Entrepreneurs / Startups

To kick off 2022, here are 20 resolutions from Delaware innovators

It will be a year of change, growth and opportunity, if these tech and entrepreneurship ecosystem leaders have their way.

New year, new goals. (Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels)
Correction (01/06/2022 04:24 PM): The name of Sandy Royer's company was initially mispelled -- it is Broadbrand, not Broadband. 
2022 is here, whether you’re ready or not.

As we enter another Q1 amid a continuing pandemic and economic uncertainty, is setting goals and making changes. That includes going all-remote, as we leave the Philadelphia HQ behind, at least for now, as well as expanding the reach of our journalism.

We reached out to several Delaware innovation leaders from undergrad founders to executive directors, podcasters to engineers, to see what goals they’re setting for themselves, be they professional or personal. Nineteen responded with their plans and hopes for 2022.

Check them out and maybe get inspired to adopt some yourself:

Desa Burton, executive director of Zip Code Wilmington

Desa Burton. (Photo via Zoom)

In 2022, Zip Code Wilmington is even more committed than ever to reaching those who need us the most with new funding generously granted directly to Zip Code Wilmington by the Governor’s Office that will cover full tuition plus a stipend for eligible Delaware residents. We are doubling down on our mission and outreach efforts to get the message out to more people about this life-changing training. Bottom line — if you ever thought about going to Zip Code, but thought you could not afford to do it, now’s the time.

Patrick Callahan, CEO of CompassRed

Patrick Callahan

Patrick Callahan. (Photo via LinkedIn)

In 2022, our hopes are to:

  1. Grow our team (significantly) with those hoping to make an impact with their job and those who have a desire to work on innovative data science and analytics projects
  2. Adjust to the new normal of remote work — and have fun with it 🙂
  3. Push the needle on diversity and inclusion in our industry through educating, meetups and awareness
  4. Partner deeper with our universities in the are to build the region’s base of data capabilities

Patrick Callihan, executive director of Tech Impact

Patrick Callihan

Patrick Callihan. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Some Tech Impact goals for 2022:

  1. Leverage data for social good using the Delaware Data Innovation Lab to provide state agencies and Delawareans insights into COVID and social determinants of health, improving outcomes for all residents.
  2. Increasing diversity in technology — leveraging a grant, provide free training to hundreds of Delawareans for jobs in tech with our partners Tech Elevator, The Precisionists and Code Differently

Hattie Duplechain, program manager at the Delaware Innovation Space

Hattie Duplechain

Hattie Duplechain. (Photo via LinkedIn)

One of my biggest professional goals for 2022 is really an extension of my work over the last couple of years. I’m excited to continue focusing on ways we can use online platforms to create engaging programming and community-building opportunities.

Michael Fleming, president of DelawareBio

Michael Fleming

Michael Fleming. (Photo via LinkedIn)

The momentum of Delaware’s life sciences sector has never been greater. From established global leaders to fast-growing companies to scores of smaller startups, the state’s life sciences community is thriving, developing and delivering innovative medicines, devices, and technologies to address everything from the Covid-19 pandemic to hard-to-treat cancers and sustainable farming practices.

This growth has been fueled by Delaware’s rich scientific heritage, one of the world’s best regional talent pools, an increasingly diverse range of firms, and a collaborative, supportive network of industry, higher education, and government. A report we issued last fall with the Delaware Prosperity Partnership outlined the current strength and exciting potential of the sector and it also provided a compelling roadmap for the life sciences’ role as a central driver of the state’s future success. To fully seize that opportunity, in 2022 we will be focusing on four key strategic priorities:

  1. Growing a robust, ready and well-trained workforce to drive the success of Delaware life science organizations
  2. Enhancing productive collaboration and engagement between institutions of higher ed and industry
  3. Improving/expanding access to investment capital for innovative small science companies
  4. Ensuring our infrastructure (including available lab space) supports development of important sites and the needs of growing companies

Chris Glanden, founder and host of the Barcode Podcast

BarCode podcast founder Chris Glanden

Chris Glanden. (Courtesy photo)

I will be extending my award-winning cybersecurity podcast to include monthly live audience shows, starting in January at Bellefonte Brewery in North Wilmington.

Shaun Gupta, cofounder of Backyard Gig

Shaun Gupta and Backyard Gig cofounder Shahroze Ali

Shaun Gupta and Backyard Gig cofounder Shahroze Ali. Courtesy photo)

My goal for 2022 is to expand Backyard Gig to the Greater Philadelphia Area and to continue to aim to find value for people.

Dr. Jalaal Hayes, founder of Elyte Energy

Jalaal Hayes

Jalaal Hayes. (Courtesy photo)

My goals for 2022 are to secure more funding for our startup, Elyte Energy and to expand onto the next phase of our project. We hope to provide opportunities to the communities in Delaware by the end of the year and the beginning of 2023.

Nicole Homer, cofounder of HXInnovations

Nicole Homer

Nicole Homer. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Happy New Year! Our resolution for 2022 is to build off of the success of 2021 and establish new partnerships and client relationships.

Gaby Indellini, founder of INCdellini

Gaby Indellini

Gaby Indellini. (Photo via LinkedIn)

My biggest goal for 2022 is to add a few more services to my current offerings. This year, I had some clients ask me to work on projects that used either new skills or flex some muscles that I hadn’t in a while — and it was so refreshing! Stepping out of my day-to-day and doing something new really renewed my love for my career, and I surprised myself with the results. I hope to flex these creative muscles more in 2022 while offering additional services that would allow my clients to keep as much as possible in one place as opposed to juggling multiple agencies/contractors.

