$198,000 in Startup302 grants shared by 15 companies


Fifteen tech-enabled startups with at least one team member from an underrepresented demographic are sharing $198,000 in non-dilutive grant funding from Delaware’s third Startup302 competition, which was coordinated by Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) and partners.

This year, the competition was open to start-ups outside Delaware.

Finalists competed in five primary categories and represented multiple industries in the final pitching round, which took place in person for the first time in Startup302’s three-year history. The funding contest launched in December and attracted 169 applicants from throughout Delaware and across the United States as well as Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, Italy, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The April 27 finals were sponsored by UD Horn Entrepreneurship.

“What an exciting day! Having the chance to recognize innovative startups, both those from Delaware and around the country, at an event here in Wilmington in conjunction with our partners in the community, was an immensely rewarding experience, and a great chance to show off Delaware to our competitors from outside the First State,” said DPP Director of Innovation Noah Olson, who led organization of the competition with DPP Innovation Manager Erica Crell and a steering committee made up of key players in Delaware’s startup community.

All three finalists in each category receiving a monetary award:



Sponsors: Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Discover Bank, JP Morgan Chase & Co., M&T Bank

1st: KidVestors  (Louisville) – $21,000

2nd: Stakana Analytics (Seattle) – $11,000

3rd: Fleri (Columbus, Ohio) – $6,000

Clean, Green and Blue

Sponsors: Delmarva Power, DuPont, FMC Corp., The Innovation Space

1st: Ecotone Renewables (Pittsburgh) – $25,000

2nd: New Breed Meats (Atlanta) – $14,0000

3rd: Frontline Waste (Delray Beach, FL) – $6,000

Early Stage

Sponsors: Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Delaware State University, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

1st: SomnOSA (Baltimore) – $10,000

2nd: MiraHeart (Baltimore) – $6,000

3rd: BASEstud.io (Los Angeles) – $4,000

Life Sciences

Sponsors: Delaware Bioscience Association, Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Highmark Delaware, The Innovation Space

1st: ReHeva BioSciences (Dublin, Ohio) – $22,000

2nd: MyoGene Bio (San Diego)– $12,000

3rd: GelSana Therapeutics (Boulder, CO) – $6,000

Delaware Tech-Enabled

Sponsor: Delaware Division of Small Business

1st: Toivoa (Wilmington) – $22,000 + one-year World Trade Center Delaware membership

2nd: College Essay App (Bethany Beac)h – $13,000 + one-year World Trade Center Delaware membership

3rd: Rush Roto Studio (Dover) – $6,000 + one-year World Trade Center Delaware membership

Finalists with University of Delaware-affiliated founders also were considered for the Blue Hen Prize, which was sponsored by UD Horn Entrepreneurship. Winners, all with founders/co-founders who are UD alumni, were as follows:

1st: SomnOSA (Baltimore) – $7,000

2nd: Toivoa (Wilmington) – $5,000

3rd: Stakana Analytics (Seattle) – $2,500

Startup302 is coordinated by Delaware Prosperity Partnership  and steered and sponsored by key innovation-supporting businesses and organizations. Steering committee members include representatives from Big Idea Ventures, First Founders Inc., the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship, Delaware State University, the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Business Center at True Access Capital, the Emerging Enterprise Center, The Innovation Space, the Small Business Development Center of Delaware and StartOut.

Startup302 competitors must be technology-based or -enabled with at least one founder from an underrepresented group: women; people of color, including African Americans, Latin Americans and Native Americans; and members of the LGBTQ+ community – all of whose ventures are underinvested in relative to their demographic’s percentage of overall United States population.Because Startup302 aims to foster diverse perspectives, promote inclusive and equitable consideration and attract diverse communities of founders to the region, participants are not required to be located in Delaware.