Success Story

Student Founders Awarded $10,000 to Work on Startups Over the Summer

2019 Summer Founders Program team LineHopper founders John Quinn and Michael Miller, at the 2019 Penn State Smeal College of Business Supply Chain Pitch Contest. Image via Penn State Smeal

The Summer Founders Program (SFP) awarded five student teams $10,000 each to work on their startup, nonprofit or social good venture full-time over the summer in State College. Of the 27 teams that applied to the program, nine semi-finalist teams were interviewed by the selection committee, and five finalist teams were invited into the SFP 2019 cohort.

The 2019 cohort includes:

ArgolyticsTM Founded by Penn State Eberly College of Science graduate student Tammy Serenstis, ArgolyticsTM is a web-based software that helps manufacturers assess the quality of their products. The startup’s first product, Trendable™, is an affordable, accurate quality control reporting software for Quality Managers.

One-Click Founded by Penn State Smeal College of Business undergraduate student Matt Pettinato and University of Scranton undergraduate student Andrew Brandt, One-Click’s personal safety mobile application reduces by half the time it takes for university emergency personnel to respond to an incident on campus by providing a direct connection to emergency personnel from anyone’s mobile phone.

Maverick Systems Founded by Penn State College of Health and Human Development undergraduate student Devanshi Agnihotri and Penn State Information Sciences and Technology (IST) undergraduate student Joel Seidel, Maverick Systems software allows medical device manufacturers to track devices through the supply chain without requiring them to replace proprietary data systems currently in use.

LineHopper Founded by Penn State Smeal College of Businesses undergraduate student Michael Miller and Penn State Engineering student Jack Quinn, LineHopper’s mobile application allows patrons encountering long lines at popular fast food restaurants, to identify individuals already in line who are willing to add their order to their own, thereby virtually jumping the line.

Wavelength Founded by Penn State Engineering undergraduate student Victor Ariyo and East Stroudsburg University undergraduate student Nasir Cooper, Wavelength is an online marketplace that allows independent musicians to generate income through access to tools, business education, and direct connections to consumers while also maintaining control of their music.

“We’re excited about the diversity of the five teams participating in the program this summer,” said Lee Erickson, Chief Amplifier for Happy Valley LaunchBox. “They are at different stages with different skills and this makes for great conversations and learning from each other.”

The cohort will meet regularly with mentors and have 24/7 access to the Happy Valley LaunchBox co-working space for the program’s 13-week duration. The program will culminate with a showcase at the LaunchBox on Aug. 7.

Created in 2015, the SFP is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative and operates in partnership with Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank. The program relies on alumni volunteers, mentors and donors to help student entrepreneurs achieve success. Recent donors to the Summer Founders Program include Ryan L. and Meredith A. Newman and Ballantyne & Leonard Foundation in memory of Jan William Leonard.

A number of Penn State alumni also served on the selection committee, including Matt Brezina and Bob Morgan, cofounder and President of Pivotal Moments.

Supporting entrepreneurship is a priority of the University’s current fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” This is a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

Gifts to select economic development initiatives across the University can receive a 1:1 match from Penn State funds through a program available through the end of the campaign on June 30, 2021, or until available matching funds have been expended. For more information, please contact Heather Winfield, director of campaign imperatives.

For information about other Penn State startups, visit startupnavigator.psu.edu.

For more information about the Summer Founders Program or how you can be involved, click here.

"We're excited about the diversity of the 5 teams participating in the program this summer"

Lee Erickson
Chief Amplifier at Happy Valley LaunchBox

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