Garry Johnson III, founder of First Founders and cofounder of Bison Venture Partners

Garry Johnson

Garry Johnson. (Courtesy photo)

Bison Venture Partners has a goal to run a successful equity crowdfunding campaign!

Mona Parikh, director of business development and marketing for the Delaware Innovation Space

Mona Parikh

Mona Parikh. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Some of my personal goals for 2022 are to manifest simplicity and peace in every area of my life. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth reminding myself of that when things feel complicated or tough. Being mindful in how we communicate with others, trying to avoid being reactive, and as Ted Lasso says, “be[ing] curious, not judgmental” can make all the difference in the world.

Greg Plum, founder of PlumUC and CompTIA board member

Greg Plum headshot

Greg Plum. (Courtesy photo)

As a fractional partnership leader, I am often jockeying between multiple initiatives for different clients. My goal is to minimize multi-tasking across clients and exercise complete immersion as I am engaged with each one of them, and relinquish the “guilt” that sometimes accompanies the world of segmented, dedicated involvement. Wish me luck!

Bill Provine, founder, president and CEO of the Delaware Innovation Space

Bill Provine

Bill Provine. (Courtesy photo)

In 2022, the Innovation Space will be magnifying our impact by expanding the number of startups that can be supported with our programs and in our world class laboratories,  intensifying our funding programs to support their growth, accelerating our current portfolio of startups to their next milestones, and graduating companies into other locations in our community to enable us to grow the economic base for the State of Delaware.

Carol Arnott-Robbins, founder of News4Women

Carol Arnott-Robbins

Carol Arnott-Robbins. (Photo via LinkedIn)

These are nothing exciting, but with 2021 happily in the rearview mirror, I will learn and explore in 2022 by trying new activities such my ice skating lessons which start this week. I also want to learn to play pickle ball, climb the wall at Alapocas State Park, and explore our many Delaware treasures — museums, historical venues and our wonderful State Parks.

Dr. Santiago Rojas-Carbonell, former COO and cofounder of Versogen

Santiago Rojas-Carbonell

Santiago Rojas-Carbonell. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Decide where to best contribute my skills to advance green energy technologies, deploying them to enable their speedy implementation and commercialization.

Sierra RyanWallick, CEO and founder of UP Cycle Design

Sierra RyanWallick

Sierra RyanWallick. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Personal goal for 2022:

  • Achieve my definition of a balanced schedule (which I am far from right now …)
  • Meetings: Max three per day
  • To-do list: Three big tasks and three little ones
  • Evenings: Time to myself to read, clean, cook, plan, rest, do hobbies or spend time with friends and family
  • Weekends: Actually take weekends off work, but also spend some of Sunday planning the week ahead

Professional goals for 2022 with UP Cycle Design:

  • Relaunch our first product of upcycled cloth stickers with new embroidery technique
  • Launch our second product line of upcycled cloth bags
  • Add 10 nonprofits to our Nonprofit Partner Program
  • Officially hire our first employees

Sandy Royer, CEO and founder of Broadbrand Creative

Sandy Royer

Sandy Royer. (Photo via LinkedIn)

My personal and business 2022 resolutions are very simple: Show more gratitude towards my peers, loved-ones and current and future business partners and to offer more help to those who are less fortunate.

As COVID-19 hit, I faced many challenges and 2020 and 2021 were quite difficult but due to my personal and business support systems, I was able to rise and thrive. I am blessed to have three fierce warrior daughters who I have become closer and more bonded with due to these hardships and my support system made up of friends, family and coworkers was magnified! I clearly see what is most important and what I must do going into 2022!

Stephen Sye, CEO and cofounder of Futures First Gaming

Newdy Felton, Stephen Sye and Malcolm Coley, founders of Futures First Gaming

Stephen Sye (center) with FFG cofounders Newdy Felton and Malcolm Coley. (Courtesy photo)

FFG goals for 2022 are to open a LAN Center, get esports sanctioned as an official sport for Delaware high schools and hire at least two additional staff positions to support programming and operations.

Charles Vincent, executive director and founder of Spur Impact

Charles Vincent

Charles Vincent. (Photo via LinkedIn)

We are planning to scale up our plans to support and create more opportunities for young professionals looking to make a bigger impact in their careers and communities. This includes curating the 2022 #MILLSUMMIT experience as the leading young professionals conference in the country and improving the Delaware Gives platform to make it even easier for individual donors and groups to support their favorite nonprofit organizations. And hopefully between these efforts, we will raise even more money for the nonprofit sector during the Do More 24 Delaware giving day event on March 3 to 4.

Also, we’re putting together a virtual mini-MillSummit on Jan. 7 focused on health and wellness — free to attend — and we’re using Zoom events to facilitate, so we’ll see how that goes.

What are your goals for the year? Let us know by emailing, or join the convo on’s public Slack:

Join the Slack
Companies: Delaware Innovation Space / Delaware Bioscience Association
People: Nicole Homer / Sierra RyanWallick / Desa Burton / Stephen Sye / Charles Vincent / Garry Johnson / Patrick Callahan / Greg Plum / Mona Parikh / Patrick Callihan

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