It’s been six months of applications, evaluations, startup pitches and eliminations. Finally, six University of Delaware startups have been awarded pieces of Horn Entrepreneurship’s Hen Hatch 2021 prize pool of $50,000 cash and in-kind resources.
This year, Hen Hatch featured two tracks, both for current UD students: pre-revenue, for startups that have made $0, and post-revenue, for startups that have earned $1 or more. Three startups in each category were selected for the finals, held virtually on Dec. 2.
All six finalists are classified as winners by Horn, with each taking home at least $4,800 in cash and in-kind. The judges for the finals were Vijaya Rao, founder and CEO of Techvio; Ryan Caplan, cofounder of Trovir; Lou Honick, CEO of Host Merchant Services; Mark Crawford, managing director of Stanley Ventures; and Donna Fontana, retired SVP of Broker Dealer Clearing and Bank Sales Fidelity Investments.
The company taking the biggest chunk of winnings this year is post-revenue startup UP Cycle Design, which received nearly $10,000 — a $7,250 cash prize, $2,500 to support participation in third-party entrepreneurship competitions, plus 20 hours of business advisory services from Placers. Cofounded by CEO Sierra RyanWallick, the zero-waste fashion brand supports the community with a career readiness program launched at The Warehouse. (It was also named to Technical.ly’s RealLIST Startups 2021.)
On the pre-revenue track, the biggest winner is Sharewallet, founded by Jason Bangser. The app is designed to make it easy to manage and share mutual reward referral links, so you don’t waste time sending them to friends who aren’t interested and generate rewards more quickly. Bangser received more than $7,300, including a $4,800 cash prize and $2,500 to support participation in third-party entrepreneurship competitions, plus in-kind gifts including Devlin Law Firm legal services and 10 hours of Belfint Lyons Shuman accounting services.
And the other winners:
- Stemmer, a post-revenue online platform founded by Samuel Goetz that processes recorded songs and makes them sound professionally produced, took home a total of $8,000 in cash. That includes a $4,500 cash prize, $2,500 to support participation in third-party entrepreneurship competitions, and $1,000 for winning the Audience Choice Award for Most Promising Startup, plus 10 hours of accounting service from Belfint Lyons Shuman.
- Navigating Access, a pre-revenue startup founded by Amanda Zicherman that uses crowdsourcing to help people with disabilities navigate campus and increase disability inclusion, received $6,500. That includes a $2,900 cash prize, $2,500 to support participation in third-party entrepreneurship competitions and $1,000 as the winner of the Audience Choice Award for Most Motivated Startup.
- Pick-Up Sports, founded by Michael Meola, is a post-revenue startup that encourages young athletes to play multiple sports instead of just one to reduce overuse injuries and mental burnout. Meola received $5,750, including a $3,250 cash prize and $2,500 to support participation in third party entrepreneurship competitions.
- The final winner is pre-revenue startup Supremely Sweet, founded by Santha Rani and Esha Shah. Shah and Rani have developed a vegan chocolate bar that has no traditional allergens such as nuts, corn, gluten, egg and lactose. They received $4,800, including a $2,300 cash price and $2,500 to support participation in third-party entrepreneurship competitions.
It’s expected that pre-registration for the 2022 Hen Hatch competition will open this spring.