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Seven finalists have been selected to continue developing their business ideas via Harrisburg University of Science and Technology’s annual launch U Start-up Challenge + Showcase presented by the University’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE).

 Each finalist has been invited to showcase their ideas during the fourth annual “Shark Tank” – style competition set for May 18, 2023.  

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.

Multiple teams from HU participated, and this year marks the first time a team of students from the University made it to the finals. Three winning teams will be selected by a formal judging committee and awarded cash prizes during the event. The grand prize winner will have the opportunity to incubate their business idea in the CIE’s Entrepreneurship Center located in Strawberry Square in downtown Harrisburg.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Yale University

Business Description-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, we are working toward our mission of creating a world where no clothes end up in landfills. Cimu competes with the default returns process, reverse logistics companies such as Navar and Loop.

  • Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Business Description – Print 3D is a platform 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 that will be used are sourced by other users from the website who own a 3D printer or small to medium sized 3D printing company that are looking to make a few extra bucks.

  • Lower Dauphin High School

Business Description – The team is creating its own shoe brand called Spike Swappers, which easily switches different sport cleat attachments. It has a clip system that makes it very easy to insert the different spikes for different sports in a secure and stable way. They are very easily removed by pressing a button which releases the clip allowing the spikes to fall out.

  • Carnegie Mellon University

Business Description – We aim to develop a Metaverse Museum Alliance Program, which displays universities’ galleries and museums in VR. It will provide all students and other potential visitors with accessible and low-cost educational field trips to deepen their understanding of art and history in a genuinely engaging way. At the same time, this program will help universities and professors to extend their influence and generate additional revenue.

  • Harrisburg High School SciTech Campus

Business Description – For our business, we are creating an affordable grooming center where clients can come in with their dogs to receive a healthy, comfortable, and gorgeous fur coating. Prices will vary on the size of the dog and the condition they are in when they arrive. This business will be dedicated to not just improving the dog’s looks but the dog’s well-being, so making sure the dog’s outer appearance is in good physical condition is our top priority because in our business the dog’s comfort and safety come first, and the styling comes second.

  • International School of Panama

Business Description -Tower Gardens is a subscription service that aims to make urban farming more accessible for people who are interested in sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyles. Through a monthly subscription model, Tower Gardens helps subscribers to plant a vegetable/fruit garden in their building and connects them with other like-minded people. The Tower Gardens app also facilitates the trade of organic crops, making it easier for people to access fresh, locally grown produce.

  • Hempfield High School

Business Description -Our product 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.

              For more information about the upcoming launch U Showcase Start-up Challenge + Showcase, please visit the following 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.