Sponsored by Eric Aroesty, C’92
2021 Startup Challenge Semifinalists
We’re proud to announce this year’s Semifinalists for the 2020-2021 Venture Lab Startup Challenge. Teams consist of students from The Wharton School, The College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Engineering and Applied Science, Penn Carey Law, Perlman School of Medicine, and Penn Nursing. The Startup Challenge attracts the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds from across the Penn community as they compete for a chance to win a slice of more than $135,000 in cash and prizes.
NOTE: For a key to all school abbreviations, click here.
3Cor Bio has developed a low-cost, rapid, and highly accurate diagnostic platform targeting multiple infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the urgent need for a device that can offer accurate, inexpensive, and rapid diagnosis. Our platform provides a COVID diagnosis within 4 minutes with 97% accuracy for $4.67 per test.
TEAM MEMBER: Ranjan Pati, C21, W21
A Little Louder Project
A Little Louder Project is a media-tech social enterprise harnessing the power of storytelling to build a global community that centers women of color, amplifies their voices, and celebrates their joy.
TEAM MEMBER: Oyinkansola Sofela, W21
AdmitMe is the marketplace for college admissions prep where college students can offer freelance services like essay editing, tutoring, or advice to high school students.
TEAM MEMBERS: Sahitya Senapathy, ENG24, W24; Eric Chen, ENG24, W24; Erik Zhang, ENG24, W24; Arjun Neervannan, ENG24, W24
Airi empowers Latin-America SMEs and their employees, by offering a software as a service solution that automates payroll processes for HR Managers and provides employees with access to a pool of non-financial and financial benefits, including salary advances and cheaper insurance services. Airi is an employee-centric service that leverages payroll data and scale economics to create and offer an attractive set of benefits to SMEs’ employees.
TEAM MEMBERS: Enrique Huaman Alvarez, WG21; Jorge Chang; Farid Barriga, WG21
Altrui Rx is a non-profit venture that facilitates the redistribution of unused short-dated medications to those in need by acting as a conduit between pharmaceutical manufacturers and charitable organizations. We work with our partners to facilitate the distribution of essential medications to victims in disaster areas, uninsured patients in the US, and underserved communities across the world. Within just a few months, Altrui Rx has facilitated the redirection of over 45 million units of medications—worth over $19 million—to patients in need.
TEAM MEMBERS: Sourish Jasti, W24; Justin Zhang, ENG’24; Joe Kakkis, C’21; Shreya Kavuru; Rahul Kavuru
*Winner of the Robert S. Blank New Venture Collaboration Award*
Clarifi is a digital productivity platform to improve educational outcomes for middle and high-school students affected by ADHD.
TEAM MEMBERS: Bryan Dinner, L22, WG22; Timo Vaimann, WG22
coBlossom is a relationship wellness app that uses the ideas and practices from scientific studies and couples therapy as a basis for fun games and activities that couples can enjoy at their own pace while building the core skills for a healthy relationship.
TEAM MEMBERS: David Klippel, WG22; Luke Fraker, WG22
CollegeScholarshipApp is the first scholarship platform created for (and built by) 21st-century students. We empower students with the ability to save time and maximize potential winnings by enabling them to 1-click apply for scholarships they are eligible for.
TEAM MEMBERS: Rhea Saggi, W22; Cole Mattox, W22
Common Cents (CC) is a nonprofit empowering students with the knowledge to manage their money and to reach financial independence.
TEAM MEMBERS: John Ta, C22; Vivek Olumbe, ENG22, W22; Angelina Zhou, W23
Critical Health Information Integration Network (CHIIN)
CHIIN is an SMS-based platform that brings the latest medical practice guidelines, reference information, and triage tools to community health workers practicing in rural, isolated areas where internet access is limited throughout Africa.
TEAM MEMBERS: Feyisope Eweje, M23; Feyisayo Eweje; Ebube Chuba
*Winner of the Jacobson Social Impact Prize*
Felix is a chat-based digital platform that empowers Latinos in the US to send money abroad.
TEAM MEMBERS: Bernardo Garcia, G21, WG21; Manuel Godoy, WG21
*Winner of the Runner Up Award and the AI for Business Award*
Fulton (formally known as Atlas) is a brand that is modernizing arch support, and is starting by developing an orthopedic insole that is comfortable, supportive, and custom-tailored to the individual wearer. Fulton aims to build a relatable brand that connects with consumers and educates them on the relationship between arch support and overall wellness.
