Startup Challenge Semifinalist: Ride Health

Ride Health logo
Ride Health team pic - Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Startup Challenge

Team Leader:
Sumun Khetpal, C’17/W’17
Team Members:
Imran Cronk, C’16
Vedant Thyagaraj, C’19/W’19

elevator pitch: Ride Health aims to improve to care for patients who face transportation barriers. In leveraging the application programming interfaces (APIs) of ride-sharing companies, our software enables providers to request rides for patients and bill these rides to payers.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
Our story began in an emergency department at a North Carolina hospital, where co-founder Imran Cronk was working as a volunteer. An elderly man had just been discharged on a rather large dose of medications. He seemed disoriented and did not have a ride home. He planned to walk around eight miles through the rain that night, but luckily, Imran drove the man to his house, safe and sound. This narrative rooted the motivation for Ride Health, and the business model itself sprung from a Wharton healthcare entrepreneurship class that Vedant and I took in the fall of 2015.

How will your venture change the world?
Our venture will revolutionize the lives of the 3.6 million Americans that miss their appointments due a lack of a ride. Ride Health represents the merger between a private innovation and a public need, and the tremendous role that technology will play in healthcare – especially in the integration of applications within the electronic medical records of patients. Ride Health will be a pioneer, and with it will come multiple other applications that improve care transitions and ultimately, improve patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

Fun Facts: Imran – I swing a tennis racket left-handed, but I bat right-handed; Vedant – I am a certified yoga instructor; Sumun – I have traveled to over 45 countries with my family.


Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups!

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: RevoLOOtion

RevoLootion logo
RevoLootion team pic - Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Startup Challenge

Team Leader:
Nidhi Shah, WG’17
Team Member:
Swathi Sadagopan

elevator pitch: RevoLOOtion provides rapid-drying, composting toilets to lower middle class urban families in high density informal settlements that currently rely on unhygienic and poorly lit shared latrines.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
Both the founders have had bad experiences with sanitation. Nidhi volunteered with a toilets startup and used the experience to think about creating her own startup. Swathi had been doing the same. When they both met, they decided to join forces and start a revolootion.

How will your venture change the world?
Our mission is to change the way the world does sanitation, making it more sustainable, environmental and delightful, one toilet at a time.

Fun Facts: Nidhi has a black belt in karate. Swathi is a South Indian classical dancer.


Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups!

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: PolarNews

PolarNewsLogoRed

Team Leader:
Davis Filippell, WG’18
Team Member:
Amelia Bell, G’18/WG’18
Matt Alexader, G’18/WG’18

elevator pitch: PolarNews is a media platform for educated millennials to break their news bubble with digital feeds that pair two polarized views on one screen.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
Brexit and the US Presidential election showed us that polarized digital media is a problem worth fixing! We sent our first PolarNews edition to 6 subscribers on October 6th and the traction we gained early inspired us to build this platform.

How will your venture change the world?
We intend to change the way people across the world engage with news and media by showcasing two sides of every topic, an impact which will build a community with greater understanding and empower people to think for themselves.

Fun Facts: Davis writes folk music, Matt once went on an archaeology dig in France, and Mimi is a very good knitter.


Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups!

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: Orthly

Orthly logo 2
Orthly team photo

Team Leader:
Daniel Hanover, ENG’19/W’19
Team Member:
Patrick Lee

elevator pitch: Orthly: We are a direct-to-consumer invisible aligner brand using technology to bring treatment to consumers at a fraction of the traditional costs.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
Patrick sought treatment for his misaligned teeth and was surprised at the large expense. A few hours of research later, the idea for Orthly was born.

How will your venture change the world?
Our larger vision is to introduce the capability new technology has to change an archaic industry. We expect our success to inspire others in the field to see how the growth of a mobile-first economy can impact their work.

Fun Facts:

  • Daniel ran cross-country in high school.
  • Patrick is an award-winning filmmaker.

Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups! 

