The first three winners of the competition are:
1st place ($ 1,000 in seed funding):
RISCQ Health (Talonda Rogers and Dina Torrie, Founders) – Their mission is to help women and families feel empowered to stand up for themselves for needed medical treatment by providing evidence-based educational information through an app and a “smart” pregnant plush, which will help decrease the likelihood of unwanted outcomes due to complications encountered before and after birth.
2nd place ($ 750 in seed funding):
Guarantee check (Tom Wentling – Founder) – Developed a streamlined warranty registration process using electronic receipts and QR codes to make it more simplistic for the end user and increase business registration rates. This will help businesses by reducing product malfunctions, liability and fraud, while improving customer service and product development.
3rd place ($ 500 in seed funding):
Dotterer educational advice (Cheri Dotterer – Founder) – Designs and delivers professional development materials to teach occupational therapists and parents in school settings to help students overcome socio-emotional trauma and challenges associated with dysgraphia, a writing challenge that affects one in three people and hinders college / career preparation.
The contest judges included:
- Erika Swift – Director of Operations at the Center for Medical Innovation at Penn State College of Medicine, which helps accelerate technology development through education, discovery, proof-of-concept programs, fundraising initiatives and support for startups. Swift is also President of BioStrategy Partners, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit consortium of seven academic medical centers and research institutes engaged in the development and transfer of academic research to the market.
- Jobany Bedoya – Director of Development for ASSETS Lancaster, a non-profit organization that supports start-ups and existing businesses through training, loans and advice. His professional experiences include supporting small businesses and minorities, banking and retail management. He is also an entrepreneur who owns both Red Tie Affairs, a mobile DJ and entertainment business, and a consulting firm that helps small businesses and minorities in Berks County.
- Adrean Turner – world leader, coach and speaker recognized for his expertise in mental fitness and performance. Its clients span several sectors. Turner is the author of “FIT for Success: Fearless. Inspired. Transformed for Success.” She is also an Assistant Professor of Commerce at the Universities of Alvernia and Widener.
About Berks LaunchBox
The mission of Berks LaunchBox, located in suite 105 of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in downtown Reading, is to support economic development and entrepreneurship. Penn State Berks’ innovation center, Berks LaunchBox connects local entrepreneurs with the support, resources, and facilities they need to build sustainable, scalable businesses with a viable plan for growth. The services include assistance with prototyping, carrying out market research and connecting with advisors. Berks LaunchBox offers entrepreneurship workshops, a co-working space for startups, Meetups focused on business development, a makerspace with 3D printers for prototyping and special programs for young people.
Berks LaunchBox is supported by Invent Penn State – a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student success, launched by Penn State President Eric J. Barron in 2016. For more information, For more information visit berkslaunchbox.psu. edu or contact Erica Kunkel, Interim Director of Berks LaunchBox, at [email protected] or 610-396-6221.