WilmInvest, D150 Fueling and O-P-S win Hen Hatch 2018

There were three big winners at the University of Delaware Horn Program’s annual Hen Hatch pitch competition, thanks to a tie that put both WilmInvest and D15o Fueling in First Place in the student track. Alumnus Lee Beauchamp, of the College of Engineering’s Class of 2005, led his startup, O-P-S, LLC, into first place in the Alumni/Faculty/Staff track.

The finals were held at The Queen in Wilmington, where a full house watched the seven finalists give seven-minute pitches, followed by a five-minute Q&A from a panel of judges made up of top business leaders based in Delaware.

Trio of students hoping to invest in Wilmington’s future by combating blight

Sitting on the conjoined staircase that leads to the porches outside of two abandoned homes on E. 17th Street in Wilmington, Joel Amin Jr., Bryce Fender and Demetrius Thorn shared their big dream.

The 20-year-olds chose this area to highlight the growing problem facing the city as vacant properties bring wooden boards to blocks throughout Wilmington.

This specific block had five vacancies, a small fraction of the 1,700 or so houses in Wilmington that remain without residents.

Governor Carney, Division of Small Business Award EDGE Grants to 10 Delaware Companies

Deadline for Spring 2020 EDGE Grants is February 28, 2020

WILMINGTON, Del. – A bio-based materials company, a maker of wearable medical sensors, and a bakery-café were among the 10 Delaware small businesses recognized Thursday as awardees of the second round of EDGE Grants from the state Division of Small Business.

Governor John Carney, Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, and Division of Small Business Director Damian DeStefano announced the companies at an event Thursday at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington.

“It is incredible to see what the innovative entrepreneurs in this state are accomplishing,” said Governor Carney. “Their companies span a wide range of industries, but the one thing the owners share is the drive and determination necessary to start then grow their businesses. I am glad the State is able to support their work through initiatives like the EDGE Grant program.”

WilmInvest wins $10K at Swim with the Sharks pitch competition

Swim with the Sharks, the New Castle County Emerging Enterprise Center’s annual pitch competition, selected the social venture WilmInvest as its 2019 winner at its Nov. 1 final round at Harry’s Savoy Grill in Wilmington.

WilmInvest impressed the judges — Keith Ellison of the Urban League of Philadelphia Entrepreneurship CenterHolly Flanagan of Gabriel InvestmentsMark Olazagasti of Info Solutions and Dr. Sumedh Surwade of SAS Nanotechnologies —with a pitch that included a successful pilot application of the model. The venture acquires vacant and renovates vacant properties, then helps place houseless families in the homes under WilmInvest management.

Viewpoint: Investing in the journey from homeless to homeowner

We – Bryce Fender, Demetrius Thorn and myself – envision a future where families experiencing homelessness are provided with stable housing and intensive social services to support them on their path toward home ownership.

We’re now college seniors at the University of Delaware and Penn, but the three of us met in middle school at Conrad Schools of Science and have brought together our talents to do what we call “social impact real estate investing.” After multiple pivots, we launched Wilminvest in January 2017.

Building From The Ground Up

UD students and Wilminvest co-founders launch pilot program in supportive housing

The tenants in the newly renovated homes in Northeast Wilmington, Delaware, promise on their leases “to commit to nonviolence, to be health-conscious, to be environmentally conscious, to have emotional intelligence, to live with social responsibility and to commit toward growth and change.” Their landlords will prosper by improving their tenants’ lives while rebuilding troubled neighborhoods.