Innovation and Resilience - Startup Fest 2021
November 12, 2021
This year’s Startup Fest was a true testament to the innovation and resilience of entrepreneurs. Startup Fest 2021 was hosted as a hybrid event that allowed people to come together in person and online, with a good crowd at both - Startup Fest 2021 was a success! The event brought together students, alumni, staff, and people from the entrepreneurial community for two days filled with insightful speakers, networking, games, and the Baiada Incubator Competition, Drexel's biggest entrepreneurial competition of the year. With a focus on sustainability, there were so many great discussions for entrepreneurs to learn how to be more environmentally conscious and eco-friendly. With $25,000 up for grabs, and some amazing startup ideas, Startup Fest 2021 was one for the books!
Fast Pitch Competition
On the first day of Startup Fest, 17 students competed in a fast pitch competition. Each student had 2 minutes to pitch their startup idea to a panel of judges and their peers. With a ton of great ideas there was only one winner who took home the prize of $500, Andrew Galitzer, the founder of Parsha Comics.
The panel that kicked off Startup Fest 2021 brought together three alumni entrepreneurs and focused the discussion on sustainability in the energy, food and fashion industries. The following day was packed with some great conversations, starting off with a presentation that demonstrated the impact social media can have on creating a movement for change. This was followed by an interesting panel discussion about low code technology and how this tech is changing the landscape for entrepreneurs. During the panel, they discussed the technology used at GraphiteGTC, and even had co-op students at Startup Fest code an entire app in one day to demonstrate the capabilities of this technology. Lastly, Chuck Sacco was joined by keynote speaker, Robin Thorne who shared her experience as a non profit founder, her work dedicated to sustainability, and helping girls get started in nontraditional career paths!
Baiada Incubator Competition
During the Baiada Incubator Competition, there were six different presentations given by Drexel students who were competing for a chance to win part of $25,000, space at the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, mentoring, and other beneficial services to help guide their business in the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey. After a tough competition three winners were chosen, including a winner from the wildcard presentation, congratulations to all the winners!
First Place: Basil Khan - Typeskip
TypeSkip is an all-in-one eCommerce copywriting assistant that uses AI to create product descriptions, Facebook ads, blog posts, and more using just a few keywords or one-liners.
Second Place: Paige Deangelo - Aer
Aer is a cosmetic brand focused on sustainability and eliminating single use plastic packaging by creating reusable and innovative products that are environmentally friendly and more sustainable than traditional makeup products. Aer was the wild card presentation during this year's Incubator Competition!
Third Place: Adam Yormark - FocusFlag
FocusFlag is a focus tool for social spaces. An analog Do Not Disturb flag that attaches to any laptop or computer to show coworkers, bosses, toddlers, and everyone in-between that you’re working on something important and can not be disturbed.
The hybrid format of the event gave people who wouldn’t normally have access to an event hosted on campus an opportunity to not only to view the event, but also to engage and ask questions during panel discussions and the networking portion of the event! With over 290 attendees both in person and online, Startup Fest 2021 was a success!