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: NeuroFlow

neuro flow logo
Neuroflow Team Picture - cropped

Team Leader:
Chris Molaro, WG’17

Team Members:
Adam Pardes, Gr’19
Sam DeLuccia, GEN’17
Jenny Wang, GNu’17
Taylor Concannon, ENG’17/GEN’18
Matt Roll

elevator pitch: NeuroFlow is changing the way we see brain health. We developed a digital health solution that uses real-time biometric data to measure stress for optimal mental health and enhanced performance applications.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
Chris Molaro, NeuroFlow’s co-founder and CEO, was a Captain in the US Army and deployed overseas, witnessing with his Soldiers and fellow Veterans the extreme ineffectiveness of the mental health system. With the advent and progress of innovative technologies that are mobile and non-invasive, for the first time ever we are have access to data that otherwise would not be available. NeuroFlow is leveraging that change in the market and these new technologies to analyze this exciting data.

How will your venture change the world?
Mental health and the way we understand our brain and mind is ambiguous to say the least. The standard of care is patient self-reporting and pure subjective measures. We have no clear, consistent way of understanding our brains. With NeuroFlow’s real-time data analysis tool, we can draw patterns, incorporate AI and machine learning in understanding how our minds really work and react to various stimuli – we are truly changing the way we see brain health.

Fun Facts:

  • Christopher Molaro – met his wife 17 years ago when they were 12
  • Adam Pardes – was on the high school varsity bowling team
  • Sam DeLuccia – first concert ever was Britney Spears
  • Jenny Wang – won a silver medal on the National Mythology Exam
  • Taylor Concannon – contributing writer for Rock On Philly
  • Matt Roll – ambidextrous tennis player

Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups! 

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach logo
Laguna Beach - Danny Meurer

Team Leader:
Danny Meurer, WG’17

elevator pitch: Laguna Beach: Outdoor textile brand bringing timeless, classic, California style to consumers at a reasonable price. Lean company that has sold 15,000 units over the past twelve months with only one employee and marketing spend of less than $2,000.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
I saw the opportunity and relative ease of starting a direct-to-consumer business and from my time working as a cabana boy and growing up in Los Angeles believed towels and other textiles were an unmet product of need.

How will your venture change the world?
We bring consumers higher quality, better looking towels and other textiles at affordable prices, while putting a portion of our profits to work for the community.

Fun Fact: Hiked to Everest Base Camp before starting business school.


Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups! 

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: FounderNest

FounderNest
FounderNest - Miguel Gonzalez

Team Leader:
Miguel Gonzalez, G’17/WG’17

Team Members:
Felix Gonzalez
Javier Garcia
Manuel Botija

elevator pitch: FounderNest is an online matchmaking platform that helps founders overcome their challenges. First, by helping them identify th eir most pressing needs. And second, by connecting them with the right experts in a timely manner.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
The two cofounders, Miguel and Felix, have been working on different ventures for the past six years . Throughout this time , we have experienced the struggle of finding expert advice for our ventures and we actually had to close off two of them as we were unable to find expert help to overcome our challenges. Through FounderNest, we are tackling this problematic while helping our peer founders grow their ventures and succeed.

Fun Facts:

  • Miguel’s fun fact: He is extremely good at impersonating other people’s voices!
  • Felix’s fun fact: He is one of those rare species that can proudly say to have never drunk a glass containing any type of liquor or wine.
  • Javier’s fun fact: He doesn’t know why but when it comes to describing an extreme picture or situation, he unconsciously selects the word that describes exactly the opposite. For example, if he goes to the beach and it’s really hot, he would say “Oh my god, this is really cold!”
  • Manuel’s fan fact: He works on Saturdays because he just loves it!

Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups! 

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: IYALI

ILAYI logo
IYALI team photo

Team Leader:
Olatomide (Tomide) Awe, WG’17
Team Members:
Loujeine Boutar, W’19
Sonali Dane, C’19

elevator pitch: IYALI is a lifestyle brand that creates high-quality african-inspired handbags made by local artisans for individuals around the globe. A portion of our profits addresses the root of poverty in West Africa by supporting education of girls in the region.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
The idea for IYALI began to form when I returned to Nigeria after my studies in the UK. Following the number of weddings I attended, I became more aware of the beauty of my culture, as well as our tribal fabrics used during weddings. I became intrigued by what could be done with our traditional wear, other than wearing them the way they were intended to be worn. With this idea on the fringes of my mind, I came to business school and developed an interest in the plight that the girl child faced not only in the western world but also in Africa and other parts of the world. Being a citizen of Nigeria, a country in West Africa, it became a mission of mine to use my available skills to alleviate the situation and a combination of these ideas gave birth to IYALI.

