SPARK Challenge, a startup mentor program that began its latest Delaware session in early October, has its big finale Nov. 8, when the participating startups pitch for $500,000 of SmartInvest angel funding — and it’s open to the public as part of Delaware Innovation Week.
The SPARK Challenge pairs business mentors with entrepreneurs with technically and commercially validated concepts, usually past the accelerator stage. Called “final stage intervention,” the program takes place on eight full days over a period of about a month. By the end, founders are ready to pitch to investors.
Participants were selected at an event called “Life’s a Pitch,” held Sept. 29.
The selected are:
- Americae, aims to address an underserved market with its Latin American–inspired clothing brand.
- Blue Dragon Bioimaging is focused on creating a more cost-effective, portable microscope and imaging software to help regions devastated by natural disasters or underserved vaccination geographies.
- Celesstia Health is focused on wearable AI technology intended to detect early stage cancer and other health problems.
- Drone Workforce Solutions not only provides job training, but also acts as an employment company serving both their students and large companies.
- Levitea targets the growing market of upscale tea drinkers with uniquely packaged and curated tea subscription boxes.
- Mixotype uses the popularity of social media in a new way — optimizing user-provided data to connect like-minded people.
- Rovier has an application to help restaurants and other large institutions source their food/supplies at a more competitive cost.
- Wilmington Green Box, the only nonprofit selected, focuses on bringing fresh produce to downtown Wilmington neighborhoods, plus training and hiring the youth from these neighborhoods to run the business.
SPARK startups pitch for angel funding on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 5:30–7:00 p.m. at Theatre N (aka The Mill Auditorium) at the Nemours Building, 1007 N. Orange St., in Wilmington.