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Horn Entrepreneurship

Introducing the 2023 Blue Hen 17 & 43 Award Winners

Horn Entrepreneurship and the Lerner College of Business and Economics are thrilled to announce the prestigious recipients of the 2023 Blue Hen 17&43 Awards. Recognizing that economic growth depends on the creation of new businesses, this year’s Blue Hen 17&43 Awards focused strictly on the most promising new businesses. This annual accolade, which was established in 2017, celebrates the University of Delaware’s rich history of leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship by recognizing exceptional early-stage startups led by Blue Hen entrepreneurs. The 17 ventures honored in this year's awards exemplify the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial excellence within our community.

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Horn After 10: Garry Johnson III

His father and stepmother, both pharmacists, wanted Garry Johnson III to have a well-paying, stable career in healthcare. His 2017 University of Delaware bachelor of science in kinesiology and exercise science, leading to a career as a physical therapist, filled the bill, but then he had to have The Talk. 

He had discovered entrepreneurship and wanted to pivot.

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University of Delaware Alumni Cleans Up on Shark Tank

Shark Tank has evolved into a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas and secure investments from seasoned investors. On February 17th, 2023, University of Delaware alumni Joelle Flynn and her childhood best friend Sonia Hounsell captured the attention of the Sharks with their revolutionary company, FunkkOFF!®. With their environmentally friendly, reusable (30 x), all-in-one toothpaste and toothbrush combination, Flynn and Hounsell left a lasting impression on both the Sharks and viewers. They even secured a deal with one of the five Sharks, Robert Herjavec. Let's dive into their remarkable journey on Shark Tank and the growing success of FunkkOFF! TeethRefreshers®.

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Burn Social: Innovation In Three Dimensions

Cute and personalized cookie cutters, hands-free door openers, and an “impossible floating” table are all imaginative ideas brought to life by the wonders of the 3D printing world. More specifically brought to life by the innovative mind of Richard Hayburn and his business Burn Social LLC., who have made it a mission to bring everyone’s imagination to life, whether it's the imagination of an established engineer or an artistic 8-year-old.

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Horn After 10: Maya Nazareth

This article is part of a series celebrating the 10th anniversary of Horn Entrepreneurship by highlighting alumni, their stories and accomplishments.

The origin story of Alchemize Fightwear involves a rebellion against hot pink and purple, a statement against male thinking and a push to empower women. The company, founded by Maya Nazareth when she was a 19-year-old University of Delaware student, has been profitable since Day 1.

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Horn After 10: Farhad Baqi

This article is part of a series celebrating the 10th anniversary of Horn Entrepreneurship by highlighting alumni, their stories and accomplishments.

The first big innovation that Blue Hen Dental co-founder Farhad Baqi orchestrated for the Smyrna, Delaware, dental practice was a device called the Curing Cube, which sped up the time to harden the resins and dental composites used in making impressions from as much 15 minutes to as little as 10 seconds.

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The Ultimate sneak peek into Ultimate Tournament

“I bet you twenty bucks I can beat you in this game.” Playing video games and involving money in the equation is a situation which tends to occur regularly among gamers. Alex Pickett and Dan Goodman had a goal to create a platform where gamers can play for money. 

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Lifelong Lerner: Lavar Thomas

This article first appeared on the blog for Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics on May 24, 2022.  Lavar Thomas's graduate studies include an M.S. in International Studies and his work on his social startup, Leaders of the Free World with the opportunities available through UD's Horn Entrepreneurship.

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Lerner Staff Awards

Horn Entrepreneurship has an award-winning team

Horn Entrepreneurship honors two of their own who join a list of well recognized staff and faculty. From left to right: Tricia Monning and Laura Gasiorowski


At the Lerner Staff Meeting on April 22, two members of Horn Entrepreneurship were recognized for their contributions to the Lerner community throughout the year.

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Better Puzzles: Making Art Accessible

Meet Bryce Fender, a University of Delaware alumnus, real estate agent, marketing consultant, and most importantly an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, Fender has two main goals: to end homelessness and to provide quality, sustainable jobs through art. To reach those goals, he has helped co-found two startups, WilmInvest and Better Puzzles, each helping make his visions a reality.

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