How will your venture change the world?
IYALI will change West Africa first, and then the world by keeping the issue of girls education at the forefront of our minds as consumers. We will also put our money where our mouth is by actively keeping girls in school with a portion of our profits. When 10% more girls go to school, a country’s GDP increases on average by 3% and we hope to advocate for this change in the region.

Fun Facts:

  • Tomide: I’m a certified sailor.
  • Loujeine: I volunteered at the Miami Open as a staffing member (and saw Nadal!).
  • Sonali: I love criminology: any irrational behavior like crime & terrorism is super fascinating to me.

Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups! 

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: HopJob

HopJob high resolusion final
HopJob - Team Pic

Team Leader:
Vaibhav Khamesra, WG’18
Team Members:
Gabriel Cantu, WG’18
Feym Fliegner, WG’18

elevator pitch: HopJob is a service platform that matches untapped part-time labor supply with peak workforce demand in real-time. For employers, HopJob comes with an access to thousands of verified part-time worker profiles that match the skills and experience expectations and enables instant cost-effective fulfillment of short-term needs.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
HopJob was inspired by consulting projects our Founder and CEO did with a focus in labor force optimization. After countless analysis on KPIs and benchmarks, the optimal staffing would be defined to two decimal places, and then typically, the client would round it down since there is no such thing as 0.22 of a store employee. The result was dozens of needed employees left without a job.

How will your venture change the world?
As the underemployment rate in the US labor market increases, HopJob will provide flexible employment opportunities to part-time and underemployed full-time workers looking for additional income and enabling a more secure and financially stable future. Unlike other gig-economy solutions that groom cab drivers or other undifferentiated roles, we believe in nurturing and developing a skilled workforce that is a differentiated asset and is able to earn a much higher wage compared to their previous avatars. HopJob is particularly unique in its approach to provide Hoppers with opportunities to develop their professional experience in pursuit of full-time employment in the future. Our platform will also expand the US workforce to groups that have traditionally had difficulty finding employment – semi-skilled workers, young mothers, vets and legal immigrants to name a few.

Fun Facts:

  • Apart from HopJob, our founder “Feym” has a successful part-time fashion modeling career, and he hopes that one day he will find his routine short-term assignments via HopJob.
  • Before joining the team, co-founder “Vaibhav” spent six years in leadership roles with two successful tech startups and is a specialist in scaling growth stage businesses.

Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups! 

Startup Challenge Semifinalist: Harper Wilde

HarperWilde_logo
Harper Wilde team photo

Team Leader:
Jenna Kerner, WG’17
Team Member:
Jane Fisher, WG’17

elevator pitch: Harper Wilde champions the modern definition of sexy: witty, confident, ambitious. We are revolutionizing the bra shopping experience to one that enables her busy life, rather than one that obstructs it.

Where did the idea for your venture come from?
The idea came about very organically from a simple question: “Why are bras so expensive?” We both had recently endured one of those all-consuming bra shopping trips – spending countless hours sorting through hundreds of over-priced options – and immediately bonded over our horrendous experiences. We knew something had to change, and thus began our quest to answer just that question. What could possibly make these bras so damn expensive?

How will your venture change the world?
We are changing the conversation in the bra industry to empower women and make their busy lives easier. To start, we are providing everyday bras at a fair price through a humorous brand. Additionally, we’re donating a portion of our revenues to help put young girls through school, further building on our mission to support and empower women. Together we can lift your ladies AND the next generation

Fun Facts: Jenna & Jane play on the same ice hockey team, despite neither knowing how to play ice hockey or how to skate


Come to the Startup Showcase to see the best student entrepreneurs from across Penn demo their companies and compete for cash and prizes to launch their startups!