Ten tech startups with at least one team member from an underrepresented demographic shared $275,000 in funding from Delaware’s first Startup302 competition, organized by Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) local partners.
Twenty-two finalists competed in nine categories and represented multiple industries on April 29’s final pitching round. The funding contest launched in February and attracted 82 overall competitors from throughout Delaware, the Philadelphia region, the United States, and countries that included Canada and Nigeria.
The Startup302 finals were conducted virtually on the Delaware-based startup platform Markee.
The winning ventures and awards were:
- Desikant of Wilmington, Kwaku Temeng, founder, thermoregulation technology apparel engineering – $75,000 Delaware Innovator Award
- HX Innovations of Middletown, Von and Nicole Homer, founders, neuroergonomic footwear technology – $50,000 Delaware Innovator Award and $10,000 Automation and Insights Prize
- Gaskiya Diagnostics of Wilmington, Dr. Mary Larkin, founder, aquaculture diagnostics – $25,000 Delaware Innovator Award and $10,000 Innovation in Agriculture Prize
- Lazarus 3D of Corvallis, OR, Smriti Zaneveld, founder, 3D-printing technology for surgery practice – $20,000 Open Innovation Award and $10,000 Innovation in Health Prize
- TheraV of Newark, Amira Idris Radovic, founder, therapeutic devices – $20,000 Blue Hen Prize
- GetPotluck of Newark, Abubakarr Kamara, and Hope Vega, founders, specialty grocery delivery – $10,000 Blue Hen Prize and $10,000 New Castle County Innovator Prize
- WeavAir of Toronto, Ontario, Natalia Mykhaylova, founder, air quality technology – $10,000 Open Innovation Award
- Kiddie Kredit of Miami, FL, Evan Leaphart, founder, financial literacy app – $15,000 FinHealth Prize
- Elyte Energy of Dover, Jalaal Hayes, founder, hydrogen energy technology – $5,000 Prize for Best Science-Based Startup plus 10 hours of mentoring
- Neggster of Wilmington, Kasai Guthrie, founder, banking and financial literacy app – $5,000 FinHealth Prize
The other 12 Startup302 finalists were 2M of Wilmington; AF3 of Bear; Chekmate of Washington, D.C.; Edie of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Enolytic Labs of Newark; Futures First Gaming of Wilmington; GreenPesa of Newark; Lilu of New York, New York; SALUBATA of Lagos, Nigeria; SOLUtion Medical of Philadelphia;VariCard of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Versogen of Wilmington.
The Delaware Prosperity Partnership is an economic development organization that receives both state and private funding. It was formed out of a restructuring of the Delaware Economic Development Office.
In addition to DPP, Startup302 organizers included the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, First Founders Accelerator, the University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship Program, Delaware State University, Pedro Moore, Delaware Small Business Development Center, and Delaware Innovation Space.
Funding for the grant prizes was provided by DPP, the Delaware Division of Small Business, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, JPMorgan Chase, Discover Bank, New Castle County, FMC, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, Labware, and Delaware Innovation Space.