(Photo courtesy of Miracle Olatunji)
Last Friday, the Charter School of Wilmington’s Entrepreneurship Club hosted the first-ever Shark Tank-style pitch competition: CharterLaunch. It took place in the Charter/Cab theatre from 3–6 p.m.
The event kicked off with a tribute to the club moderator’s late father whose who had served in the Air Force for 20 years.
The club leadership team then introduced the judges/”sharks” to the crowd. They included:
- Rysheema Dixon, CEO of RD Innovative Planning
- Bryce Fender, cofounder of WilmInvest
- Amira Idris, founder of TheraV
- Peter Fomin, UD Entrepreneurship Club
Among the crowd were some of the incredible leaders of the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship: Rachel Strauss, Zack Jones and Julie Frieswyk.
The first team, H2ydrati0n, pitched their patented water filter solution which aims to solve water contamination issues, like those of the Flint water crisis. Senior Max Medroso, lead team member, personally spent years researching the product and his hard work paid off.
The next pitch was OpportuniME, a newsletter, upcoming web platform and mission-driven startup company (founded by yours truly). It has the goal of helping high schools and their students to easily find and create high quality opportunities, including summer enrichment programs, internships, research, study abroad and more.
Then, juniors Nitin Armstrong and Himaghna Nagandla pitched CoachMe, a video app that allows users to learn how to play different sports. They plan to start by partnering with local high school coaches to create initial content and eventually pitching to the NFL.
Premiova was presented by senior Markos Zerefos and junior Nick Ulizio. Premiova is an application that aims to simplify and consolidate the relationship between businesses and consumers by allowing businesses to conduct R&D, advertise and crowdfund their products, and consumers to discover, support and purchase new products, all on a single platform.
Dorcas and Deborah Olatunji, twin sophomores, pitched D & D’s Holiday Experience, an app that encourages people to have holiday cheer — all year.
Seth Ciolkosz and Walter Schroeder, sophomores, presented Breeze, an app that allows users to submit their photo of the company’s product or service to the app, and make money. They hope to help companies spend their advertising budgets more efficiently.
Cranum Helmets was then presented by Chris Kontomaris and Shreyas Ravichandar. Their product is an affordable helmet made to prevent concussions made with viscoelastic urethane polymer (Sorbothane™). The problem they are looking to solve is that football causes tens of thousands of traumatic brain injuries occur each year, incurring major costs to players, schools and families.
Finally, freshman Cyrus Rosen blew the crowd away with his presentation of Bubl Health, which enables patients to share their experiences and advice for dealing with certain health conditions.
A 50/50 raffle was held, whereby half the money went to the first-prize winner and the other half to the lucky audience member whose ticket had been called.
Mac Nagaswami, CEO of Carvertise, was the keynote speaker for the event. He spoke about his experiences starting Carvertise and advice for the many young entrepreneurs in the audience.
During a quick networking break, the judges went into the lobby to deliberate and choose the three winning teams. When they were done, the winners had been decided.
Out of the eight outstanding groups that pitched, the top three were:
- Bubl Health
Overall, this event was a massive success and a testament to the exciting youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in Northern Delaware. We hope that this event will continue for many years to come!-30-
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