Events / Partnerships

What the heck is a neoFest?

The one-day celebration of startups, tech and what's new in Delaware hits the Chase Center on May 7.

As the buzz builds for neoFest — including the Startup302 pitch competition — you might be wondering if it’s something you should get involved with.

If you have a startup in Delaware, are interested in starting one, or are interested in sharing innovative ideas with other people locally, then yes, you probably should.

neoFest is a joint project between a dozen-plus organizations, including University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship, Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Delaware Innovation Space, Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, New Castle County Emerging Enterprise Center, Millennial Summit, Delaware Small Business Development Center and Tech Forum. It will take place at the Chase Center on the Riverfront on Thursday, May 7.

“All of these different organizations are working together on this one event, aligning, and, in some ways, combining,” said Ariel Gruswitz, director of innovation for the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “So, for example, the New Castle County Chamber’s annual Entrepreneurship Summit is going to get folded into the educational component of neoFest during the first part of the day.”

neoFest, which is planned to become an annual event, will include:

  • The finals of Hen Hatch, the University of Delaware student/alumni/staff startup competition
  • Entrepreneurial Summit sessions
  • Tech talks
  • “Ask an Innovator” sessions
  • Lunch and keynote
  • Innovation Showcase, a juried event
  • Awards celebration
  • The finals of the Startup302 pitch competition
  • “Investor Connect”
  • After party

For the Innovation Showcase, led by Tech Forum, founders, inventors and innovators can apply for free for an opportunity to exhibit at neoFest. Exhibitors will be judged for several awards that will be given out at the celebration at the end of the day. Those who are accepted will pay a $500 exhibitor fee and will receive two free neoFest tickets ($280 value). Application deadline is March 17.

“It’s going to give people the opportunity to share ideas,” said Michele Schiavoni, director of external relations and marketing for Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “Let’s share a vision. That may sound textbook-y, but it’s really a way to go from good to great with what we’re trying to do in Delaware.”

Through March 27, tickets to neoFest are at a discounted early bird rate of $19 for students ($40 after March 27) and $99 for non-students ($140 after March 27).

P.S. As it happens, neoFest is happening during our 10th annual Philly Tech Week presented by Comcast. We hope you make it up to Philly for events like the Developers Conference on May 4 and the Signature Event, aka Nerd Met Gala, on May 8.

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