Winners for 2017 Hen Hatch entrepreneurship competition announced
Winners of the Hen Hatch competition were announced during its final round on Tuesday at the World Café Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware.
Hen Hatch, which is hosted by the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, is the University of Delaware’s premier start up funding competition. With two different tracks, one for UD students and one for alumni, faculty and staff, Hen Hatch provides participants with the opportunity to make connections and collect feedback on their ideas.
During the final round of the competition, the top three teams from each track pitched their business concepts before an audience and a panel of accomplished judges, competing for prizes totaling $100,000 in cash and in-kind services.
The first place team from the student track was GeoSwap. This team, which is comprised of the founder and CEO, senior biomedical engineering major Jason Bamford, senior electrical engineering major Keith Doggett and senior finance major Jordan Gonzalez, took home $21,000 to further grow their venture. Doggett and Gonzalez are both in the University Honors Program.
“GeoSwap is a platform for anyone to know exactly what’s going on in their community,” said Gonzalez.
The application indicates areas of interest with all the details of what is happening at that “GeoSpot,” whether it is a concert or a sale at a local business. It also provides companies with analytics to gage how many people GeoSwap is bringing into their businesses.
“We encourage everyone out there to apply to all the great opportunities that the Horn Program has; we’re so thankful,” said Bamford, who described taking first place as “absolutely incredible.”
The $12,000 second place award for the student track went to Revive, a mobile application that allows women to swap clothing with other users. This team includes entrepreneurship master’s student Rachel Weinberger, senior accounting major Palina Ivanova, junior marketing major Avalon Greene and sophomore entrepreneurship major Emma Lynch.
A third place prize of $3,000 went to Influencia, which was founded by junior economics major Danilo Vicioso. Influencia is an influencer-marketing platform that brings businesses and influencers together.
As for the alumni, faculty and staff track, a first place prize of $17,500 was awarded to Vibrating Therapeutic Apparel (VTA), which offers wearable, therapeutic products that use vibration technology to help alleviate pain for amputees. This team includes Amira Idris of the College of Engineering Class of 2015 and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics Class of 2016, and Danielle Bubay-Betters of the College of Arts and Sciences Class of 2017.
Idris, who had applied to Hen Hatch in the past but did not make it to the finals in her previous attempts, was “flabbergasted” to have won first place this year.
“I could have given up after not making it to the finals last year,” said Idris. “I went back to the Horn Program and I evolved to where I was a finalist this year, so never give up, keep pushing and all your hard work pays off.”
A second place prize of $7,500 for the alumni, faculty and staff track went to Strados Labs, which was founded by CEO Nick Delmonico, Lerner College Class of 2012 alum. Strados Labs develops Pulmawear, a wearable asthma-monitoring device.
The $3,000 third place prize was awarded to TenantU, a portal that makes tenancy simpler for both tenants and landlords. The TenantU team includes Lerner College Class of 2016 alum Jacob Jeifa, College of Engineering Class of 2015 alum Wilson Hu, College of Engineering Class of 2016 alum Krzysztof Czerwinski and current junior computer science major Alex Carr.
Each team had seven minutes to pitch their business concept and five minutes to answer questions from the panel of judges. This panel included representatives from organizations ranging from JP Morgan Chase and Co. to BHP Consulting Group LLC.
“Being a judge for Hen Hatch, honestly, for me, is a privilege,” said Ngozi Bell who is a regional advocate from the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration. “I really believe that entrepreneurship is the next wave for economic development, especially for young people.”
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.