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Harrisburg University of Science and Technology’s launch U Start-up Challenge + Showcase has gone international, with teams from across the globe vying to bring their business ideas to life with the help of an incredible network of entrepreneurs.

 Eight finalists will showcase their ideas during the third annual “Shark Tank” – style competition hosted virtually by Harrisburg University’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) on May 12, 2022.  

What started three years ago as an experiment involving a few HU students has grown into a full-fledged international competition for high school students sponsored by The Hershey Company, Merit, and Cargas Systems, Inc. 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 incubate their business idea via Harrisburg University’s Innovation Lab.

Participants were given the opportunity to bring their business idea to life with the help of Harrisburg University faculty, staff, and mentors. Entrants learned the basics of entrepreneurship, refined their ideas, and pitched them during the capstone competition showcase.

This year’s finalists are:

  • HIVE – Trinity High School – Bella Brida, Emerson Hoover

Hive solves the problem of people with dietary restrictions, food allergies, and other personal preferences to easily find items on the menu that meets their requirements while dining out. The solution lets our customers set up personal profiles about their diet that will then filter out all of the menu items for a specific restaurant, so they find tailored-to-preference foods at their fingertips, read reviews, and join the buzz, reducing the anxiety of deciding what to order. In 2020, the global health and wellness food market was valued at 733.1 billion U.S. dollars and is projected to increase to one trillion U.S. dollars by 2026.

  • REC Table – Spring Grove High School – Elijah Reineberg, Dylan Tichy

REC Table solves the problem of slow growth in recreational table gaming industry due to large bulky gaming environments that are difficult to assemble. Our solution is to produce a hybrid gaming environment, by combining two or more games we will be cutting the associated per game cost and decreasing the bulkiness of individuals recreational games in half. According to Statista, the tabletop game industry had an estimated market of approximately 7.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 and is expected to increase by 4.8 billion U.S. dollars within the next six years.

  • ParkingPal – Lower Dauphin High School – Grant Tredinnick, Natie Davis

ParkingPal solves the problem of driving into a city, and not able to quickly find available parking space.  This is an app that allows you to search for the nearest parking spots, see how many spots are open in each garage/lot before you get there. ParkingPal also compares local prices as well as filtering by duration of stay. The app updates in live time, working in simpatico with the parking payment apps used to pay for parking spaces.

  • Vector Gear – Jose Marti Mast 6-12 Academy (Florida) – Herman Remy

Vector Gear addresses the problem within the Virtual Reality Headsets where a device will have at most two of the three functionalities: high performance, a lightweight build or a high field of vision. The Vector Gear is a Virtual Reality headset made to look similar to a pair of glasses with the Viewer System being a pair of glasses created by Enmesi based off of Model E813 and the 1.03-inch model and will have a resolution of 2560*2560, as well as a FOV of 103+. This works hand-in-hand with the Nvidia Jetson TX2 Nano, which allows high graphical processing within the Vector Gear. This is important as modules such as environment tracking, iris tracking, rain/fog removal from live feed and resolution upscaling are run here and not on the main board.

  • Holo-at-Home – William Penn Senior High School – Ivy Dieujuste, Angelina Kebreau, Anayah Brantley, Elyzabeth Valentin

3D scanners solve the problem of ordering online clothing without the ability to try it out for fit and form creating more returns which is a problem for the customer and the seller. The way to combat this growing problem is with the Holo-at-Home!, an app that allows the user to take a 3D scan of their body, similar to 3D scans on furniture apps. Using the 3D scan, they will be able to try on clothing and see how it’ll look on them before they order it!

  • Score Wire – Lower Dauphin HS – Mathew Mosco, Wyatt Yeakel, Cody Rosati, Ethan Miller, Danny Kenny

Score Wire solves the problem of not being able to correctly judge if the ball goes over the goal line in many different sports. We put a tracker chip inside of the sporting ball as well as sensor lines along the goal lines, and sidelines. This will solve the issue of officials making incorrect calls, and make sure the game is properly scored every time.

  • Traffic-Free – Private Ceceli Schools (Turkey) – Nuray Elif Yildiz; Zeynep Can

Traffic-free solves the problem of delays by emergency response teams due to traffic delays. The late arrival of the teams to all events that require emergency intervention causes many losses of life and property. We solve the problem by calculating the speed of the vehicles before the intervention vehicles reach the traffic light on the road and by sending the data to traffic lights to turn green in proportion to the arrival time, according to the address obtained from call center. After the vehicle has passed, the system will switch to its previous state.

  • Suministros Alemar San Martin University Foundation (Colombia) – Alex Rocha Fadul 

Suministros Alemaris dedicated to the transformation of recycled plastic into raw material for the return to the manufacture of low-density polyethylene bags. We also manufacture bags for sanitary use according to the colors of the national regulation of hospital waste. 

Judging this year’s launch U competition are:

  • Irma Nugroho, Director Information Services, The Hershey Co.
  • Jeanette Pasuizaca, Lead Product Marketing Manager, AT&T.
  • Aaron Cargas, Vice President of Marketing and Product, Cargas Systems, Inc.

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


Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Harrisburg University, is committed to building a community of entrepreneurs who share their knowledge and encourage diverse & inclusive innovators to explore and grow. This multi-faceted goal of our center is not only flipping the script on what you must “look like” to be an innovator, but it is creating a replicable model to create a positive economic change in the region. CIE programs and community engagement efforts include initiatives that promote entrepreneurship, provide problem solving skills, empower women and underrepresented communities, and drive innovation across the region. We play an important role in empowering innovators to build successful ventures by providing tools, resources, and opportunities to make a difference in communities where they live and work.

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