Events / Pitches / Startups

Hen Hatch 2020 goes (partly) virtual as neoFest is postponed until 2021

Startups that were on course for Hen Hatch and the new Startup302 pitch competitions will continue to receive support.

James Massaquoi and Sury Gupta of 360VR, Hen Hatch 2019 winners. (Courtesy photo)

The inaugural neoFest, a celebration of Delaware startups, tech and innovation that was planned to take place at Chase Center on the Riverfront on May 7, is holding off for a year, with plans to reschedule the event for the spring of 2021.

A joint project between a dozen-plus organizations — including University of Delaware’s Horn EntrepreneurshipDelaware Prosperity PartnershipDelaware Innovation Space, New Castle County Emerging Enterprise CenterMillennial Summit and Tech Forum — will include the Startup302 pitch competition, a juried Innovation Showcase, tech talks, Entrepreneurial Summit sessions, investor connection opportunities and an awards ceremony.

The finals of the annual Hen Hatch, the UD student/alumni/staff startup competition, was also planned to take place at neoFest this year. Instead of postponing Hen Hatch entirely, Horn Entrepreneurship will continue online as much as possible, as well as incorporate it with other programs later in the year.

“We pivoted Hen Hatch, given the current conditions,” said Meg Marcozzi, manager of marketing and events for Horn Entrepreneurship, in an email to “Participants will be funneled into virtual-ready and/or future programs like NSF I-Corps Sites, Summer Founders and VentureOn. Our team is working hard to convert experiences and provide engaging programs online. We are committed to providing startups with the knowledge, experiences, connections and resources whether in person or virtually.”

Those who applied for Startup302 by the March 2 deadline, note that while the competition has officially been delayed with neoFest until 2021, the following statement has been posted on the neoFest website:

“[T]he entire Startup302 team remains committed to doing everything within our means to support promising early stage startups. Therefore, we will provide feedback on all completed applications and seek to make connections to potential investors, customers and other members of our growing ecosystem whenever we perceive opportunities to provide value to participating founders.”

Companies: University of Delaware

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