The end of the semester at local universities usually also comes with a roundup of pitch competitions for its business and entrepreneurial students.
This year is no exception — though of course, the usually in-person events were virtual this spring.
Wharton Venture Lab’s Startup Challenge, in its fifth year, chose 3Cor Bio as its grand prize winner this month. The startup makes low-cost diagnostics for infectious diseases, including a COVID-19 diagnostics device.
3Cor Bio was founded by Ranjan Pati, a 2021 Penn College of Arts & Sciences and Wharton School student, aims to “democratize diagnostics.” Its platform uses a saliva sample and smartphone to provide a COVID-19 diagnosis within four minutes with 97% accuracy, according to Wharton. The test costs less than $5, and the startup expects to receive emergency approval from the FDA in the coming months.
The student team for 3Cor Bio won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize and the $10,000 Frederick H. Gloeckner Award for Best Undergraduate Team at the Startup Challenge. Eight finalist teams participated.
Previous winners of the Startup Challenge and showcase include Hello Ralphie, which connects pet parents with veterinarians for video and chat appointments, and Percepta, makers of “ethical AI” for unbiased shoplifting detection.
And Temple University’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl kicked off for the 23rd year on April 22. The program calls itself one of the most lucrative university seed funding programs in the country, offering more than $200,000 in cash and other prize giveaways. This year’s finalists included eight startups across a range of industries.
“It’s been a particularly difficult year for small businesses, and yet it also provides some extraordinary opportunities for true innovators and problem solvers,” said Greg Fegley, the director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at Temple’s Fox School of Business, at the top of the event.
The $20,000 winners in the upper (aka graduate school) track were Enoque Panzo, Getenet Mohammed and Anna Panzo, with their startup Kiese Technologies, a tech company “transforming how construction companies manage their businesses.”
$20,000 winners in the lower (aka undergraduate) track are Bryan Huang, Dennis Josifi and Francis Duong for Jojo, which offers an automated boba experience.
The crowd favorite award went to Simply Flows, a self-service, no-code platform that automates data tasks. Second place winners in each category received $10,000, and third and fourth place each receive $5,000.
The grand prize for the day also went to Kiese Technologies, with an $40,000 award. Enoque Panzo told attendees the company plans to work with the Fox School and return to Philly.
“We’re really looking forward to doing some big things,” he said.
You can watch the full pitch event here:-30-