3rd Annual Entrepreneurial Summit + 8th Annual Swim with the Sharks Pitch Competition

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Name: 3rd Annual Entrepreneurial Summit + 8th Annual Swim with the Sharks Pitch Competition
Date: October 20, 2020
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM EDT
Registration: Sorry, public registration for this event has been closed.
Event Description:

A high impact virtual summit that brings together entrepreneurs, inspirational innovators, and resource providers to help businesses accelerate their business growth and recovery. 

We are proud to celebrate Delaware's entrepreneurial spirit that fosters economic growth, community engagement, and employment opportunity - and we hope you will virtually join us - at this year's 3rd Annual Entrepreneurial Summit, which includes our 8th Annual Swim with the Sharks Pitch Competition.

The impact of the global pandemic on small businesses, and humans, has been significant. The response of our community to pivot, persevere, and face the challenges together has been inspiring. In this year's event, we will focus on interactive workshops that will address the issues that businesses are facing in today's crisis, funding options available to all businesses, the power of storytelling to have your brand be featured on a national scale, and hear from innovators who are disrupting industries and making waves. Attendees will not miss a moment as all sessions will be recorded and available to watch and re-watch.

9:00 a.m. Welcome
9:15 a.m. Opening Keynote by Richard Vague
10:00 a.m. Breakout 1a: Crowdfunding Your Business: Raising Capital with Confidence

From selecting the perfect platform to finding ways to delight your potential funders, crowdfunding comes with inherent stresses, especially during uncertain times. In this panel, you will learn how to select the right platform for your start-up and how to crowdfund with confidence, even in challenging times.

For entrepreneurs ready to bring their business or idea to life, IFundWomen Co-Founder Kate Anderson will share how you can take immediate action to raise capital through online fundraising, the shift in consumer habits with the pandemic keeping more people at home, and the importance of finding a network of support that sparks confidence, accelerates knowledge, and ignites action.

For business owners struggling to find the right fit for their crowdfunding campaign, Founder of TheraV, Amira Idris, will walk you through why she made the decision to use GoFundMe to raise funds to provide free wearable pain management devices to veterans living with amputation pain. Adam Stager will share how he created a successful campaign using Kickstarter.

Moderator: Gail Ball
Speakers: Kate Anderson, Adam Stager and Amira Idris

Breakout 1b: Publicity Strategies for Start-up Success

Want to learn the secret to becoming a major publicity success? In this panel, you will learn from entrepreneurs who have reached mega levels of success on how to craft the perfect pitch, get your story seen on major networks and publications, and how to use multi-channel marketing to expand your reach.

Moderator: Ariel Gruswitz
Speakers: Celebrity Chef Dana Herbert, Connie Inukai, and Gayle Dillman
11:00 a.m.
Breakout 2a: TechTalks: From Recovery to Resiliency

Delaware is working to be at the forefront of future innovations. Each TechTalk will highlight the work of local leaders who are using technology and innovation to address the needs of tomorrow's world. You will hear: how entrepreneurs are using A.I. technology to inform communities about how to combat the spread of COVID-19, learn the latest in healthcare technologies, and see how urban farming is reducing the carbon footprint and disrupting the farming industry.

Moderator: Denita Henderson
Speakers: Catherine Burch, Ajit George, Sury Gupta and Matthew Saponaro

Breakout 2b: Finding Investors in the "New" Normal

Despite the rise of crowdfunding, institutional investment is still a crucial part of the start-up ecosystem, but what does the future of funding look like in our ?new? normal? Principal at Osage Venture Partner, Emily Foote, will discuss how to find the right early-stage funding partner, when to start seeking outside funding, and how to secure a deal in uncertain times.

Moderator: Renata Kowalczyk
Speakers: Emily Foote and Ken Tomlinson
12:00 p.m. Closing Keynote by U.S. Senator Tom Carper
12:30 p.m. Virtual Exhibitor Tabling / Break
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Swim with the Sharks Pitch Competition - Televised on 

Master of Ceremonies: Ivan Thomas, Founder of DETV
Keynote: Katey Evans, Owner of The Frozen Farmer
Pitch Finalist: 
  1. Lignolix: Lignolix's mission is to create the next generation of sustainable chemicals and materials using waste from paper mills. The company was founded in 2019 and is located in Wilmington, DE. Currently, Lignolix is operated by the four co-founders and is developing their first product: natural and safe multifunctional preservatives for personal care products.
  2. Second Chances Farm: Second Chances Farm is a commercial, hydroponic, indoor vertical farm that grows chemical- and pesticide-free leafy greens, herbs and pharmaceutical-grade hemp, and exclusively hires formerly incarcerated persons as farm employees. Employees are provided with mentoring, life skills and job training.
  3. TRIC Robotics: The TRIC platform is designed to bring new technology to farmers in an easy to use, intuitive package. For a service fee our robots stay on the farm all season performing weeding and pathogen treatments while they collect data to inform the farmer of plant health and productivity. You can think of it as a Roomba for the field, it deploys autonomously and does everything at night by itself.

Organized by          

In partnership with Economic Development | New Castle County, DE - Official Website
Event Media:
Event Sponsors:
  • SCORE Delaware
  • NextFab
  • Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  • Cover & Rossiter
  • DE Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  • DE Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  • Wilmington Alliance
VIRTUAL - Watch from your home or office!
Virtual event information will be shared prior to event. 
Date/Time Information:

Tuesday, October 20 
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Virtual Summit
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Swim with the Sharks Pitch Competition televised on DETV and streamed online

Contact Information:
Alysse Bortolotto
$25 Member 
$39 Non-Member 

$2,500 Presenting Sponsor 
$1000 Angel Sponsor
$500 Family Sponsor
$250 Friend Sponsor

$100 1/4 Page Digital Program Ad
$200 1/2 Page Digital Program Ad
$300 Full-Page Digital Program Ad

$100 Virtual Exhibitor Table
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