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Richards Layton Helps Launch Local Startups

October 12, 2017

Richards Layton has teamed up with the University of Delaware and SmartInvest Ventures, an international venture capital firm, to launch the Spark Challenge, an initiative to attract, grow, and retain innovative businesses in Delaware.

Targeting startups that have shown early market traction and global ambitions, the Spark Challenge offers local emerging businesses the tools to succeed. The first phase of the Spark Challenge was “Life’s a Pitch” day, hosted by Richards Layton at our offices on September 29. Fifteen teams of entrepreneurs gathered in our conference center and pitched their ventures to a group of judges, which included Doneene Damon, Mark Kurtz, and Todd Coomes. Of the fifteen teams, eight were selected to move on to the next phase of the challenge: a nine-day workshop where mentors will help the teams perfect their business plans.

The top startups emerging from the Spark Challenge will be eligible for professional mentoring, legal services from Richards Layton, access to angel and venture funding, and use of the Spark Laboratory at the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus. The Spark Laboratory, sponsored by Richards Layton and SmartInvest Ventures, is a state-of-the-art wet lab that select early-stage companies can use to develop their products and technologies—and accelerate their economic success.

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