Desikant, HX Innovations Wins Big in First 302 Startup Pitch Competition


The very first Start 302 is an envelope, and 10 underrepresented founders from Delaware (and elsewhere) walked away with prizes ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 75,000.

The most important awards were in the Delaware Innovation Award category, where the Delaware Small Business Division put $ 150,000 to be distributed among the three finalists. Desikant, a Wilmington startup founded by Kwaku Temeng that clothing engineers with thermoregulation technology received the highest prize of $ 75,000. Based in Middletown HX innovations, a neuroergonomic shoe technology startup founded by Von Homer, received $ 50,000, while Gaskiya a Baltimore-based aquaculture diagnostics start-up founded by Dr Mary Larkin, received $ 25,000.

HX Innovations also received the top prize of $ 10,000 in the Automation & Insights category, while Gaskiya also won the top prize of $ 10,000 in innovation in agriculture.

Other big winners include the Newark-based company GetPotluck, the specialized grocery delivery services startup founded by Hope Vega and Abu kamara which will expand its model to include boxes of specialty snacks, which have won the NCC’s $ 10,000 Innovator Award and the $ 10,000 Blue Hen Award from the University of Delaware.

TheraV, therapeutic device startups that specialize in patients with amputations, have won the Blue Hen Award of $ 20,000.

While the majority of the finalists were Delaware-area startups, a winner of $ 20,000, Lazarus 3D, is based in Oregon and received a scholarship of $ 10,000, WeavAir, is based in Toronto. Both have won open innovation awards. Kiddie Kredit, who received $ 15,000 in the FinHealth category, is based in Miami, with a team spread across the country, including the Philadelphia area. The $ 5,000 Fellow in FinHealth, Neggster, was founded in Delaware and is now based in Cape Verde.

During the four-hour virtual event, hosted on the Delaware-based platform Markee, each category had its own “room”, and participants could move around and watch 10-minute presentations in different categories. Each presentation was followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer period from a panel of judges. Deliberations took place in private rooms prior to the announcement of the winners at the end of the event.

Here is the full list of finalists and winners (in bold):

  • Automation & Insights (sponsor of the award: Laboratory equipment)
    • Chekmate
    • HX innovations – $ 10,000
    • WeavAir
  • Best Science-Based Startup (Award Sponsor: Delaware Innovation Space)
    • 2M
    • Elyte Energy – $ 5,000 and 10 hours notice
    • Enolytic laboratories
  • Blue Hen Award (UD Horn, JPMorgan Chase)
    • GetPotluck – $ 10,000
    • GreenPesa
    • TheraV – $ 20,000
  • DE Innovation Award (award sponsor: Delaware Division of Small Business)
    • Desikant – $ 75,000
    • HX innovations – $ 50,000
    • Gaskiya – $ 25,000
  • FinHealth Prize (sponsor of the prize: Discover Bank)
    • Kiddie Kredit – $ 15,000
    • Neggster – $ 5,000
    • VariCard
  • Innovation in agriculture (sponsor of the award: CMF)
    • AF3
    • Edie
    • Gaskiya – $ 10,000
  • Health innovation (sponsor of the award: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield DE)
    • Lazarus 3D – $ 10,000
    • Lilu
  • NCC Innovation Award (award sponsor: CNC innovates)
    • First Gaming Futures
    • GetPotluck – $ 10,000
    • Versogen
  • Open Innovation Award (Delaware Partnership for Prosperity, Delaware State University, JPMC)
    • Lazarus 3D – $ 20,000
    • WeavAir – $ 10,000


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