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It All Starts With an Idea

Five teams collaborated weekly with mentors and advisors to prep their business plans to pitch to a panel of investors for seed money.

Intro: The StartUp Showcase Journey

For these students, it started with a dream to launch a business. Watch their journeys.

2020 Team Pitches

Watch the 5 Team Pitch Videos.

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Eps. 1 Dayverse

Founded by Dayanna Mazo ’20, Dayverse is a collection of unique, handcrafted jewelry designed to affirm a person’s identity and purpose by telling their story.

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Eps. 2 Estial

Founded by John Cain ’22, Estial is a payment app that ensures that small transactions between friends and large transactions between companies are safe from fraud, offering tighter security while remaining lightning fast.

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Eps. 3 Hustlin’

Founded by Winston Demartini ’20, Hustlin’ is a "smart weight" app for athletes and physical therapists that uses sensor-based smart weights and smart shirts, and interactive data-driven 3D models.

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Eps. 4 Priority Route

Founded by a group of engineering and business students, Priority Route is an interactive route optimization software designed to save small and medium size businesses time and valuable resources.

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Eps. 5 Sharing the Barre

Founded by Abigail Sakati ’20, Sharing the Barre is a line of dancewear committed to empowering dancers to feel confident in what they wear, to embrace their bodies with love, and to believe in their abilities.

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Finale: Investor Panel Feedback

After private discussion and deliberation, watch the excitement as investors award pledge money to each team.

2020 Investor Panel

Photo of Joseph Bronson

Joseph Bronson ’70

Joseph (Joe) Bronson is currently principal and CEO of The Bronson Group, LLC, a business advisory group focused on operational and financial consulting. In addition, he is a strategic advisor and managing director of Cowen Group, Inc., a New York City-based investment banking firm, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Fairfield University. Bronson is a CPA and holds a BS in accounting from Fairfield University and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He was inducted into the UConn Business School Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Fairfield University Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2017. Bronson also serves as a regent at Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University and has served as the chair of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University for the past 17 years.

Michael Garvey ’89 P’23

Michael Garvey has more than three decades of business experience, including a career in law enforcement in New York State. He is an active angel investor and entrepreneur, involved in numerous start-ups and early stage companies, several of which have gone on to successful exits. Mr. Garvey founded License Monitor, Inc. (LMI) a SAAS provider of proactive license monitoring and risk management services, which he sold to a private equity group. LMI was voted High Tech Company of the Year and Mr. Garvey was inducted into the New York State Business Hall of Fame for extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit. He received his BA in marketing and management of information systems from Fairfield University. Mr. Garvey is beyond thrilled that his eldest daughter, Lauren, is currently in her freshman year in Fairfield’s Dolan School of Business.

Photo of Mary Anne Rooke P'20

Mary Anne Rooke P'20

Mary Anne Rooke is the president and managing director of Angel Investor Forum, the Connecticut-based angel investor group. She is also a managing partner in Mystic River Ventures (MRV), which serves as fund managers for the UConn Innovation Fund. Rooke was on the co-founding team and now serves as treasurer of the board of directors for Thames River Innovation Places (TRIP) - a CTNext program to support catalytic projects that stimulate the local innovation system. She is founder of Rooke & Associates, a boutique management consulting firm that specializes in helping early stage technology companies on the verge of high growth. Rooke also advises and mentors startups in many regional accelerators and has held leadership positions in multiple industries, ranging from startup ventures to Fortune 500 companies. She graduated from Annhurst College with a BS in accounting and has her MBA from Golden Gate University’s Executive MBA Program. Rooke serves as a Fairfield Dolan Investor-in-Residence.

2020 Team Mentors

Team Dayverse

John Dretler, Founder of JD Revenue Growth Consulting

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Team Hustlin’

Jeff Hendrickson, Managing Director of Greenfield Hill Group

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Team Hustlin’

Matt Miller, President, Stellar Energy Foundation

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Team Priority Route

Emily Yale, Founder of Land Maverick

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Team Estial

Peter Murrugarra, Co-Founder of ClearVest LLC

Contact Peter
Team Sharing the Barre

Chip Steppacher, CFO of Rellevate

Contact Chip

2020 Sponsors

Gold Sponsors
  • Future Tech Enterprise logo
  • Maddox logo
  • Phoenix Tower logo
  • Hugh Davis '95 and Amy Baldwin
  • Joseph '70 and Linda Bronson
  • Trish Preston ’80
  • Susan and Charles Vallone P’21
  • John P. Welch ’87
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors