Eight University of Delaware student startup teams have been chosen to participate in the fourth Summer Founders cohort run by Horn Entrepreneurship.
From June 5 to Aug. 20, the founders will be working to validate and propel their startup models, seek customer validation and meet with expert alumni and community partners in related fields through weekly mentoring and advisory sessions.
Summer Founders will conclude with Demo Day where each team will get to pitch their idea to members of the local business community supporting economic development.
The startups participating in Summer Founders 2019 include:
360VR Technology: Founder Suryansh Gupta, College of Engineering, Computer Science, class of 2020, will develop his startup, which combines virtual reality and a drone to focus on creating solutions around information aggregation to first responders during emergency situations.
bra•vo: Founder Amanda Monachelli, Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation, class of 2021 will pursue her startup focused on an innovative undergarment for women recovering from breast cancer surgeries to promote a healthy body image.
Designing Independence: Founder Kelsey Kosinski, College of Arts & Sciences, Fashion & Apparel Studies, class of 2019, will develop her startup, which combine her research in sizing outside traditional anthropometric data and designing adaptive clothing for people living with disabilities.
EaveStopping: Founder James Mesaros, College of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy, class of 2020, will explore his startup, which focuses on the protection of private conversations by use of an EaveStopping technology. Using an inaudible sound that only microphones and eavesdropping devices can hear, the technology provides seamless and silent privacy for users.
Friends 4 Friends: Founder Darian Elmendorf, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation, class of 2019, will develop his startup, which focuses on building mindful communities and educating people about important mental health issues such as suicide to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with it. Monies raised will assist with improvements to quantity, quality and accessibility of mental health resources offered by organizations.
Nollege: Founders Abu Kamara, College of Arts & Sciences, Mathematics, class of 2020 and Hope Vega, College of Health Sciences, Nutrition and Dietetics, class of 2020, will develop their startup, a social learning website that provides college students with virtual hubs for each classroom. These hubs will allow students to interact with others in their class to foster discussion and a unified entity for completing the course.
Snoop: Founders Andrew Cercena, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation and Finance, Class of 2021 and Nick Novoa, Lerner College of Business and Economics, Marketing, class of 2021, will focus their startup, which optimizes a best-fit college choice system for high school students.
The SEWcial Café: Founder ChaCha Hudson, College of Arts & Sciences, Fashion & Apparel Studies, class of 2019, build on her established startup of a community sewing space for women to create, collaborate and develop handmade products in a relaxed, inspiring and innovative environment.
About the Summer Founders Program
The Summer Founders program is an 11-week pre-accelerator for students to work on their ventures and earn a stipend. The program includes weekly mentoring and educational sessions in addition to progress meetings with an adviser.
Teams will work in the Venture Development Center and have access to free and discounted services.
“The program can be thought of as one-part startup accelerator, one-part summer job. Summer Founders provides startups with mentorship, advice and resources for success while allowing students to work full time over the course of the summer on their business concepts, unencumbered from the demands of an academic year,” says Vince DiFelice, Senior Instructor of Practice, Faculty Director of Venture Support. “Each team will have its goals listed on a board in the Venture Development Center for passersby to see. Working in the VDC will foster public accountability and combine cooperation and competition within the student group, as well as encourage them to meet their individual goals.”
The program will conclude with Demo Day, a day to focus the attention of the local community on the startups through hosting a series of pitches from the startups to interested parties from the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In the past three years, Summer Founders has had 16 successful startups such as GeoSwap, Thera-V and Lyapunov, all of which established their businesses in Wilmington.
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.