<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=992038810903157&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Horn Entrepreneurship

An Epicenter For Innovation: 2023 Hen Hatch’s Final Round

Another celebratory night in the books where innovative students and professionals came together to embrace the true essence of entrepreneurship at one of our biggest events of the year.  On Thursday, Nov. 16th at The Tower Audion at UD’s STAR Campus, Horn Entrepreneurship’s premier startup funding competition Hen Hatch, officially concluded after the third and final round. After months and months of passionate hard work from teams striving for a spot in the final pitching round, four young innovators secured their finalist position and a chance to pitch for the top spot plus a piece of the prize pool at 2023 Hen Hatch.  

Hen Hatch is an opportunity for entrepreneurial startups to gain exposure, connections, and funding during this final round. 

“You don’t even have to shoot for a million dollar company because just being in this program gives these students the skills they need for success,” said Jenni Jones, Marketing Manager and College Recruiter for Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, P.A. and a member of Horn Entrepreneurship’s National Advisory Board.

Four students earned the chance to present a seven minute pitch to a live audience and a panel of judges for evaluation, each with their own unique venture to showcase. Following their pitches, contestants had to swiftly answer questions about their ideas from our judges. All four finalists put forth their best efforts and demonstrated their dedication and all of the hard work they’ve put into their startups. 

Hen Hatch Final Round

This year, we were again able to compile an impressive panel of judges, with a wide variety of entrepreneurial expertise and experience. Special thanks to our amazing 2023 Hen Hatch judges for their time: 

Dave Liss: Global Business Leader at W.L. Gore & Associates

Mac Macleod: CEO of Carvertise

Wendy Scott: Principal, Chief Strategy Officer at Blue Blaze Associates

Glenn Glady: Managing Director at Robin Hood Ventures

After much anticipation, here are the details and highlights from each pitch during the final round, as well as what they were awarded with.

Hen Hatch 2023 Finalists and Results:

Legacy Loom - Ian Drogowitz, Marketing, Class of 2023

Legacy Loom transforms life's celebrated moments into immersive QR code virtual galleries, preserving cherished memories and deepening connections at weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and milestone events. Ian seeks to bridge the gap between guests and hosts at events and storytell in a new way for a richer event experience for everyone involved. Ian presented such relatable situations for everyone in the audience to engage and further be interested in what Legacy Loom has to offer. Ian’s mission with this startup was immensely clear and genuine to everyone. Legacy Loom was awarded $700 as well as 5 hours accounting time from BLS and 5 hours of marketing time from Epic.

Miss Boulevard - Samantha McGhee, Entrepreneurship and Fashion Merchandising, Class of 2025

Miss Boulevard is a trendy loungewear brand that is a perfect blend of comfort, fashion,  and creative self-expression. Not only is Miss Boulevard a brand that is attractive to a range of generations, it is also led by a passionate and fashion connected founder and CEO. After a poised pitch from Samatha,  Miss Boulevard was awarded $4000 as well as 6 hours of Placers services, 5 hours of accounting time from BLS, and 5 hours of marketing time from Epic.

BonaFyde - Nicholai Williamson, Entrepreneurship and Management, Class of 2025

Bonafyde serves as a platform that facilitates two-way communication between prospective international students and those currently enrolled in college. This unique approach aids students in making informed decisions about where they’ll spend the next 4 years and provides them a genuine picture of what their life will look like outside of the classroom. With a personal connection to this kind of journey as an international student himself, Nicholai presented his pitch with confidence and never fell short in showcasing his charm and knowledge about the problem. Bonafyde was awarded $7000, as well as the $1000 audience choice award, $500 in Shoprite gift cards, 2 hours of Placers services, and 5 hours of marketing time from Epic.

OBEnaturelle - Lauren Roberts, Entrepreneurship, Class of 2026

OBEnaturelle, from which the OBE stands for “Our Beautiful Environment”, is a startup on a mission to cultivate a thriving community of plant enthusiasts through innovative products, educational content, and engaging workshops using products such as terrarium kits, various plant propagations, handcrafted pots, and others. Lauren’s zeal for her startup and entrepreneurship clearly shined through during her pitch. OBENaturelle was awarded $8300, inclusive of the Jeremy A. Moskowitz '94 and Laura Rubinstein Founder Award for promising new ventures actively serving customers and generating revenue. Also given was $1000 in Shoprite gift cards, 10 hours of attorney time from Devlin Law, 10 hours of marketing services from Epic, and 12 hours of Placers services.

HH Ian
Sam HH
HH Nicho
3 An optional caption for the image that will be added to the gallery. Enter any descriptive text for this image that you would like visitors to be able to read.
HH Lauren
4 An optional caption for the image that will be added to the gallery. Enter any descriptive text for this image that you would like visitors to be able to read.

Innovation Showcase

The four finalists weren’t the only startups with an opportunity to showcase their work. The Innovation Showcase offered budding startups a chance to display their innovative projects for the audience through a gallery walk. Venture showcase participants included:

ZNAKICKS LLC - Aiden Dufal, Finance, Class of 2025

ZNAKICKS empowers driven high school and college students to transform their passion for sneakers into a tangible business by providing a tailored action plan, mentorship, and additional resources to assist them in realizing their specific objectives. Aiden's station included ZNAKICKS’ TikTok page and had some eye-catching sneakers to support the vision of his startup that he wants to project. ZNAKICKS/Aiden Dufal captivated the audience and was awarded with the $1000 audience choice award. 

Elia - Gabriel Cofre, Quantum Science (Graduate), Class of 2026

Elia is an AI-driven feedback platform with a voice interface that empowers organizations to gather, analyze, and act upon valuable insights from clients through interactive, real-time, and open-ended questions. 

