Join us

November 4-5.2021

Choose your own path at Drexel’s premier Entrepreneurship Festival! Students, graduates, and entrepreneurs are all welcome to join in-person and online for a three-day celebration of entrepreneurship by attending speaker panels, mentoring sessions, networking, competing for over $15,000 in prizes and more!

The 2021 Startup Fest is held in person with some sessions available for streaming online via Hopin for those unable to attend. 

Please RSVP for attendance using Startup Tree for attendance in person.

SCHEDULE

Day 1

10a – 3p

Baiada Open House

Location: 4th Floor of the Pearlstein Building

Stop by the Baiada Institute, located on the 4 th floor of the Pearlstein Building, to tour our incubator space and meet some of our student incubating companies.

 

10a – 3p

Proving Ground Expo

Location: In Person in the Lobby of the Pearlstein Building and Online

The Proving Ground Expo will be held in the lobby of the Pearlstein Building and will feature displays by Drexel student ventures and our Start Up Fest Sponsors.

 

10a – 4p

Low Code Innovation Challenge

Location: In Person in the Lobby of the Pearlstein Building Only

As part of the Proving Ground Expo, the Drexel Co – Op team from Graphite GTC will be creating an MVP app for one winning student idea in ONE DAY with their Low Code platform “Graphic Studio”. Stop by the Pearlstein Lobby to see the Graphite GTC team in action.

 

2p – 3p

Alumni Speak: Sustainable Solutions in the Energy, Food, and Fashion Industries

Location: Online Only but Can Be Viewed in the Baiada Conference Room

Sustainability: Join Professor Barrie Litzky as she moderates an alumni panel focused on sustainability in the energy, food, and fashion industry sectors. Drexel alum Bryan Rishforth,
John Kang, and Kyle Bergman will be our panelists. Remote streaming on Hopin

 

3p – 4p

Fast Pitch Competition

Location: In Person in the Baiada Institute and Live Streamed

Drexel students compete in a 3 minute “Fast Pitch Competition” for a cash prize. The Baiada Institute Conference Room, 4 th Floor, The Pearlstein Building.

 

4pm

Fast Pitch Winners Announced

Location: In Person and Live Streamed

Day 2

10a – 11a

Tech for Change: How Social Media Can Champion Social Change

Location: In Person at the Mandell Theater and Live Streamed on YouTube and Hopin

How Social Media Can Champion Social Change: Argyle Interactive discusses how social ventures can effectively use the Social Media platforms of TikTok, SnapChat, Facebook, and Instagram to garner attention to their social cause.

 

11a – 12p

Low Code/No Code: Sustainable Innovation

Location: In Person at the Mandell Theater and Live Streamed on YouTube and Hopin

Sustainable Innovation: Byron Druss moderates a panel discussion focusing on the ways in which low code application platforms are transforming the ideation to MVP landscape, creating innovative economic and environmental outcomes. Featuring Chris Gali and Mel Baiada.

 

12p – 1:30p

Break

 

1:30p – 2:30p

Keynote Address

Location: In Person at the Mandell Theater and Live Streamed on YouTube and Hopin

Join us as Drexel alum Robin Thorne (BS, Chemical Engineering) discusses her passion for sustainability. Robin has dedicated her career to sustainability work. She is the founder of Demochicks, which introduces girls to non-traditional careers. 

 

2:30p – 3:30p

Baiada Incubator Competition

Location: In Person at the Mandell Theater and Live Streamed on YouTube and Hopin

Student companies compete in The Close School’s premier
competition to win $25,000 in cash prizes and incubator space at the Baiada Institute.

 

3:30p – 4p

Who Wants to be an Entrepreneur

Location: In Person at the Mandell Theater and Live Streamed on YouTube and Hopin

Play along as students compete in the Close School’s version of the popular game show “Who Wants to be an Entrepreneur?”

 

4pm

Winners Announced

Location: In Person at the Mandell Theater and Live Streamed on YouTube and Hopin

SCHEDULE

Day 1

11a–12p 
Pitch Perfect
Practice pitch competition using the Networking

feature on Hopin

12–1p 
Do You Want to be an Entrepren-aire?
Interactive game

1–2p 
Lunch Break and Optional Networking
Grab a bite and some refreshments. Feel free to mingle

with other attendees to discuss the day’s activities so far.

2–3p
EAN Panel
Business office hours with Jim Paolino.

3–4p 
Fast Pitch Competition
Come to watch some fun pitch videos and vote on your favorites! 

4p 
Fast Pitch Competition Winners Announced
Come to watch some fun pitch videos and vote on your favorites! 

