Eight startups took the virtual stage at Georgetown Entrepreneurship’s Bark Tank pitch competition on Oct. 27. These business ventures come from university students and alumni who vied for a chance to win cash prizes at the fourth annual event.
Normally there is $100,000 in cash prizes up for grabs — but with a three-way tie for first place, $155,000 was awarded to Georgetown entrepreneurs. The Bark Tank funding was sponsored by the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize, an organization that specifically invests in Georgetown-born startups.
The pitch competition was judged by a panel of eight startup and business experts including Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman, principal and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment; Shavini Fernando, founder of OxiWear and 2018 Bark Tank winner; Osman Nur, associate at Revolution Growth; and Arun Gupta, venture partner at Columbia Capital. Christy Felix, founder of UHustle and one of last year’s Bark Tank winners, emceed the event.
“We have seen on the campus of Georgetown that creating your own business is a positive career choice,” said Leonsis in a statement. “Activating this entrepreneurial spirit across Georgetown can make this university one of the most important universities in the world located in one of the most important cities in the world.”
Current undergraduate and graduate students and alumni within six months of graduation were eligible to compete. The eight finalists ventures were (with descriptions provided by Georgetown Entrepreneurship):
- [The Bar] — Makers of a plant-based supplemental health snack that promises to meet daily recommended nutritional needs with superfood and star ingredient Teff
- Button Helper — Allows people of all abilities to dress themselves with ease by using magnetic button technology
- COVID Can I Do It? — Aims to ensure anyone, anywhere, can assess their risks for COVID-19 during their daily life and be empowered to make informed choices to prevent further transmission
- Flolango — A combination of makeup with poetry enclosed for the purpose of empowerment
- Kits to Heart — A nonprofit that distributes thoughtfully designed, curated cancer care kits to patients and their caregivers
- KnoNap — Creators of a cocktail napkin that is capable upon saturation of detecting specific date-rape drug presence
- Parrotfish LLC — Offers subscriptions of refillable plastic-free, palm-free, personal-care products
- Project Olas — Offers conversational Spanish language tutoring taught online by moms in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump community
In the three-way tie, startup founders from Button Helper, KnoNap and Project Olas each won a $30,000 cash prize. Technical.ly named KnoNap the #8 startup to watch on our 2020 RealLIST Startups earlier this year.
“I am so grateful to leave the competition with capital that will support our efforts in combating drug-facilitated sexual assault and crime, as well as connections that will continue to enrich my professional pursuits,” said KnoNap founder Danya Sherman. “Words of gratitude alone are not enough to thank the Leonsis family for their support and for this amazing opportunity.”
— Georgetown McDonough (@msbgu) October 27, 2020
Sherman’s company was also awarded an additional $5,000 for the people’s choice award. Parrotfish won second place, receiving $20,000, while the teams behind [The Bar], COVID Can I Do It?, Flolango and Kits to Heart each took home $10,000.
Watch the full event here: