(Photo by Max Pixel, used under a Creative Commons license)
Newark, thanks to the University of Delaware, produces a steady stream of startups, many of which have brought added life to Wilmington, with its downtown coworking spaces. Carvertise, GeoSwap, BookBandit and AndAgain all started in Newark before decamping for Wilmington.
Without a doubt, a driving force behind Newark’s impact on Delaware’s entrepreneurial community is UD’s Horn Entrepreneurship, a program established in 2012 thanks to a grant from Delaware entrepreneur and investor Charlie Horn. In 2012, the program served about 100 students; in 2017-18, it served about 1,500.
While many Newark-born startups relocate, not all do. Newark is a startup hub in its own right, and we wanted to show Party Town USA some love with its very own realLIST. Just so you know, we’ll still do a statewide realLIST in early 2019 (here’s the 2018 edition, on which some of the below Newark firms also appear).
The ground rules are pretty simple:
- Make the majority of their revenue from a product or service. That means agencies aren’t eligible.
- Currently have a base in the city of Newark — and not the New Jersey one!
(One important caveat about this list: Not making this list does not mean we deem a startup “unreal.” This is simply a snapshot of what we’re most excited about in the final quarter of 2018.)
10. Ground Up Computer Science
Founded by two Newark Charter students, Ground Up is a summer program for middle-schoolers that aims to fill the void when it comes to coding classes for kids. There are three Ground Up programs, at Newark Charter, George Wilson Center and Tyler’s Camp at Salesianum. Next step: After-school programs during the school year.
9. Mettā Creative
University of Delaware likes to party (that’s been established). Up-and-comer Mettā Creative creates social events meant to truly connect people as an alternative to the college rager. Inspired by festival culture, the events focus on creativity and face-to-face interaction, with a goal to create its own community, complete with its own cryptocurrency.
8. Water is Life Kenya
The Newark-based nonprofit Water is Life Kenya builds wells and collection aids that provide clean, safe water for remote villages in Kenya. Its 17th project, completed this fall, was a 570-foot deep well serving 1,500 people in the KuKu community.
mTrigger brings the use of biofeedback for physical therapy into the 21st century, with an app-based mobile system. The company got its start in 2014 in the University of Delaware’s Spin In program. It had a soft launch of the product earlier this year, after years of market testing, and is poised to innovate surface electromyography (sEMG) instrumentation.
Formerly known as Vibrating Therapeutic Apparel, TheraV was founded by Amira Idris, winner of Horn’s Hen Hatch 2017. Its flagship product, ELIX, is a drug-free pain relieving device specifically for amputees experiencing phantom limb pain. In August, ELIX was presented publicly at the Amputee Coalition of America National Conference in Louisville, Ky., where TheraV began taking pre-orders for the first public run. The company also raised funds to cover the costs to manufacture the devices so they can be offered to veterans at no charge.
The Newark solar startup SHIO, founded by four University of Delaware doctoral students/alumni, developed a technology to create solar cells at a low temperature — and won the $50,000 first place prize at LaunchR, a U.S. Department of Energy–funded cleantech innovation contest run by Rutgers University students last April.
Pedro Moore’s crowdsourcing platform that allows regular folks to invest in small businesses continues to gain national attention. Black Enterprise named FundingFuel a finalist in its recent pitch competition in San Francisco, and the company came in first. As for what’s next, Moore will be applying for the Backstage Capital Accelerator in Philly in early 2019.
Founded in 2014 by Vijaya Rao, DeliveryCircle has gone from a regional tech company to one that serves over 400 markets. The product? A same-day delivery service that utilizes an Uber-like model.
2. Danio Diary
Danio Diary was launched in 2015, exclusively as a caregiver app. What made it unique was its security features, which encrypted private data when it wasn’t being accessed with a tracking code. It’s still used by caregivers and patients to discuss medical information securely in real time, but the company is expanding as users find new uses for the tech, including the nonprofit-to-business network Danio Connect.
1. D150 Fueling
This Horn startup consistently impressed the judges at pitch competitions with their ambitious plan to change the way businesses manage fueling for fleets of vehicles. The model: D150 Fueling beings the fuel to the vehicles in the company lot after-hours and fills them up, so employees never have to waste time stopping for gas. Today they have a growing client base, fuel trucks and plans to expand into after-hours vehicle washing.-30-
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