One Click Docs - Alex Berman, MechE, Class of 2025

One Click Docs specializes in creating tailored software programs designed to seamlessly connect and streamline the exchange of information across various technologies.

Alchemize Fightwear - Maya Nazareth, Class of 2020

Blue Hen 1743 Award winner, Alchemize Fightwear is athletic apparel for the fierce female. They offer women's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA gear and apparel. Alchemize your raw human potential, elevate your game, and live a life you love. 

Carbon Reform - Jo Norris, Class of 2021

Carbon Reform is designing the Carbon Capsule, a modular carbon dioxide capture device that helps eco- and health-conscious building owners reduce CO2 and contaminant levels internally, while saving energy on heating and cooling. Carbon Reform was also a Blue Hen 17&43 Award winner. 


Blue Hen 17&43 Awards and Pitches

The Blue Hen 17 & 43 Awards expand on the University of Delaware’s long history of innovation and entrepreneurship dating back to the institution’s establishment in 1743 by celebrating growing businesses founded or led by UD alumni.  Along with the demonstration of talent during Hen Hatch, recipients of our annual Blue Hen 17&43 Awards were also honored. Refer to our recent article to see the full list of award recipients.  A select few of the award winners had a chance to give the audience a brief pitch about their startups and their missions. Those select award winners include:

BVP Coffee Co. - Garry Johnson, III, Founder/CEO, Class of 2017

Garry Johnson, the familiar face behind BVP Coffee, steered away from the traditional pitch format and instead seized the moment to acknowledge the impact Horn Entrepreneurship has on him. He claims it's where he developed what he calls the “disease” of serial entrepreneurship. 

“It's just something I cannot quite shake,'' Garry joked. 

He spoke highly of his coffee brand and made sure to express the narrative that it’s more than a fresh coffee company, it's a product with a rich background rooted in community and entrepreneurial values while supporting the black scholars through donations.  

Amplus - Yuping Zeng, Advisor, Class of 2011

Yuping Zeng, representing Amplus, stood before the audience with immense gratitude and honor as she introduced her work. With a team composed of students and post-doctoral researchers, Amplus presents an inventive high efficiency device to solve the perpetual challenge of needing long lasting battery life. Yuping expresses her appreciation for the award and for any moment to speak about the work she does. 

“It's always a great honor to present my work,” said Yuping.

Alchemize Fightwear - Maya Nazareth, Founder/CEO, Class of 2020

Maya Nazareth, the visionary of Alchemize Fightwear, is determined to pave a new way in the realm of combat sports apparel, particularly tailored for women. Specializing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu apparel, Maya’s brand is the culmination of extensive research and a deep understanding of the unique needs of female athletes in the combat sports community. Engaging with hundreds of women to discern their preferences and requirements in fightwear, Alchemize Fightwear is positioned as a brand that not only meets but exceeds these expectations. 

EmpowHERed - Meghan O’Donnell, Founder/CEO, Class of 2016

EmpowHERed, founded by Meghan O'Donnell in collaboration with Samantha Ward, provides mentorship and resources aimed at accelerating career progress, while promoting self-care and fostering deeper relationships, ultimately focused on empowering female athletes. EmpowHERed believes in the fundamental principle that women belong in sports, and is dedicated to providing education, exposure, and empowerment opportunities within the athletic industry. Meghan and Samantha's powerful conviction for supporting women filled the room with positive inspiration. 

OmniPotential Energy - Cora Castle, President, Class of 1995

OmniPotential Energy, led by Cora Castle, is driven by the vision of making electric vehicles more accessible, aligning with Cora's belief that embracing sustainable practices should be convenient for everyone. This contributes to a world where individuals can easily adopt eco-friendly transportation options. Other than Cora’s passion for environmental advocacy, Cora shared her journey with her transgender identity. The struggles, the inspiring figures she met, and coming to the conclusion to be herself unapologetically. 

“I owe the world me,” said Cora.

HH Yuping
HH Maya
17&43 Garry
5 An optional caption for the image that will be added to the gallery. Enter any descriptive text for this image that you would like visitors to be able to read.
HH Meghan and Sam
3 An optional caption for the image that will be added to the gallery. Enter any descriptive text for this image that you would like visitors to be able to read.
HH Cora
4 An optional caption for the image that will be added to the gallery. Enter any descriptive text for this image that you would like visitors to be able to read.

Here’s To Another Impressive Hen Hatch

Once again, Hen Hatch turned out to be a great success for the entrepreneurship community. There is never a time where the community doesn't want to support, recognize, and award individuals for their innovation. It's always a wonder to see the awe-inspiring talent and ideas these participants have. This is what Hen Hatch and Horn Entrepreneurship is all about. 

“This is why I created this program, for people to think about these issues selflessly and expand on those thoughts, ” said Charlie Horn, Entrepreneurial Leader and Horn’s founder.

Huge thank you to everyone who made Hen Hatch 2023 the success it was, including the supporting Horn Entrepreneurship faculty and staff, our judges, and most importantly the competing startup teams. Additionally, we would like to thank our sponsors who make it possible for this competition to take place:

Devlin Law

Placers Inc.

Belfint, Lyons & Shuman

Kenny Family ShopRite Stores

Epic Marketing

One last congratulations to all the Hen Hatch finalists, Innovation Showcase participants, and Blue Hen 17&43 Award winners! Your ambition and fervor for your ventures and the entrepreneurial community as a whole never goes unnoticed and will continue to be celebrated  

About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at the University of Delaware. Currently ranked among the best entrepreneurship programs in the US, Horn Entrepreneurship was built and is actively supported by successful entrepreneurs, empowering aspiring innovators as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Topics: entrepreneurship, awards, alumni, competition, students, startups, pitching, innovation, Hen Hatch