DaBull (pronounced "dabble") was announced as the fifth winner of Gannon University's Technology Business Accelerator business pitch event this morning at Gannon's Center for Business Ingenuity. The winning entrepreneurs received a grant for $10,000; six months of residency, coaching and strategic mentoring from the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University; legal assistance from MacDonald Illig and MMI Intellectual Property; and one year of e-commerce training provided by Ben Franklin Technology Partners' eMarketing Learning Center.
The startup-led by a Gannon student team that includes Brennan Moore, Faisal Alqahtani, and Nick Pipitone-received the grant after successfully pitching their unique social media concept to a panel of five judges during the last class meeting of the Accelerator program, which concluded Wednesday evening. The app, which has been developed on the Gannon campus, will utilize a proprietary algorithm to connect students with similar social interests.
In describing the most recent Accelerator class, Jeff Parnell, executive director of the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University, pointed out that, "this extremely competitive and diverse cohort included 15 businesses and concepts encompassing software, app development, e-commerce, logistics, manufacturing, food processing, and healthcare," he said. "The group worked hard to refine their thought processes, and their well-executed presentations really challenged the judges to select only one winner. At the end, DaBull's unique platform, and its potential appeal, not only to students but also to the colleges themselves, were key differentiators."
Also recognized at today's event were the three additional finalists: upscale duck hunting decoy manufacturer Lake Effect Decoys; food products producer Delectabites; and InnCampus, a Gannon student-led startup that will enable colleges to monetize their idle housing assets.
The Accelerator program integrates resources from Gannon's College of Engineering and Business, Small Business Development Center, and Erie Technology Incubator, and was created to give participating entrepreneurs an opportunity to test a new concept, idea or line of business through the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Program funding was provided to build capacity statewide to support Pennsylvania's businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development services.
Since its inception in Fall 2014, the Accelerator has now graduated 63 technology-related entrepreneurial businesses from across Northwest Pennsylvania.