Sponsored by Eric Aroesty, C’92

2019 Startup Challenge Semifinalists

We’re proud to announce this year’s Semifinalists for the 2018-2019 Penn Wharton Startup Challenge. Teams consist of students from The Wharton School, The College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Engineering and Applied Science, The School of Social Policy and Practice, Penn Nursing, and Penn Law. The Startup Challenge and Showcase attracts the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds from across the Penn community as they compete for a chance to win $135,000 in cash and prizes.
NOTE: For a key to all school abbreviations, click here.
(*) Denotes 2019 Prize Winner


Up to 80% of women experience period pains. We believe 100% should not have to. For women whose lives are disrupted once a month by the volatility of their menstrual cycle, #PeriodPainFree offers a personalized solution, combining modern technology with over 2000 years of wisdom from Traditional Chinese Medicine to help all women feel #periodpainfree.

TEAM MEMBERS: Lulu Ge (WG’19), Nicole Glathe
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram


aavrani is the Indian inspired skincare company that leverages the power of ancient self-care rituals, using ingredients such as turmeric that are clinically proven to improve the look and feel of skin. We are focused on encouraging women to embrace their natural beauty by delivering clean, non-toxic products.

TEAM MEMBERS: Rooshy Roychoudhury (WG’19); Justin Silver (WG’19); Nina Davuluri
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Aerate is designing a membrane-dehumidifier evaporative-cooler air conditioner for the Indian Market. Aerate plans to capture this $20 billion market through superior technology designed for high humidity environments; Aerate’s air conditioner is up to 20x more efficient over the course of a year.

TEAM MEMBERS: Spencer Collins (ENG ’19, GEN ’19), Jake Fine (ENG ’19, GEN ’19), Ashwin Kishen (ENG ’19, W ’19, GEN ’20), Yann Pfitzer (ENG ’19, C ’19, GEN ’20), Connor Sendel (ENG ’19, W ’19), Sam Weintraub (ENG ’19, GEN ’20)


Agora is an open platform for tools enabling automated cryptocurrency trading with a mission to democratize financial asset management. The Agora Platform is a cloud based order management system, an open marketplace for signals where any engineer can provide their data and any trader can subscribe to it, and our mobile app which provides immediate, global access to these tools and real time analysis on portfolio performance.

TEAM MEMBERS: Robert Dowling (EE’21, ENG’21, W’21); Michaela White (C’19); Alex Zelloe; Roger Ramia


Aureum is a digital primary care provider for white-collar professionals in China, where the primary care doctor penetration rate is <5%. Unlike existing digital health firms in China (e.g. Ping An Good Doctor) who typically link existing specialists in hospitals with patients on an on-demand basis, Aureum matches each patient to a dedicated primary care doctor who will advise them on every step of their health journey.

TEAM MEMBERS: Yunhan Gao (WG’20), Xufei Yu (WG’20), Prashant Kumar (WG’19), Yi Dong (WG’20), Sichao Li (WG’19), Shuaiqing Liu (WG’20)


Based on a psychologically proven approach, Avior’s software design fully addresses the reasons why patients struggle to adhere to their clinician’s recommendations by giving patients the tools they need to achieve ownership of their care.

TEAM MEMBERS: Ryan Wosick (ENG’19); Joseph Scheidt
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter


Founded in 2019 and based in Philadelphia, BioAlert Technologies’ mission is to develop methodologies to detecting infection in real-time. We are a development stage medical device company dedicated to the design and development of continuous infection monitoring (CIM) systems for diabetic foot ulcer patients. BioAlert Technologies enables healthcare providers to make diagnosis and treatment decisions based on reliable data metrics.

TEAM MEMBERS: Marc Rosenberg (C’18, GEN’19); Soleil Valentin-Carrero (GEN’19); Stephen McKenna (ENG’13, GEN’20); Johnny Forde (ENG’19, GEN’20); Jesse Blatt (ENG’21); Gerard Hoetzel (ENG’17)
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter


Boost Scooters is a ride-sharing platform that uses non-motorized scooters and docking racks to ensure a clean and personalized mode of transportation for college and corporate campuses.

TEAM MEMBERS: Kameron Hypolite (C’20), Isaiah Washington (W’20), Noah Sinclair (W’20)
*Crowd Favorite Award Winner


Clove creates stylish footwear for medical professionals that combine the best of current sneaker technology with the technical requirements of traditional nursing shoes.

TEAM MEMBERS: Joe Ammon (WG’19), Jordyn Amoroso (C’12), Paula Belatti


At Croni, we provide self-service and POS solutions for the foodservice industry in Latin America. Our first solution is a tablet-based self-ordering platform, where customers can make their orders, pay, and earn loyalty points, increasing the store’s revenues and improving customer experience.

TEAM MEMBERS: Franco Martinez Levis (G’20, WG’20); Guido Gurfinka


Elivade is a career advancement platform for people of color. Our mission is to elevate diversity in the workplace by creating an online career community connecting people of color with peers, mentors, and employers.

TEAM MEMBERS: Leon Mishkis (WG’19); Jessica Pugh (WG’19); Senzwa Ntshepe


FastAuth aims to automate the prior authorization (PA) process in healthcare and get patients the care they need faster, making our health system more affordable, accessible, and efficient.

