After a postponement, a revamp and collaboration from over a dozen Delaware organizations, Delaware Prosperity Partnership’s Startup 302 pitch competition is finally happening Thursday, April 29, with a free virtual event hosted on Markee.
Twenty-three finalists ranging from newcomers to familiar, established and growing startups will compete in nine categories. All startups have at least one founder who is part of an underrepresented group.
The startups will be judged by a panel that will include Delaware Deputy Secretary of State Kris Knight; Denita Henderson, associate director of the Delaware Small Business Development Center (SBDC); venture capitalist and entrepreneur Pedro Moore; Jim Roszkowski, president of Discover Bank Delaware; Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware; Mona Parikh, director of business development at Delaware Innovation Space; Anne Clauss, executive director of the Delaware Data Innovation Lab; Sara Olson, principal at FMC Ventures; and Dr. Michael Casson, dean of Delaware State University (DSU) School of Business.
The finalists and categories are:
- Delaware Innovator — Desikant, HX Innovations, Gaskiya
- Open Innovation — Lazarus 3D, WeavAir, SALUBATA
- Blue Hen — Get Potluck, Green Pesa, TheraV
- FinHealth — Kiddie Kredit, Neggster, VariCard
- Automation and Insight — Chekmate, HX Innovations, WeavAir
- Innovation in Agriculture — AF3, Edie, Gaskiya
- Innovation in Health — Lazarus 3D, Lilu, Solutions Medical
- NCC Innovator — Futures First Gaming, GetPotluck, Versogen
- Best Scientific Startup — 2M, Elyte Energy, Enolytic Labs
Startup 302 was originally scheduled to happen during NeoFest in the spring of 2020; that major, in-person, entrepreneur-focused event will now have its inaugural in 2022.
The pitch event is a collaboration between the DPP and Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, First Founders Accelerator, University of Delaware (UD) Horn Entrepreneurship Program, Delaware SBDC, Pedro Moore, DSU and Delaware Innovation Space.
The prize pool will be $275,000. Prize sponsors include UD, DSU, Discover Bank, Highmark, Delaware Innovation Space, Delaware Division of Small Business, JPMorgan Chase, New Castle County, FMC and Labware.
The event will begin with a kickoff led by Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long at 9 a.m. Pitches will happen between 9:30 a.m. and noon, with a winner’s ceremony from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.