In April, entrepreneurs pitched their ideas in a Virtual Fast Pitch Competition hosted by West Chester University’s Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, and the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.
Instead of the live pitch event traditionally held each spring, the Cottrell Center recruited judges who evaluated the projects remotely while adhering to social distancing protocols.
The annual WCU Business Idea Competition promotes creativity, idea generation, and entrepreneurship by recognizing innovative ideas for new products, services, and technology.
“We had extremely tight races with quality ideas,” said Pattie Diggin, Director of the Cottrell Center.
There were 330 submissions.
Eight finalists emerged (two in each division) from the top six teams in each division:
- WCU Undergraduates
- WCU Graduate Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff
- Chester County-Based Startups
- Chester County High School Students
The teams presented virtually in two-minute pitches.
The finalists will compete on Tuesday, Sept. 16, providing it is permissible at that time to host in-person events again on campus. The Business Idea Pitch will be held at the West Chester University Foundation at 202 Carter Drive. Plans call for the finalists to prepare a five-minute pitch deck and present it live to a panel of judges. Arrangements for virtual presentations will be made for those unable to attend in person (i.e., high school and undergraduate finalists).
Teams will compete for first and second place in their respective tracks, as well as for the grand prize. The first-place winner in each track will receive $1,500; second-place prize is $750. The overall competition winner will receive an additional $2,500.
Here are the finalists in each division:
Honestvote: Matthew Spencer and Jacob Neubaum. A voting system designed to prevent manipulation of vote counts and assure anonymity in the process. The system is designed to recognize and quickly expose other parties who have violated voting rights.
RentDubC: Grace McDonough, Dylan Martin, Eric Garman, and Samuel Gangel. A user-friendly application that provides knowledge and a voice to West Chester University first-time student renters. It educates users about leasing, insurance, and community respect.
WCU Graduate Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff
AFECT: Veronica Horn. The automatic flame extinguishing candle topper (AFECT) solves the problem of fire prevention and safety when candles are not extinguished properly.
PROmotion Health: Lindsey Keenan, Rachel Daltry, and Kellianne Milliner. PROmotion Health is a web application that allows healthcare providers to efficiently administer any Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) measure or mental health survey to patients and athletes. The application provides automatic calculation and interpretation of scores, in easy-to-understand categories, to inform healthcare providers when a follow-up or referral is necessary.
Chester County Startups
Ram Nanotech: Rudolph Treichel, Kurt Kolasinski, and John Aybar. This device addresses the need for measured drug dosing over a period of time with non-toxic material/carrier device. The current methods provide drug releases over hours and days, but the goal is weeks and months of targeted delivery.
Pression: Adam Salamon. Pression’s Wave is a sleeve worn on each calf attached to a control box via tubing. Pression employs a smart, adaptive algorithm to apply compression only when beneficial. The device is worn for short durations and has immediate results by using smart timing algorithm to determine the precise moment between heartbeats when applying compression.
Chester County High School Students
OpTIMEmistic: Shruti Meenakshi of West Chester East High School. An app that can solve the common problem of planning your time realistically. Students from the ages of 13-24 have trouble planning out when to finish all of their assignments, while keeping up their pre-planned commitments. This app will assist students so they can organize and maximize their work output.
MYSTRETCH: Jackson Wolff and Max Miller of Great Valley High School. A major issue for athletes or active people is the risk of injuries involved in sports and exercise. Injuries can take athletes out of sports for full seasons and disrupt life all around. Not knowing what muscles to stretch, or how to stretch them, can leave people in the dark. MYSTRETCH is an app with “Stretches Made for You.”