Success Story

Six student startups to compete for up to $30,000 in Inc.U Competition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Six Penn State student startups have been selected as finalists in Invent Penn State’s Inc.U Competition. Each team will compete for a $30,000 cash investment pool in a pitch competition during Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC.Register to attend the live taping of the Inc.U Competition on Saturday, March 16 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. 

The finalists include:   

Bootleg Boomerangs offers user-friendly boomerangs, providing a tool for mindful outdoor play and making boomerangs accessible to all ages and skill levels. The startup is founded by Riley Auer, a student in the College of Engineering 

Marble is revolutionizing the journaling experience by creating a dynamic, personalized, and interactive platform to overcome the hurdle of sustaining the journaling habit and improving mental health. The startup is founded by students Mehul Aggarwal and Mihir Kulkarni from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST); Harsh Maheshwari, Aviral Bansal, and Matthew Walter from the College of Engineering; and Elita Wadhwa from the College of Liberal Arts. 

Saveware is helping save clients’ money on sales and use tax overpayments. The startup is founded by Braeden Davidson, a student in the Smeal College of Business, and Ryan Jai Hokimi from the College of Engineering. is simplifying the online selling process for small-to-medium sized businesses by cross-listing on multiple marketplaces. The startup is founded by students Tanishq Barot from the College of IST; Gauri Patil, Prajnay Kataria, Manav Shah, and Zack Walknok from the College of Engineering; and Camila Mould from the Smeal College of Business. 

Shamba Share is increasing access to agricultural equipment for Kenyan smallholder farmers and helping them avoid downtime and increase returns. The startup is part of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program and is founded by students Jaiden Asch and Samuel Marsh from the Smeal College of Business and Veer Gowda from the Eberly College of Science 

Streamline Charging LLC offers a unique solution to reduce the cost of installation for apartment complex owners and increase availability of EV charging stations. The startup originated in the Engineering program at Penn State Berks, specifically through a mechanical engineering independent study program. Streamline Charging completed the Flemming Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development (CEED) Center’s Customer Discovery Lab. The student team includes Jonathan Smith, Shayaan Ghandi, Rohan Chaudhary, and Nathan Vreeland from the College of Engineering and Loc Phan from the Eberly College of Science.  

“The six finalists were selected from a total of 48 teams that applied from nine campuses,” said Joanna Sutton, Inc.U Competition coordinator and innovation coordinator at the Corner LaunchBox powered by Penn State New Kensington. “The top six selected teams are working on innovative and unique solutions to impactful problems and demonstrated a strong commitment to entrepreneurship and the desire to create a startup.” 

Finalists will have access to pitch training and startup support services prior to the competition. In addition, teams will connect with the Penn State Law Entrepreneur Assistance Law Clinic to help them establish LLCs and the Penn State Law Intellectual Property Law Clinic for patent and intellectual property assistance.  

During the pitch competition, teams will be judged on how well they define the problem they are solving with their startup, the uniqueness and viability of their solution to the problem, market attributes and scalability, startup progress and credibility, justification for use of funding, and quality of presentation.   

Voting for the People’s Choice award sponsored by the Penn State College of Engineering Entrepreneurship program will begin on Saturday, March 16, immediately following the competition.  

About the Inc.U Competition   

Inc.U is a signature program of Invent Penn State and an annual showcase of student innovation across the commonwealth. Every spring, the Inc.U Competition awards up to $30,000 in funding to the top six student startup teams at the culminating pitch event that takes place during Penn State Startup Week powered by PNC. This funding, coupled with ongoing pitch training and startup support services, enables student entrepreneurs to take the next step in turning their daydream into a reality.    

This project was financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.