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Harrisburg University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has selected the winners of its annual launch U Start-up Challenge + Showcase.

Three winners were chosen among eight finalists of the Shark Tank” – style competition which took place on May 18.

This year’s winners are:

Best Overall – $3,000 – Simbiso Maphosa/Bucknell University – “PrimeAir”

PRIMEMed Solutions is an innovation driven, customer focused medical device company with the mission to provide health solutions to patients with chronic diseases in underserved communities across the world. The company strives to improve access to life-saving medical technologies in low-resource regions. The business is currently a sole proprietorship but will change as the business is established and expanded. Maphosa will have the opportunity to incubate their business idea in the CIE’s Entrepreneurship Center

Best College – $1,500 – Kaci Xie, Amay Tewari, Ethan Kopf/Yale University – “Cimu”

Cimu helps online, middle-market fashion retailers reduce returns by connecting consumers with easy and accessible clothing alterations. By increasing clothing utilization and decreasing clothing waste, the company is working toward its mission of creating a world where no clothes end up in landfills.

Best High School – $1,500 – Aiden Beiler/ Hempfield Senior High School – “Garden Snap”

Garden Snap offers a unique solution for urban gardening with our modular garden system that features interlocking walls and corners. Our customers can personalize their own garden by building it in any shape or size, and buy selecting different attachments such as composters, rain barrels, or protective fences. With our innovative product, anyone can enjoy the benefits of growing their own fresh produce in limited spaces.

What started four years ago as an experiment involving a few HU students has grown into a full-fledged international competition for college and high school students sponsored by The Hershey Company.

This year, the CIE received more than 40 contest applications from across the globe, including submissions from Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University and many other universities and high schools. This year’s judges included Alicia Petross, Chief Diversity Officer, The Hershey Co.; Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Senior Associate, Triad Strategies; Michael Pavone, President and CEO, Pavone Group.

Multiple teams from HU also participated, and this year marks the first time a team of students from the University made it to the finals. The team, dubbed “Print 3D,” included students George Clements, Isaiah Bretz, Samuel Dinner, Maxuel Minton, and Aaron Dadoun.

Print 3D refers to the team’s technology platform designed for users to print 3D objects. This can be carried out in a few different ways: either the user can upload their 3D model that they want to be printed, or they can choose some models from thingiverse/Print 3D. The printers used are sourced by other users from the website who own a 3D printer or from small-to-medium-sized 3D printing companies.

For more information about the CIE and the launchU competition, visit this link.


The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) mission is to empower innovators to build successful ventures by providing the infrastructure and resources, with a special focus on serving the underrepresented minority. Unlike other programs focusing on pie-in-the sky pitches delivered over an accelerator program, we provide the support and infrastructure to build his/her idea in a thoughtful way with the guidance of the right kind of experienced entrepreneurs.

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