TEAM MEMBERS: Libie Motchan, WG21; Daniel Nelson, WG21
Hera empowers women to travel fearlessly by vetting accommodations, aggregating location-specific safety information, and fostering a community of fellow women travelers.
TEAM MEMBER: Priyanka Juneja, G21, WG21
Levo is the first solution to put caregivers first. We’re working to de-commoditize the caregiver experience -from applying for a job to giving feedback after a shift – and work with home care owners to improve caregiver retention through personalized interventions.
TEAM MEMBER: Jason Yu, WG22
Lumify Care is a nurse-led startup improving patient experience by developing innovative tools and resources needed to support frontline healthcare workers.
TEAM MEMBERS: Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, NU21, GR24; Jennifferre Mancillas
*Winner of the Frederick H. Gloeckner Award for Best Undergraduate Team and the Launch Award *
Our mission is to provide all patients across the globe healthcare right at their home. We create software capabilities for health clinics in Africa to better coordinate at-home primary care.
TEAM MEMBERS: Aris Saxena, W21; Yiwen Li, C21, W21; Eash Aggarwal, C21
Modal is a 3D presentation software bringing real life human anatomy to the digital classroom. Our software allows lecturers to design presentations for the classroom using a library of 3D images, while students simultaneously engage in a dual, dynamic learning environment.
TEAM MEMBERS: Cole Bender, D21; Jules Mann, D21
For expecting families with pregnancy challenges (e.g. conceiving, symptoms, recovery), Nouri provides an Eastern food therapy meets Western nutrition meal plan to help moms feel better at each stage. While meal plans are our first product, we plan to expand on our Eastern therapy philosophy to become the holistic health “one-stop-shop” for life’s most critical stages.
TEAM MEMBERS: Irene Liu, WG22; Jennifer Doro
OPEN Labs is an allergy management platform designed to expand access to top quality, personalized allergy care by eliminating the painful inconvenience and cost of traditional allergy shots.
TEAM MEMBER: Tim Marsh, W21
Our mission is to save lives by helping senior women access emergency help with dignity. To do that, we are innovating the first miniaturized, fully-functional medical call device that looks like a jewelry pendant.
TEAM MEMBERS: David Lawrence, WG21; Syed Ahmed, WG21; Santoshi Kandula, ENG21, GEN21; Nicole Ng, ENG23; Edward Li, ENG23
Pinky Promise empowers women in India to act on their sexual and reproductive health. Our chatbot provides instant and personalized gynecologist-verified answers to most reproductive health symptoms, our subject specific chat-rooms connect women to a large community of others who may be going through the same health issues and our wellness products redefine cosmetics to provide women what they really need
TEAM MEMBER: DIVYA BALAJI, WG21; RAHUL KAMERKAR
RinSalt is developing an on-scene decontamination system to combat firefighter cancer
TEAM MEMBERS: Isaac Kalapos, ENG21; Kevin Leeb, ENG21; Cristian Constantin, ENG21, GEN21
*Winner of the Weiss Tech House Audience Choice Award*
SHUI Biosolution Technologies, LLC
SHUI streamlines green (biodegradable) and economic wastewater filtration treatment for industrial parks and independent factories with synthetically-engineered bio-films. Our customized products leverage synthetic biology to save equipment and operational cost by over 70% and enhance filtration efficiency by more than 10%.
TEAM MEMBERS: Yuxuan Gao, ENG24, W24; Mingyang Xu; Heyuan Ni
Welltrip is a healthcare marketplace that allows travelers to search through accredited and peer-reviewed healthcare services abroad, and book medical appointments at least one-half the U.S. price tag or less.
TEAM MEMBERS: Ike Okonkwo, G22, WG22; Patrick Prommel, G22, WG22
Wonder Year is an online entrepreneurship education program for teen girls. Through our website (wonder-year.com), members have access to interactive video case studies taught by female founders and mentoring sessions led by women from top business schools.
TEAM MEMBER: Jess Stokes, C14, WG21, Rakhee Jain
Xoma is the first social impact distilled pulque agave brand to enter the US marketplace. It is the smoother tasting, more sophisticated cousin of mezcal and tequila that’s sustainable and generates social impact.