WILMINGTON – More than 100 ideas intended to have a “bold impact” on Delaware have been winnowed down to nine by the board of the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, each vying for a chance to receive intensive support from two local organizations that excel at helping entrepreneurs turning their dreams into reality.
The foundation’s Reinventing Delaware competition invites thought leaders and entrepreneurs to “submit a for-profit or social venture idea that will create jobs and help make Delaware a better place, to live, work, and raise a family,” according to its mission statement.
New Castle-based flyGATEWAY, which hopes to bring accelerated, affordable training for the next generation of high-paying aerospace careers, was selected by the attendees of a Reinventing Delaware dinner on Nov. 13 after they heard 18 pitches from entrepreneurs who were selected to explain their projects at the dinner and another 60 ideas that the attendees were asked to bring with them.
The next phase of the journey is a two-hour scoping workshop with the idea owner and representatives from the University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship Program and Social Contract, a Wilmington-based organization tasked with “helping communities solve complex social problems, partnering with government, philanthropic, and community leaders who are invested in solving a specific social challenge, in a specific place.” Social Contract and UD Horn will recommend up to five from the group to move on to the next phase – six months of focused development that will be paid for by the Freedom Foundation. And the idea owners will get what Foundation Executive Director described as a “SWOT analysis on steroids ultimately leading to a focused implementation strategy.”