Startup302 is Delaware's premier funding competition for 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.
Want to learn more about the competition and if its right for your business? Speak directly with members of the committee during this 45-minute Q&A session to learn how you can prepare your business to apply for this competition.
Join us for a virtual information session with a live question-and-answer session on Zoom where you can ask any questions you have about the competition.
Want to be a sponsor? Want to be in the know with budding entrepreneurs?
Contact us today at nolson at choosedelaware.com.
Theresa Litherland, CoFounder & President, Resonate Forward
All technology-enabled startups, with at least one founding team member from an underrepresented group are welcomed to apply for consideration. Considering the profile of Delaware’s ecosystem, those working in bioscience, chemistry, advanced materials, agriculture, and financial & business services, and esports are especially encouraged to participate.
Who is an underrepresented founder?
In the startup community, underrepresented founders are those whom the venture capital industry as a whole underinvest, relative to the overall US population. For the purpose of this competition, we define underrepresented founders as women, Black, Latinx, Native-American, and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. Across startup communities, these founders belong to demographic groups and identities which are vastly underrepresented in technology startup ownership and success stories.
The application window for Startup302 opens in January 2023.
Send an email to Erica Crell to ecrell at choosedelaware.com to be put on the mailing list for Startup 302 notifications.
“Delaware ecosystem are helpful in providing a variety of resources, including people, time, space, and funding, to new entrepreneurs. Many of the events, workshops, and communities under the ecosystem umbrella were helpful to us, especially at the beginning of Carbon Reform’s formation, in providing context and access to the world we were getting into. There are many seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders involved who are generously willing to share their time and input, which we have taken advantage of since our start.” - Jo Norris, CoFounder, Carbon Reform
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 Romdel, Founder and CEO, BioCurie
"Besides the financial award, winning gave me reassurance that the problem I'm working on solving is valuable. I really do appreciate Startup 302 for helping underrepresented founders like myself with funding and resources to grow our companies. " - Kasai Guthrie, CEO, Neggster
New This Year. The finals will be held in person in Wilmington, DE.
More to come.
Startup 302 involves three rounds - an application submission & evaluation round, semi-finals, and a final pitch round. Applications are reviewed by the Startup 302 organizing team and affiliated judges. There are no fees to apply.
Prizes will be awarded as grants, with certain awards having geographic restrictions. The prize pool in previous years was over $150k. Startups will also benefit from engagement with community resources, sponsors, executives, and other key influencers.
Awards to startups who've generated less than $10,000 in annual revenue and have raised less than $50k in funding (including dilutive & non-dilutive sources).
Awards for innovations across sectors, with a focus on fintech & financial health. Additional areas of interest include, but are not limited to esports, automation, big data, healthtech, SaaS, and ecommerce.
Awards to startups in therapeutics, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, nutrition, industrial biotechnology, agriculture biotechnology, and other startups enabled by the life sciences.
Awards to startups in advanced materials, chemical ingredients, polymers and other startups enabled by chemistry.
Awards to startups in cleantech, chemical ingredients that are naturally derived sources, ocean safe products that are focus on the holistic and environmental impact.
There are additional cash awards for companies aligned with the following criteria: University of Delaware Alumni, Grad Students or Faculty; Primary Operations in New Castle County and/or the State of Delaware.
Questions? Contact ecrell at choosedelaware.com
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