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APRIL 21, 2016 – NEWARK, DE – Last Thursday, on April 14th, 2016, fifteen teams of high school entrepreneurs representing five US states and six countries competed in the semifinal round of the business concept track of the Diamond Challenge. The semifinal round ended a day full of entrepreneurial activity, where all the business concept semifinalists as long as the finalists for the Diamond Challenge’s social venture track were able to receive pitch coaching, attend workshops, and network among members of the entrepreneurial community. While the business concept teams competed for the coveted finalist titles, social venture teams, which competed separately online and already had finalists, participated in a Social Entrepreneurship Globechangers Bootcamp presented by the Jefferson Awards Foundation founder Sam Beard (pictured below) and Elizabeth Kennedy, National Director of the Globechangers program.


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The business concept teams were split into two rooms and each had to pitch in front of a panel of judges. The first room had judges Margaret O’Dwyer, President of the Delaware Youth Leadership Network, Ryan Harrington, Education Coordinator of 1313 Innovation, Jean Genzano, Director of Brand and Publisher Revenue of StumbleUpon, and Ken Anderson, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Support of the State of Delaware. The second room judges were Lisa Ford, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy of Capital One, Linda O’Hara of the Horn Program, and Donald Baker of Fame, Inc. Two teams, Polar Solis and Notifica of Southern California, immediately moved on to the final round, and teams Retracta-ball Pump and Essential Beauty of Maryland had to compete in one final pitch-off for the last finalist spot. Retracta-ball Pump snagged that spot for the final round, and the three teams joined Social Venture teams MentourU from Pennsylvania, Do it for Bunica from Moldova, and Fresquiticos from Costa Rica as the finalists for the competition.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 4.36.16 PM Semifinalist pitching on Thursday, April 14th

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 4.36.31 PM Participants visited the Venture Development Center, home of the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship on the University of Delaware Campus on Thursday evening for an awards celebration dinner.

 A full list of semifinalist teams for the Business Concept Competition include:


Retracta-ball Pump

 Heather Barnstead (Advisor), Nathan Wagener, Gabriel Werner, from  Severna Park, MD, USA

 The Retracta-ball Pump is a ball pump that allows the needle to retract back into the pump, preventing the needle from being lost or damaged.


Essential Beauty

 Heather Barnstead (Advisor), Hannah Nicholson, Erica Szymanski from Severna Park, MD, USA

 Essential Beauty is a travel size make-up organizer that can also be used as a counter for anyone challenged with a lack of space.


Flow – Our Modular Keyboard 

 Jim Borden (Advisor), Brandon Howell, Hunter Meyers-Emery from Wayne, PA, USA

 Our first product is Flow: a revolutionary, modular-based keyboard that allows the user to pick and choose how they use it.



 Lesley Wallace (Advisor), Francesca Mariano, Victoria Granda, Marikate Bryan from Wilmington, DE, USA

 Hemmed will accommodate the schedules of business professionals by offering convenient and customizable tailoring services in the office.



 Laura Victorino (Advisor), Jonathan Victorino, Akshay Padmanabhan from Danville, CA, USA

 DraftRivals: a social daily fantasy sports game that is fast and fun. Challenge your friends any time in the season to a spontaneous matchup.


Anti-Drone System

 Eugene Chou (Advisor), Jack Calhoun, Jeffrey Cho, Brian Patterson from Dublin, CA, USA

 A system that will keep drones and aircrafts from colliding, that is both safe and efficient. It will do minimal to no damage to a drone.



 Srinivasan Ganapathi (Advisor), Aditya Ganapathi, David Hou from Palo Alto, CA, USA

 A unique security company that offers two products, one to tackle women safety and another to revolutionize the in-home monitoring of asset.


Polar Solis

 Jerry Fleischhacker (Advisor), George Little, Philip Lee, Julian Davis, Rostam Reifschneider from La Jolla, CA, USA

 Polar Solis is a windshield that diffracts sun glare by adjusting color and brightness to counteract the fluctuation in levels of UV light.



 Colleen Hayes (Advisor), John Downey, Patrick McKelvey, Matthew Timo from Lincroft, NJ, USA

 SmartWash aims to revolutionize the shower experience by tracking shower duration, ultimately helping to save water and your wallet.


Pea Band

 Martin Thompson (Advisor), Hao Yuan, Jingyu Zheng, Yi Cao, Wanqin Wen from Beijing, China

 Pea Band, a smart band with user-friendly functions such as a special charging cable, NFC communication, and USB disk functionality.


Healthy Spray

 Cristina Bulancea, Diana Țăruș Alina Buga (Advisor) from Chisinau, Moldova

 Healthy Spray is a unique formula with active substances designed to absorb traces of chalk from blackboard with an inviting smell. The solution interacts with chalk from the blackboard  and reduces  chalk dust  from the air of classrooms, which can cause respiratory diseases.



 Natia Gogotidze (advisor), Nino Meltsaidze, Diana khecauridze from Georgia

 Tushurai is developing entrepreneurship in Tusheti, a high mountain region of Georgia to help Tushetian and foreign visitors have an enjoyable time through a café with nice atmosphere, delicious food and entertaining activities.


The Phoenix Reintegration Center for Former Convicts

 Mourad Gzara (advisor), Sara Gzara, Meriam Ben Said from Tunisa

 We are presenting a center that offers a 6-months reintegration program to ex-convicts to insure them a successful reentry after release.


Electronic Pill Box

 Hannah Kim (advisor), Katherine Ho, Ashley Phuong from San Jose, CA, USA

 PRISM assists anyone taking many pills regularly with an all in one solution of a pillbox and an app.


No matter where our Diamond Challenge alumni go, we are constantly amazed by how they continue to make an impact on the world for the better.

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About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.

Follow Horn Entrepreneurship @udhorn and check out our entrepreneurship competition for high school students @diamondchalleng.