Meet the winning startups from Pennovation's summer accelerator - Philly


Jul. 30, 2019 12:38 pm

Meet the winning startups from Pennovation’s summer accelerator

Two of the nine participating companies won six-month memberships to the center at its annual Pitch Day.
The 2019 Pennovation Accelerator Cohort.

The 2019 Pennovation Accelerator Cohort.

(Courtesy photo)

Last week, the Pennovation Center wrapped up its second annual summer accelerator program with its Pitch Day, a chance for the companies to show off their progress over the six-week program.

After weeks of mentorship and working on market analysis, positioning and sales strategy out of the Grays Ferry coworking space, the nine cohorts had five minutes to pitch to an audience of 60 and a panel of judges, the center said.

Judges Opeola Bukola, the founder and principal consultant of Lillo Consulting; Rick Genzer, director of IT investments at Ben Franklin Technology Partners; and Victoria Berenholz, executive director of Penn Health-Tech, chose two winners.

Greg Yeutter, founder of SimpleBulb, a lightbulb that aims to improve sleep, eliminate problems like jet lag and improve chronic disease, won the prize for “best pitch,” winning a six-month membership to the Pennovation Center. And Tyiwanna Carter, founder of The OrVac, a portable handheld oral aspirator for oral liquid waste evacuation and disposal that helps patients with swallowing disorders, was named winner of the 2019 accelerator.

Judges chose Carter for her engagement throughout the program, growth over the six weeks and end pitch. She received $5,000, a six-month membership to the Pennovation Center and an accounting startup package.

Tyiwanna Carter, founder of The OrVac (L). (Courtesy photo)

The full list of cohorts that completed the program include:


  • CòBARE — A feminine care company that provides functional, convenient and sustainable personal care products, including reusable period underwear
  • Cocoa Press — A 3D printer that prints chocolate
  • Kidas — An AI service that monitors kids’ social media to help ward off predators
  • Mel’s Butter Blends — A natural skin care company that’s products focus on hair and skin issues, like eczema and alopecia
  • Murphy Cares — A company that provides digital pet therapy that users can order up when needed
  • SimpleBulb — Developed a low-blue light bulb meant to be used before sleep
  • Squad — A ride-sharing program that runs through Facebook Messenger and focuses on long-distance trips
  • The OrVac — A portable handheld oral aspirator for oral liquid waste evacuation and disposal that helps people with swallowing disorders
  • TrueTone — A skin-tone matching makeup service that will help users buying makeup online buy the right shade
Companies: Pennovation Center
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