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Startup Fest Recap

November 17, 2017

5 of the BEST Startup Fest 2017 moments

It's no surprise that this year's two-day Startup Fest was double the fun of previous years' one-day entrepreneurship celebrations! We enjoyed hearing Baiada Incubator pitches, panels, 60-second pitch competitors, and empowering speakers; and with all these features we had to highlight a selection of our favorite Startup Fest 2017 moments.

Social entrepreneurship panel

This year, our panel discussion featured two powerhouses in social entrepreneurship: Patty Hillkirk and Anthony Gold. Patty, Founder/Director of Camp Dreamcatcher Inc., has an extensive background with HIV/AIDS community. Anthony's latest co-venture, a wearable tech company called ROAR for Good, focuses on reducing the incidence of attacks against women and addressing the underlying causes of violence.

These panelists discussed the benefits of social entrepreneurship with Dean Donna De Carolis, who moderated the panel. They examined why they started their respective organizations and provided advice for those who aspire to start their own non-profit.

Keynote speakers

One of the Startup Fest fan favorite events is listening to the incredible keynote speakers that provide insight to rising entrepreneurs! This year, we heard from Emily Bittenbender, Owner and Managing Partner of Bittenbender Construction, and KJ Dhaliwal, Founder of Dil Mil, the fastest growing dating app for South Asians across the world. Our speakers told attendees what inspired them to start a venture and provided words of wisdom on striking out to follow their own path!

Fast pitch comp

This rapid fire pitch competition had 27 student registrations and contained an abundance of creative ideas. Attendees enjoyed hearing the original, helpful, and even humorous pitches from students and staff alike!

Surprise award for Stan Silverman

On day two of Startup Fest, the Close School administration had a surprise for one of the school's biggest supporters: a special award ceremony. Stan Silverman, a Drexel alumnus and patron for entrepreneurship education, received a well-deserved standing ovation from the room for his continuous dedication to ensuring students have the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship.


Baiada Competition winners

Finally, the moment attendees flocked to witness, the Baida Competition winners' announcement! The teams pitched their startup's concept to a panel of judges from organizations such as Univest Capital, Sixers Innovation Lab, Ballard Spahr LLP. Each team's pitch was exceptionally well-thought-out and allowed us to think about how each startup could benefit our day-to-day lives.

Second place winner: TeamRate

TeamRate helps create the ideal class project team by matching skills and habits using AI.


First place: Project One

Project One is capturing the world's expert knowledge to make online learning more effective. Its platform gives students more precise feedback through an algorithm that watches them explore related concepts and skills when solving problems.

We cannot wait to see what Startup Fest 2018 will bring. If it's anything like this year's Startup Fest - it'll be phenomenal!

Sarah Temple, Communications, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship