A startup developing a collar that tracks a dog’s location and vital signs took home the Most Promising Business award at the University of Baltimore’s Rise to the Challenge pitch competition last week.
PerdidoFido, founded by Kayleigh Harkay, brings digital health principles to pet care. The collar that can track heart rate, temperature and breathing, and provide data to vets. The collar is also designed to provide data to pet owners. Along with location tracking, it also has LED lights.
Harkay was one of six founders who pitched May 2 in the finals of the student business pitch competition. Of three aspiring ventures and three existing ventures, Harkay was deemed by judges including TEDCO CEO George Davis and Mike Jackson of Amazon. She won $15,000, which was the largest prize on the night.
The competition is one of two on the year for the University of Baltimore, which has been putting more resources behind its entrepreneurship programs lately through its Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. A tech venture proved to be the winner on the night, but the businesses being founded at the university are in a variety of categories.
Of the existing businesses, Brianna Billups won $5,000 for Fully Grown, a company with an organic line of fruit snacks and meal prep service. The business puts a portion of profits toward programs focusing on helping communities eat healthy, including urban agriculture programs in Baltimore city public schools.
Congratulations to Brianna Billups and her company Fully Grown for winning the @CEIatUBalt #RisetotheChallenge #startup pitch competetion! Can’t wait to see where you go next! #baltimore #mybmore #ubalt #foodnews #foodtech pic.twitter.com/nqeKKwGC8x
— Margaret Roth Falzon (@margaret_h_r) May 3, 2018
In the earlier-stage aspiring business category Nicholas Whited won $1,000 for RaxCity. The venture develops custom bike racks that present a marketing opportunity for city businesses.
The $500 crowd favorite prize went to B’More Fluff, with founder Brian Kochesfahani’s plans to bring organic cotton candy to Baltimore events leaving the Thumel Business Center auditorium audience ready for a taste.