.

Alumni, faculty, staff team profiles

• 14 Rings LLC: 14 Rings LLC has developed software that allows entrepreneurs to establish many protected business units as Series LLC and automate critical record keeping functions. John Williams, UD club men’s crew assistant coach.

• Audonate: Audonate is an app that automatically rounds up and donates your spare change to any nonprofit. This team includes Adam Breese and Gordon Lippincott, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2016.

• Changing the Cancer Conversation: Changing the Cancer Conversation features jewelry that represents the molecules of chemo treatment that a cancer patient receives. Lorrie Jackson, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2002, is leading this initiative.

• Crowdholding: Crowdholding allows startups to share future revenue as a reward (“crowdshares”) to the crowd for feedback and ideas that are up-voted and sorted by the crowd. Julie Frieswyk, lead, Youth Initiative, Horn Program in Entrepreneurship.

• Resonate Forward LLC: Resonate Forward LLC is developing an in-home vibration therapy medical device that has been shown to improve the gait of people with Parkinson’s disease. This team includes Theresa Litherland, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Cass of 2016; and Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff, associate professor, College of Health Sciences; Scott Jones, chairperson, professor of accounting, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics; and John Rabolt, Karl W. and Renate Böer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering.

Strados Labs:  Strados Labs offers Pulmawear, which aims to improve chronic respiratory disease management. Nick Delmonico, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2012.

TenantU: TenantU is creating a new model for residential property management. This team includes Jacob Jeifa, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2016; Wilson Hsu, College of Engineering, Class of 2015, Krzysztof Czerwinski, College of Engineering, Class of 2016; and Alex Carr, College of Engineering, Class of 2017.

• Thimble: Thimble is a service to discover hidden fashion design talent and connect them to clients who want to repair or redesign their clothes. Rita Chang, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2010, developed this concept.

Vibrating Therapeutic Apparel (VTA): VTA offers wearable, therapeutic products that use vibration technology to help alleviate pain. This team includes Amira Idris, College of Engineering and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2016, and Danielle Dubay-Betters, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2017.

• Virtual Home: Virtual Home generates immersive, interactive home environments representing options for customers buying new or upgrading existing homes. This team includes Art Trembanis, associate professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, and Adam Stager, College of Engineering, Class of 2018.

“The Horn Program in Entrepreneurship’s Hen Hatch startup funding competition provides guidance, visibility, funding and in-kind services to help UD entrepreneurs pursue and improve their business concepts. Hen Hatch, along with all Horn Entrepreneurship programs and courses, provide the opportunity for advanced experiential learning, continued co-curricular enrichment and external engagement,” said DiFelice.

Hen Hatch and Innovation Showcase

The final round of the competition will be held during the Hen Hatch and Innovation Showcase on April 25, 5 to 9 p.m., at the World Café Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware. It will feature pitches by the top three teams from each track before an accomplished panel of judges. Finalists will compete for a $100,000-plus prize pool.

Admission to Hen Hatch Final and Innovation Showcase is $20 for students and $50 for community members. Early bird tickets are $10 for students and $25 for community members, and available until April 8. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, including beer and wine, will be provided. Advance registration is required. Register online.

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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