The Delaware funding competition Startup 302 opened its application window on Dec. 30, and it will remain open to technology-enabled startups with at least one founding team member from an underrepresented group through Feb. 12.
Startup 302, sponsored by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP), began with a goal to bring startups from all over the world to Delaware for the first neoFest, an entrepreneurial summit organized by the Horn Entrepreneurship program at the University of Delaware and DPP along with other private and public partners.
When the event, which was to be held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in the summer of 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DPP pivoted to give the competition a more local focus, with a goal to support equity.
Startup 302 partners include First Founders leader Garry Johnson III, venture capital advisor Pedro Moore, the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, UD’s Horn program and Small Business Development Center, and Delaware State University’s College of Business.
Qualified startups are based in Delaware, or do the majority of their business in the state. There are no limits on the length of time the business has been in operation or on previous funding, but the focus of the competition is early-stage startups.
Startups may be from any industry, with financial services, esports, bioscience, agriculture and business services especially encouraged. Ventures that do not qualify for Startup 302 include brick-and-mortar retailers, residential real estate, sports venues, investment vehicles, places of overnight accommodation, clubs and concerts. See full competition guidelines.
At least one founder must be a member of an underrepresented group that the capital industry underinvests in; Startup 302 defines underrepresented founders as African Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans and women.
Startup 302 will consist of two rounds:
- Application submission and evaluation
- A pitch round that will be held virtually on April 29
Prizes include $200,000 in grant-based and in-kind prizes. Other benefits of the competition include engagement with investors, industry mentors and key influencers.
For more information and to apply, go to startup302.org.