Success Story

2020 Pennovation Accelerator names two winners: Headway and SOLUtion Medical

On July 16, 2020, the Pennovation Accelerator held their virtual Pitch Day, the culminating event for the six-week program focused on the makings of a strong pitch. Each of the ten cohort companies gave an impressive 5-minute pitch to a virtual audience of more than 80 people, followed by questions from a panel of judges: 

  • Dr. Brandi Baldwin, Founder and CEO of Millennial Ventures Holdings
  • Holly Flanagan, Managing Director at Gabriel Investments
  • Rick Genzer, Investment Director at Ben Franklin Technology Partners

At the conclusion of the ten pitches, the judges and the Pennovation Accelerator review committee deliberated to award two winners:

Overall Winner: Headway

Headway is the overall 2020 Pennovation Accelerator Winner, based on engagement in the program, growth over the six weeks, and their final pitch. The company strives to improve surgical team communication in Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) with a hands-free pointer device for surgical monitors in the OR. Julia Lin, Co-Founder & CEO, gave the final pitch. She was joined by co-founders Laura Ceccacci, Jonah Arnheim, and Alex Qian Wan. All four are 2020 graduates of the University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design master’s program. Headway took home the $5,000 cash prize, along with 6 months of membership and an accounting startup package sponsored by PCI Ventures’ partner, Stephano Slack.

Best Pitch of the Day: SOLUtion Medical

SOLUtion Medical is developing more patient-friendly delivery systems for reconstitutable drugs. Julia Anthony, Founder & CEO, delivered their pitch alongside Jonathan Kiel, Co-Founder & CSO. Their award included 6 months of membership to the Pennovation Center, and the Stephano Slack accounting startup package

About the Pennovation Accelerator

Chosen Accelerator candidates participate in six weeks of programming focused on the elements of creating a great pitch. The program also includes weekly workshops led by subject matter experts, office hours, and pitch practice and networking opportunities.

This year’s selected company teams learned from a variety of speakers and mentors across the Pennovation network, including:

  • Scott Fishman, CEO of Envisage and angel investor with Robin Hood Ventures, on target market and competitive landscape
  • Adam Dakin, Managing Director of HealthTech at Dreamit Ventures and PCI Ventures’ mentor-in-residence, on business model
  • Tommy White, Interim Director at the American University Center for Innovation (AUCI), on financial forecasting
  • Bruce Marable, CEO and co-founder of Employee Cycle, on building a team and network of advisors
  • PCI Ventures partner, whitepenny, on digital branding & storytelling
  • Dean Miller, President & CEO of PACT, on formulating a strong ask, and
  • Alyssa Dver, CEO of the American Confidence Institute, on scientifically crafting an investment-confident pitch

The cohort received pitch feedback from the PCI Ventures and 1776 teams, Anne Shehab, Managing Director of Golden Seeds, Brett Topche, Managing Director of Red & Blue Ventures, and Manny Stockman of Osage University Partners.

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