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Pitch Competition RETURNING in 2024!

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Empower
Growth

Startup302 is a pitch competition focused on high-growth; early-stage startups led by founders from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, LBGTQ+, and women. For the last three years, the competition has been led and organized by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. DPP is a nonprofit public/private organization created in 2017 by Delaware Governor John Carney and the state’s legislature to lead Delaware’s statewide economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and support private employers in identifying, recruiting, and developing talent. Startup302’s goals are to strengthen Delaware’s innovation ecosystem by improving access to funding and mentorship for underrepresented entrepreneurs while fostering diverse perspectives, promoting inclusive and equitable consideration, and attracting diverse communities of founders to the region. We believe that Startup302 is a perfect launch pad for those entrepreneurs who need a boost for their venture. In the first three years, more than 200 startups have applied, 37 awards have been granted for a total of $643,000.

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Startup302

is Delaware’s premier funding competition for technology and technology-enabled startups led by underrepresented founders. 


Entrepreneurs from across the U.S. will compete for non-dilutive funding, access to mentors and valuable connections.
 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

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Technology startups with at least one founding member from an underrepresented group: women, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and LGBTQ+ individuals.

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Startups in bioscience, chemistry, advanced materials, agriculture, financial/business services, e-sports and other tech-enabled areas.

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Business models with potential for significant regional, national or international impact.

Register Today for the
Information Session
December 11 at 12:00 PM EST


 

HOW DOES STARTUP302 WORK?

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On the Desk

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Speaking at Conference

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STARTUP302 CONSISTS OF FOUR ROUNDS: 

  • Introductory Video and Description

    • Free and open to all to apply

    • Entries reviewed by Startup302 team

  • Application Submission and Evaluation

    • Invitation-only based on intro video and description

    • Reviewed by Startup302 steering committee and affiliated judges

  • Semifinals

  • Final Pitching Round

    • Teams will have 5 to 10 minutes to pitch

    • Questions from judges follow the pitch

 

All entries must be in English.

Entries will be judged on written concept narratives and live presentations, including question responses; stage of startup; potential opportunity; scalability; regional impact; skills and value added by the management team; and “wow factor.”

APPLY January 8
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WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?

  • Awards change each year based on sponsorship amounts.

  • Prizes  can be anywhere from $3,000-$25,000.

  • Funds will be awarded as grants, with certain awards having geographic restrictions. 

  •  Prizes are non-dilutive, so winners aren’t required to share ownership in their companies.

  • The 2023 pool prize was $210,000.

APPLICANTS CAN COMPETE ON 1 OF FIVE TRACKS

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Early-Stage

Early-stage innovators who have generated less than $10,000 in annual revenue and have raised less than $50,000 in dilutive and/or non-dilutive funding.

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Life Sciences

Startups in therapeutics, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, nutrition, industrial biotechnology, agriculture biotechnology and other life sciences.

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Delaware Impact

Startups residing in Delaware that are tech-enabled – not building the internet, mobile devices or social media platforms but using those technologies.

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FinTech

Innovations across sectors, with a focus on fintech, automation, big data, health tech, SaaS and e-commerce innovations for financial services.

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Environmental Impact

Startups in cleantech, chemical ingredients from naturally derived sources and ocean-safe products that focus on environmental impact.

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Additional Prizes

Cash awards for startups with founders who are University of Delaware alumni, grad Students faculty and that have primary operations in the State of Delaware.

APPLY January 8

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT STARTUP302

Delaware is properly located to give me great connections

“I founded BioCurie in Delaware because of Delaware’s business-friendly environment and proximity to biopharma companies. This makes it an ideal place for innovative businesses to thrive. We have NIIMBL here and north of us in Philadelphia, we have ‘Cellicon Valley’ and the Greater Philadelphia region with all the cell and gene therapy companies. We’ve got all the big pharma just north in New Jersey. The contract manufacturers in cell and gene therapy are in Maryland. We also collaborate with the University of Delaware through one of its grant programs.” 

Irene Rombel, Founder and CEO, 2022 Startup302 winner BioCurie

SPONSORS

GIVE BACK

Join the impressive roster of Startup302 funders. If you are interested in supporting, volunteering, or learning more about the benefits of becoming a sponsor contact Noah Olson at nolson@choosedelaware.com.

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