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Horn Entrepreneurship

UD Horn 2020 Fall Pitch Party Focuses on Undergraduate Students

Copy of Pitch party ud brief size 2017 Fall Pitch Party is shown, before covid-19 safety measures were required..

The University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship brought back their biannual pitch party in virtual fashion this past Wednesday, sporting over 50 viewers and 15 teams presenting pitches.

The event featured student teams pitching an idea or venture of their choosing in 90 seconds or less to a live audience which included a panel of experienced alumni who served as commentators.

This year’s alumni panel consisted of Jolisa Copeland, M.I.D.18 and 2019 Miss Delaware USA; Ariel Ramirez, AG18, former CEO of Sage Smart Garden; James Massaquoi, AS20, co-founder of 360VR Technology; and Tali Cohen, BE16, co-founder of Udwell and Revolve.

Vince DiFelice, faculty director of venture support, works with the Entrepreneurship Club to provide academic support for the semi-annual pitch party events. DeFelice sees a clear path to how these startups provide a powerful vehicle to accelerate students’ learning, not only about entrepreneurship but about oneself: About where one fits into the world, what interests them, and the markets in which these interests fit.

Fall Pitch Party presenters were divided into two tracks based on revenue. The beginner track, which competed for a total of $1,500 in reimbursable funds toward startup costs, contained all ideas or ventures that have not yet posted revenue. The advanced track included all startups that have won or earned revenue in the past. The three finalists in this track were also awarded semi-finalist status for Hen Hatch 2020, which is set to take place on Dec. 3. Superlatives with gift card rewards were also given out based on audience polls for the most creative, promising, interesting, and motivated presenters in each track.

The award winners for the beginner track are:

Stemmer, Sam Goetz, EG22 and Julian Wahl, BE23 won first place with $750. Stemmer is a tech startup that sorts and organizes audio files used by audio engineers to allow for easy transfer to other individuals.

Dear Volunteer, Isabella Duarte, AS24 won second place prize with $500. Dear Volunteer organizes a new way to an integrated channel of communication for nonprofits and volunteers.

Got Hens, Alexander Pugliese, BE23 won third place prize with $250. Got Hens is a subscription service that seasonally delivers and picks up hens and chicken coops on a rental basis. When asked what brought him to the event, Pugliese said he was looking to gain experience pitching in front of a live audience for the first time. “I kinda have stage fright and I thought this would be a great way to practice,” he said.

Superlatives for the beginner track were awarded to the following teams:

Most Creative: Blanki - Derek Mihaescop, BE24 

Most Promising: Fresh Start - Mo Mahmood, AS23

Most Interesting: Got Hens - Alexander Pugliese, BE23

Most Motivated: Stemmer - Sam Goetz, EG22 and Julian Wahl, BE23 

For the advanced track, the top three teams clinched an automatic berth in the Hen Hatch semi-finals. 

The awards winners are:

Doobie Ridez LLC, Jack Dubecq, BE22 and Peter Coker, BE22. The venture provides transportation around college campuses like UD’s via golf cart student chauffeurs.

Up Cycle Design, Sierra RyanWallick, BE22 and Michelle Yatvitski, AS21. Up Cycle Design is a business that creates sustainable zero-waste products like patches through upcycling of used fabric from clothes.

OnoBowls Food Truck, Benjamin Quinutolu, AG23. Based in New Jersey, Quinutolu’s existing two – soon to be three – food trucks deliver acai bowls to areas where less access to fruit and other nutritious foods exists.

Superlatives for the advanced track were awarded to the following teams:

Most Creative: Up Cycle Design - Sierra RyanWallick, BE22 and Michelle Yatvitskiy, AS21

Most Promising: OnoBowls Food Truck - Benjamin Quinutolu, AG23

Most Interesting: Blue Tusk LLC -  John-Carlos Saponara, EG21

Most Motivated: Doobie Ridez LLC - Jack Dubecq, BE22 and Peter Coker, BE22

Horn Entrepreneurship hosts two pitch parties annually. The spring pitch party date will be announced next semester.

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, enrichment, resources, competition, students, startups, pitching, pitch party