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, hosted by Horn Entrepreneurship, is the University of Delaware’s premier startup 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.
Vincent Di Felice, Manager of Venture Support and Assistant Professor for Horn Entrepreneurship and the Lerner College of Business and Economics, expressed his appreciation for each and every team that participated this year. “I’m very proud of this year’s cohort. We covered a cross-section of the entire college and we’re lucky to have had such an eclectic group. The diversity of each discipline is clearly in affect here tonight.”
The team tied for first place from the student track is D150 Fueling. This team includes Bailey O'Brien, College of Engineering, Class of 2018; Samuel Bacharach, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2019; and Amedeo DeLuca, College of Engineering, Class of 2018. They took home $12,500 to further grow their venture.
D150 Fueling sends a custom-built fleet fueling truck with a trained fleet fueling professional to the customers’ vehicle lot, at the time and frequency of their choosing. The company can then fuel the customer’s vehicles directly to their tank, eliminating employee downtime associated with refueling, and provide customers with complete and accurate records of their fuel usage.
In addition to D150, Wilminvest took home a first place prize of $12,500. This team includes Joel Amin and Bryce Fender, both from the Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2019, and Demetrius Thorn, unaffiliated. Wilminvest provides supported housing environments for third party community-based organizations, by renovating vacant properties in the city of Wilmington, Delaware, and leasing them as permanent supportive housing.
The $11,000 second place award for the student track went to Lyapunov Technologies. This team includes Anthony Rossi, Lerner College of Business and Economics as well as College of Engineering, Class of 2018, and Duanyi Wei, College of Engineering, Class of 2018. Lyapunov Technologies merges the field of control systems engineering with the world of finance to provide technology driven financial services that innovate risk management.
A third place prize of $3,000 plus a $1,000 audience choice bonus went to Intratext. This team includes Jamie Levy, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018, Kerry Shwartz, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2019, Kristen Brokaw, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2018, and Gina Gesualdi, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2018.
IntraText is an application that combines interaction and text to revolutionize the book industry. Content is transformed to engage, incentivize and interact with users to keep them interested in today's digital age.
As for the alumni, faculty and staff track, a first place prize of $18,500 was awarded to OPS LLC. which supports drinking water infrastructure systems, recording reliable, secure, field-data for analysis and helping to reduce violations enabling water operators to invest in their infrastructure instead of paying violation restitution costs. This team includes Lee Beauchamp, College of Engineering, Class of 2005, Matthew Beard, unaffiliated, Tai Nguyen, unaffiliated, and Timothy Gantzhorn, unaffiliated.
A second place prize of $16,500 for the alumni, faculty and staff track went to Smartbooks. Smartbooks is an evolutionary company utilizing smart technology in order to provide adults the opportunity to personalize children’s books through an avatar creation app. This team includes Courtney Hewitt, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2011, Rossiny Beaucejour, College of Engineering, Class of 2014, Garry Johnson, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2018, Taji Hardwick, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Class of 2018.
Garry Johnson explained with infectious energy, “I’m beyond excited to have participated in Hen Hatch. I’ve applied in the past and it’s finally paying off today. Super hype to see where this all takes everyone, and I can’t wait to get started!”
The $3,000 third place prize was awarded to Veramorph, a drug delivery company developing multi-functional materials for more convenient and effective oral delivery of poorly absorbed drugs in order to form partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Paul Godfrin, College of Engineering, Class of 2015, developed this concept.
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 Corporation Service Company.
The CEO of Corporation Service Company, Rod Ward, said “Naturally I’m interested in the success of Delaware’s economy. I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a Hen Hatch judge, so I jumped at the chance. I’ve certainly heard a lot about it.”
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.