TEAM MEMBERS: Cyrus Peyrovian (WG’19); Ashkat Kumar (WG’19); Pranay Bhatia (WG’19)


FLOAT/THERE was founded to help travelers look and feel their best while they explore. By delivering curated rental apparel directly to your destination, we allow you to travel light and spend more time planning what you’re going to see than what you’re going to wear.

TEAM MEMBERS: Angela Jiang (WG’20), Linda Ye (WG’20)
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram


Flourish will disrupt fundraising by eliminating uncertainty and making donations habitual, turning pocket change into global change.

TEAM MEMBERS: Braden Fineberg (ENG’19, GEN’19); Zach Morrow
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook |Instagram LinkedIn | Twitter


Fuego Shoes fuse dance shoes with street wear, with a custom-developed sole made to go from the street to the dance floor. Fuego is the intersection of dance, fashion, minimalism, and comfort.

TEAM MEMBERS: Kevin Weschler (WG’20)
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram


Fulphil empowers high school students to pursue impactful careers by exposing them to social entrepreneurship, helping to navigate and enable them through both their academic and future impact driven careers with a learning-by-doing-approach. We expose students to founding teams of social ventures, while in parallel facilitating their training by seasoned experts on how to identify and build sustainable business models that address societal needs.

TEAM MEMBERS: Tiffany Yau (C’18, SPP’19); Joseph Lee
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook |Instagram LinkedIn | Twitter


GoPayGlobal allows any company to hire anybody, anywhere, with ease. We are building the first truly global hiring and payroll infrastructure, which allows our clients to quickly and transparently enter new markets with little to no friction.

TEAM MEMBERS: Harry DiFrancesco (G’19, WG’19); Andrew West (WG’19)


Halo is putting location-targeted ads on top of Uber/Lyft vehicles. We attach smart ad monitors on top of cars and display creative, captivating ads that change based on the location of the driver in order to more effectively target and engage consumers.

TEAM MEMBERS: Kenan Saleh (W’19); Faizan Bhatty (WG’20); Nabeel Farooqui (ENG’21); Ryanne Fadel (W’21)
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook | LinkedIn| Twitter


InstaHub addresses energy waste with snap-on automation solutions that require no rewiring to install. Our flagship product is a snap-on motion sensor that installs directly onto existing light switches; the system has an option to provide real-time data about energy consumption/savings, occupancy and activity in a space.

TEAM MEMBERS: Michael Wong (W’19); Dayo Adewole (ENG’15, GEN’15, GR’21); Tiffany Wong (W’21)


Keaton offers thoughtfully-designed office essentials designed by women, for women. Starting with the perfect pair of work pants–designed with input from over 300 professional women–Keaton aims to bring fun and function back to work wear.

TEAM MEMBERS: Melina Flabiano (WG’19)
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Instagram


Minimize is a bracelet that can reduce hand tremors by up to 95% for Essential Tremor and Parkinsons Disease patients.

TEAM MEMBERS: Maanav Narula (W’18, ENG’19, GEN’19)


NosocoTECHNOLOGIES proposes to eliminate catheter-associated infections using a novel method to disrupt biofilm formation by using micro-structured wrinkled instabilities inspired by nature and developed using Penn-designed Roll-to-Roll wrinkling technology to prevent bacterial adhesion in catheters.

TEAM MEMBERS: Tanvi Kapur (W’19); Beatriz Go (W’19, GEN’20); Wentao Zhang (C’19, W’19); Ishir Seth (C’20, W’20)


Sigo is a tech-enabled auto insurance provider serving the non-standard, or high-risk, insurance market. The company aims to bring an antiquated, analog process online to reduce operating costs and remove predatory fees charged to these customers.

TEAM MEMBERS: Nestor Hugo Solari (G’19, WG’19); Julio Erdos (C’10, ENG’10, G’19, WG’19)
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | Facebook |Instagram LinkedIn | Twitter


Strella creates biosensing platforms that reduce fresh produce waste in the packing and distribution phase of the supply chain. We’ve developed an innovative way to measure ethylene gas in storage rooms in order to predict when fruits will be ripe in order to optimize the unpacking process.

TEAM MEMBERS: Katherine Sizov (C’19); Malika Shukurova (ENG’19); Reginald Lamaute (C’20); Zuyang Liu (GEE’19)


The right drug at the right time – optimizing medication regimens for patients with autoimmune disease.

TEAM MEMBERS: Elston He (L’20, WG’20); Evan Zou (C’19, W’19); Rajiv Patel-O’Connor (C’19); Pratyusha Yalamanchi (M’18, WG’18)


Text-911 is an advocacy non-profit that strives to bring emergency text capabilities to all Americans. By working directly with county dispatchers, legislators, and community groups, Text-911 is able to expedite the process of bringing emergency text capabilities to counties nationwide.

TEAM MEMBERS: Kirti Shenoy (W’21); Anthony Scarpone-Lambert (NU’21)
*Social Impact Award Winner


Atlas is a threat forecasting and intelligence platform that allows users in emerging markets to predict when, where and how organized groups will threaten their firm.

TEAM MEMBERS: Justin Swirbul (ENG’20); Michael Cipolla (ENG’20); Benjamin Salander; Joshua Carr
ADDITIONAL LINKS: Website | LinkedIn

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