College Startup Leaders Show Their Stuff at Pitch Contest

They're aiming to disrupt industries like food delivery and beauty.

Winners of the College Pitch Philly contest.

Winners of the College Pitch Philly contest.

From an app that aims to transform college meal plans to virtual-reality training to conquer public-speaking fears, the innovations on display at Wednesday night’s College Pitch Philly student business pitch competition were nothing short of impressive.

I served as a judge in the contest and the entrepreneurs blew me away with their passion and ideas. One CEO, Nate Matherson, claimed to already have more than $30,000 per month in revenues for his company LendEDU, which allows users to compare up to 12 different student loan lenders to get the best deals. And he wasn’t even a winner, despite an awesome presentation. 

In the end, the following companies won the contest, and were awarded a total of $15,500 in prizes. They are:

1st Place: Habitat – Andrew Nakkache, Class of 2016, Temple University

Habitat makes it easy for college students on campus to order pickup and delivery from their favorite food trucks and local restaurants. The platform allows parents to fund meal plans through the app. Many Habitat vendors don’t typically offer online or mobile delivery.

2nd Place: Rungh Cosmetics – Neha Raman, Class of 2018, Temple University

The Rungh System is a 60-second process to create your own nail polish color. The set consists of base liquid bottles, color capsules, a specially engineered mixer with detachable tips to blend your perfect color.

3rd Place: SayUmm – Danish Dhamani, Class of 2017, Drexel University

SayUmm is an on-demand, personalized speech feedback application in virtual reality. Practice anytime, anywhere and receive feedback on your delivery immediately.

People’s Choice: BioCellection – Miranda Wang, Class of 2016, University of Pennsylvania

BioCellection is producing economic, sustainable, and consistent fish aquafeed components to ensure fish health through a microbial process that recycles plastic in a way that minimizes waste and outputs two bi-products: a safe cleaning agent and aquafeed.

Other judges included Archna Sahay, ‎director of entrepreneurial investment at City of Philadelphia, Tracey Welson-Rossman, chief marketing officer at Chariot Solutions and Raj Singh, founder of DroneCast and NoMoCab.

The event was organized by Chuck Sacco, director of the Laurence A. Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship at Drexel University.

“The Philadelphia Regional Entrepreneurship Education Consortium is thrilled that we were able to develop this competition with the support of some amazing partners and get broad student representation from across the region,” said Sacco. It demonstrates another reason why this region is a great place for students to start something. We expect this will be the first of a number of initiatives that the Consortium will develop to provide college students with the opportunity to build new relationships across schools and to get them more opportunities to participate in a vibrant startup ecosystem.”

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