Air Conditioner Startup Wins Big at Wharton Startup Challenge
Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship has announced the winners to its third annual Startup Challenge.
The first-place winner? That would be Aerate, a student-founded startup that has engineered an air conditioner that functions as a dehumidifier and air cooler with up to 20 times more efficiency than its competitors. The startup was awarded $30,000 for winning the top spot.
“The Startup Showcase prize money and in-kind services will be hugely impactful for Aerate’s continued development,” the founders tell Technical.ly. “We already had plans to build the next iteration of our prototype in the next several months, but we were not sure how to fund it. Now that we have the funding, we will be continuing our prototyping to optimize our system further.”
Bringing Cooler Air to India
Aerate hopes to bring its cooling units to India, where CFO and cofounder Ashwin Kishen’s family lives.
The air conditioning industry is expected to have exponential growth with the startup predicting that by 2050, the world will purchase 3.3 billion new air conditioners.
Aerate’s first unit is expected to launch in market in 2021.
Biggest Entrepreneurship Event of the Year
The Startup Challenge is the biggest entrepreneurship event of the year at the University of Pennsylvania with nearly 30 teams competing for fund money.
Here are this year’s winners:
- Perlman Grand Prize: $30,000 + $15,000 in legal, accounting and strategy services to Aerate
- Runner-up: $15,000 + $15,000 in legal, accounting, and strategy services to Strella Biotechnology
- Innovation Award: $10,000 + $15,000 in legal, accounting, and strategy services to Minimize
- Launch Prize: $10,000 + $15,000 in legal, accounting, and strategy services to Halo
- Frederick H. Gloeckner Award for Best Undergraduate Team: $10,000 to Aerate
- Robert S. Blank New Venture Collaboration Award: $10,000 to Aerate
- Social Impact Prize: $10,000 to Text-911
- People’s Choice Award: $3,000 to Aerate
- Crowd Favorite Award: $2,000 to Boost Scooters