A mobile app to reform student commerce. A new, healthier formula for bottled water. A new process to revolutionize the skincare industry. The next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators are right here at Howard University! On February 28th, six Howard University student run businesses competed in the HU Empower Pitch Competition for a chance to win up to $1500 in startup funding. Participants selected from across the University were challenged to develop a business idea that addresses a pressing social issue and pitch their idea to a panel of esteemed entrepreneurs. This competition, was hosted the Marketing Department and sponsored by TheCollectivePAC, an organization founded by Howard Alums Stephanie and Quinton James.
Below are the bright ideas that students pitched (in alphabetical order):
- Alkalign creates positively charged, crystal-infused alkaline water.
- Dream Guard hopes to make customizable mouth guards at an inexpensive price to limit athletes’ injuries, and improve dental health in minority communities.
- Headline is a luxury hair extension and wig brand that provides a non-surgical hair replacement options for balding men.
- Hustle is an app that helps college students exchange goods and services…watch out Ebay!
- Phage Pro seeks to revolutionize the skincare industry by using phages to treat acne and other skin conditions.
- Swarm uses 3D printing technology to create customizable casts that are both patient and doctor-friendly.
And the winner is…Alkalign founded by Junior Marketing major, Alyiah Ellsworth! In second place was Headline, founded by Senior Legal Communications major, Amara Onwukaeme. In third place, PhagePro founded by sophomore marketing major Brianna Walton, sophomore marketing major Amara Phillip, and sophomore Biology major Cary Robinson.
Competition judges included The James’, along with Howard Alum and Broccoli City Festival Co-Founder Darryl Perkins, and CEO of The Black Upstart, Kezia W