Day 2

10–11a
Learning Session: Tech for Change: How
Influencers use Social Media to Champion Social Change

11a–12p
Learning Session: Low Code/No Code: Building Environmentally-Friendly Code for your Start Up

12–1p 
Lunch Break and Optional Networking

1–2p 
Keynote Speaker – Super Power Skills Series 2

2-3p
Baiada Incubator Competition 

3:00PM–3:15PM 
The Entre-Professors Performance

3:30–4p 
Baiada Incubator Competition Awards and Winners Announced

4–5p
Networking Reception

Entrepreneurs from different industries and verticals are expected to be in attendance in a number of roles including exhibitors, students, speakers, and roundtables.

Nick Bayer

CEO

Founder and CEO of Saxby’s – a hospitality business fueled by great coffee. Nick is also a board member of The Franklin Institute and Drexel’s own Charles D. Close School of entrepreneurship.  

Nicole Marquis

CEO

CEO and Creator of the trend setting plant-based fast casual restaurant chain HipCityVeg, currently with locations in Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

William Toms

Head of Strategy

Co-Founder of REC Philly, an ecosystem that exists to empower independent creators to do more of what they love. Will is in the intersection of entertainment, technology, economics and social change.

Learn and connect with the best

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Bring together top talent to discuss entrepreneurship

Justin Somaini

Chief Security Officer

Just is the Chief Security Officer at Unity Technologies. Justin Somaini is an experienced global security executive with a long record of transforming companies’ security functions and driving security as a competitive differentiator. Justin was the Chief Security Officer at SAP, has had senior roles at companies such as Yahoo, Box and Symantec and serves as an advisor to many startups. Justin is also the Founding Partner of Somaini LLC which provides strategic security management consulting to assist organizations in tailoring designed security models. Justin has a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Drexel.

Brad Lucas

SVP for Global Digital Solutions

Brad is the SVP Global Digital Solutions at Fiserv. Brad is a visionary product and technology executive with deep experience developing award-winning and transformational digital solutions for global brands in financial services, retail, energy, and automotive industries. Prior experience include Head of Mobile for Target where his team was one of the first to deploy Apple Pay for Retail.  As the Head of Mobile for JPMorgan Chase, Brad was responsible for developing the nation’s first mobile banking applications that included award winning features like mobile check deposit, SMS balance notifications, money transfer, and mobile person-to-person payments. Brad graduated from Drexel with focus on MIS and Finance.

Vijay Ullal

Founder

Vijay is the Founder of Seabed V and former President and COO of Fairchild Semiconductor. Vijay has led technology development, operations and business units at companies like Maxim, from early start-up days to a company with a $10B market cap, and Fairchild, the founding company of the Silicon Valley. He has led operations, business units and entire companies at every stage of a company’s life cycle. He is deeply passionate about new technology, new products and growing things from zero to one. Vijay has an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Drexel.

Ashley Reid

Owner

Ashley Reid of Active Mom Fitness supports Philadelphian women and moms through filling the gap in personal training, prenatal exercise consultations, and postpartum fitness. 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Robin Thorne

CEO

Our keynote is Robin Thorne ’97, a Drexel chemical engineering alum who has dedicated her career to sustainability work. She is currently the President and CEO of CTI Environmental in Long Beach, CA. Robin is also the founder of Demochicks, which aims to introduce girls to non-traditional careers, including demolition, construction, engineering, and architecture, and empower women working in these fields.

PANELISTS

Low Code/No Code: Sustainable Innovation

Byron Druss

Panelist

SVP of Marketing and Sales 

Mel Baiada

Panelist

Partner at Basecamp Ventures

Chris Gali

Panelist

Co-Founder and CEO

Alumni Speak: Sustainable Solutions in the Energy, Food, and Fashion Industries

Bryan Rishforth

Panelist

Executive Chair of Energy Solutions Group, Chairman, Graphite GTC, Drexel University, College of Engineering 

John Kang

Panelist

Head of Treasury and Forex operations NA. at BNP Paribas Securities Services, Drexel University, LeBow College of Business 

Kyle Bergman

Panelist

CEO of The Great Fantastic, Co-Founder of Sweat from Home, Drexel University, BS in Psychology 

Omar G. Mencin

Panelist

DBA, Managing Director, IT Investment Group, Ben Franklin Technology Partners

PANELISTS

Bring together top talent to discuss entrepreneurship

$500

Pitch Video Competition 

$750

Idea “Fast Pitch” Competition

$12,500 (1st)

Incubator Competition 

FESTIVAL TRACKS

  • Keynote – Super Power Skills Series 2
  • Learning Sessions for Entrepreneurs
  • EAN Panel
  • Networking
  • Icebreakers
  • Proving Ground
  • Fast Pitch Competition
  • Baiada Incubator Competition

HEALTH CHECK-IN

All guests to Drexel need to provide proof of vaccination by presenting your green “check” on the Drexel Health Checker app for smart phones on the day of attendance.

AWARDS

$500

Pitch Video
Competition

$750

Idea “Fast Pitch”
Competition

$12,500

Incubator
Competition

Join Philadelphia’s premier Entrepreneurship Festival!
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Prizes, funding and more for the win