University of Delaware
Jordan Gonzalez presents at last year's Hen Hatch finals. Gonzalez and his partner Keith Doggett won first place in the student track.

Hen Hatch registration opens

UD community invited to compete for share of $100,000-plus Hen Hatch prize pool


9:08 a.m., Dec. 9, 2015--Hen Hatch, the University of Delaware’s premier startup business funding competition, invites teams to enter the 2016 event, which features a prize pool that has doubled in size.

Hosted by UD’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, Hen Hatch offers guidance, visibility, startup funding and in-kind services to help UD entrepreneurs pursue and improve their business concepts. 

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“We are excited to launch Hen Hatch and announce several enhancements for 2016,” said Dan Freeman, director of the Horn Program. “The value of funding and in-kind service awards has been doubled to total more than $100,000.”

“We’ve also enhanced the feedback, mentoring and follow-on opportunities associated with the competition to increase its value for all participants,” Freeman said.

Hen Hatch separates applicants into two tracks: a student track that is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any UD degree program, and an alumni, faculty and staff track.

Last year’s top student team, “The Practice Set,” aims to help students to succeed in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses by providing detailed reasoning for how to solve challenging problems. 

“The experience and connections Keith and I gained through Hen Hatch are invaluable,” said honors finance student Jordan Gonzalez, who co-founded the Practice Set with honors electrical engineering student Keith Doggett. “And the money has been pretty helpful, too.”

SimUCare, led by nursing faculty member Amy Cowperthwait and researcher Amy Bucha, was selected as the top team from the alumni, faculty and staff track last year. 

“Hen Hatch was a great learning experience for me and our team,” Cowperthwait said. “The feedback, resources and momentum we gained from Hen Hatch have proven invaluable in helping us to secure additional funding and accelerate our progress toward making a big impact on the healthcare simulation training market.”

The contest’s preliminary round consists of a written 3-5 page business concept, which is evaluated by seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders.

Business concept submissions are due Jan. 25, 2016. 

Click here for an outline and suggestions for what to include in this submission.

For the semifinal round, the Horn Program will invite participants who are judged as having submitted the 10 most promising written business concepts in each track to the Venture Development Center to pitch to an accomplished panel of entrepreneurs and investors. 

The semifinal rounds will take place on March 11, 2016, for students and March 18 for alumni, faculty and staff.

The final round on April 25 will feature pitches by the top three teams from each track before an accomplished panel of judges in front of a live audience. The judges and audience will participate in allocating funding awards.

The $100,000-plus total prize pool for Hen Hatch 2016 represents a twofold increase versus previous years. This increase is supported by a grant award from the Unidel Foundation.

For more information on how to register, visit the Horn Program’s Hen Hatch page.

Those with questions about the program can click here to email the Horn Program.

Photos by Duane Perry

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