Chute is granted $5,000

There was a buzz of excitement in the air at Innovation Park at Penn State’s Technology Center on May 21 as Ben Franklin Technology Partners hosted the culmination of its TechCelerator @State College program. The program provides funding and support services to emerging tech-entrepreneurs, and concluded with a pitch competition that was held among the program’s seven recent graduates. The local startups gave a six-minute pitch to three judges, followed by a five-minute Q&A. The prize for the evening? $10,000 in funding.

Tamela Serensits made an impressive start to the evening by pitching her company Argolytics, which strives to revolutionize manufacturing by reducing waste and cutting costs associated with poor quality through its robust, user-friendly software for manufacturing quality control.

Kik Triks made the second pitch of the night, led by the mother and son duo Judy and her young Kadin Karaky, whose mission is to develop products to help children and young adults deal with their anxiety through breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation.

Dr. Mike Duffey pitched his company Kinetic Science Solutions, which aims to help solve the epidemic of ankle injuries by using technology, research and applications to “prehabilitate” active people or help them avoid injury or reinjury.

Vitable, an Uber service for healthcare, is granted $5,000

Andrew Strause pitched Beemia, a three-pronged platform meant to provide guidance for students newly introduced to university life in the areas of housing, lifestyle, and social life.

Co-founder Natalie Briggs pitched her cutting edge company Qorius 2D, which looks to revolutionize the vaccine industry by making microscope slides that provide a signal for fingerprinting viruses over 100 times more accurately than competitors, thanks to its atomically thin metal film. Acute interest has already been expressed from the CDC, NIH and other health sector giants, and future potential applications include more accurate diagnostic work so that medical practitioners can prescribe more effective treatment.

The evening ended with the announcement of a tie between Chute and Vitable. Chute is a laundry service company with a twist: it provides data for the fashion industry through smart cameras that analyze laundry, letting fashion brands know what consumers are wearing. Its co-victor Vitable is an Uber service for healthcare, allowing subscribers to gain access to on-demand urgent care house calls from independently contracted board-certified nurse practitioners. Both companies took home $5,000 in funding.


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