These 8 MICA ventures are finalists for Up/Start 2019

The finalists in the MICA entrepreneurship competition will pitch for $100,000. Ventures include VR, a painting app and more.

Jennifer Fairman pitches Fairman Studios at MICA Up/Start 2018. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

MICA named the eight student and graduate-led ventures that will take part in this year’s Up/Start competition.

Part of the effort to spur entrepreneurship from the Baltimore arts college, the startups will pitch for $100,000 in seed funding in the spring, with support from the Philip E. and Carol R. Ratcliffe Foundation.

On Friday, Feb. 1, MICA held a “Pop Up and Pitch” event on campus, where 27 teams pitched to a panel of judges. Eight finalists were chosen, who will be matched in the coming weeks with a mentor to refine business plans and pitch skills. The final event will take place on April 17.

Here’s a look at the finalists, with descriptions from MICA:

  • AMAZING INDUSTRIES — Brett Wallace founded the startup utilizing investigative journalism, writing, documentary video and installation and other disciplines to explore how new technologies are transforming the future of work.
  • Erose — Rheagen King created the lifestyle brand and safe space platform devoted to healing through storytelling developing healthy emotional habits in order to cultivate healthy romantic partnerships with others.
  • GPG Technologies, LLC — Kyle Vaughan and Kenneth Wayman 
founded the sustainable solutions company developing the Saqua bottle, a reusable water bottle that is easy to clean.
  • Greenmount Tile — Anna Zellhofer and Dominique Hellgeth founded the architectural ceramics company that creates limited edition artwork, including installations for public space, experimental structural design and suspended tile.
  • HILARIOUS COMICS — RJ Sterling spearheaded the brand that seeks to redefine the term superhero and highlight underrepresented characters in comics, such as female characters, characters of color, and queer characters.
  • Lucky Pocket Press — Stephanie Bulante and Sara Hagstrom created an artist collective and risograph press that strives that tells stories through handmade merchandise and comics.
  • Paint.Team — Haley Manchon, Kelly Sullivan and Doug Moreland founded a web app that allows users to team up and create works of art while collaborating from anywhere in the world.
  • Virtual Scout — Scott Will and Danielle Spellman founded the company which creates targeted virtual reality content for use in therapeutic settings.

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