It certainly is sweet to be age 16, for Joseph Richter. The high school student from Chester County competed against some of the top Chester County startups, West Chester University alumni, faculty and more to win the grand prize in the 10th Annual WCU Business Idea Pitch (BIP).
Joseph’s idea: An app called “Split,” which is designed to solve the lack of communication between divorced parents and the effects on children. Features of the app include a shared calendar to manage a child’s schedule, a tool to help split expenses and a direct line to counseling hotlines.
BIP is organized by Pattie Diggin, who serves on the i2n board and is director of WCU’s Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center. i2n director Patrick Hayakawa served as a judge for the competition, and each year up to two finalists receive a complimentary i2n subscription, which provides access to funding, workspace, mentorship and strategic business connections.
“It is always energizing partnering with WCU on this event. All of us at i2n believe supporting entrepreneurs at the earliest stages is key to promoting a diverse economy and a vibrant entrepreneurial culture for the region,” says Hayakawa.
Contestants competed for prizes totaling $15,000, facing off against more than 300 submissions from four tracks. Congrats to the finalists:
Chester County Startups
- Kevin Boylan & Nicole Boylan, SCAPES: A virtual landscape design business that produces 3D custom landscape designs based on a customer’s envision
- Devin Marlin, Beach Runner: A full concierge beach gear set up and clean up service
WCU Graduate, Alumni, Faculty & Staff
- Morris Cohen, Holodeck: An experiential learning experience that combines elements of virtual reality and teacher curriculum, resulting in high levels of student engagement
- Janear Hankerson, 7th & Northampton Studio Production LLC: A program that addresses teacher shortages and lack of classroom management, providing educators with humor theories, techniques and exercises to keep audiences engaged
- Matthew Zwilgmeyer, VR Warehouse: A space where individuals can come to experience virtual reality in the most realistic way, as it combines both the sense of sight and touch
- Anthony Leipziger, The Ring Beat: A smart ring that tracks a person’s heart rate and has GPS & telecommunication capabilities
Chester County High Schools
- Alyana Wybranski, Brendan Pappas, James Spaulding, Kenneth Profeto: A computerized autonomous suppression system that can be used in place of typical sprinkler systems
Submissions for next year’s competition are due February 23, 2023.