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Summer Founders Program awards six student startups each with $15,000

Six Penn State student startups have been selected into the 2024 Invent Penn State Summer Founders Program. The Summer Founders Program provides teams with at least one Penn State student founder a $15,000 grant to work on their startup, social good, or nonprofit idea over the summer at Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank.

“This year’s Summer Founders Program has attracted some of the best teams from Penn State. From several campuses and majors, undergraduate to graduate students — the startups that applied were incredible,” said Elizabeth Hay, Jack White Family Director of Happy Valley LaunchBox. “Choosing only six teams was hard because the competition was stronger than ever. We have some amazing founders in this group. They’re tackling real customer problems with some seriously innovative solutions. We’re ready to see what they will accomplish this summer!”

During the 13-week program, Happy Valley LaunchBox will provide participating student teams with funding, mentorship, one-on-one coaching and 24/7 access to its space. Teams will also have access to a network of over 100 advisers and other program perks including server credits and field trips to visit and learn from PA businesses.

Past Summer Founders Program participants include TDAY Sports and Bindr.

Below are teams selected into this year’s program, which will run from mid-May through mid-August:

  • OfferPilot uses AI to create resumes, build cover letters and recommend jobs, in order to help college students land the highest amount of job offers in the least amount of time. The startup team includes College of Engineering students Stephen Leshko, Omar Rady, Omer Kandemir and Yajat Dewan.
  • Fourth State Therapeutics develops cold plasma-based devices for biomedical applications. Their flagship product, Plasma Patch, is designed to treat dermatological conditions like acne, eczema and wound healing. This startup is led by Biomedical Engineering doctoral candidate Ali Kazemi.
  • Streamline Charging offers a patent-pending, electric vehicle charging solution. It helps lower the breakeven point for apartment owners by sliding a direct current charging station across multiple parking spaces. This startup is led by College of Engineering student Jonathan Smith.
  • Bool LLC creates live wait time predictions for bars, clubs and restaurants, allowing users to spend less time waiting in line, and more time having fun. This startup is led by College of Engineering student Nicholas Cole.
  • Atlas Biotech is developing preclinical tests for drug discovery to bring better therapeutics to patients more efficiently. It specializes in oncology and is currently commercializing a drug screening platform that evaluates therapies for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma. This startup is led by Biomedical Engineering doctoral candidate Joshua Reynolds.
  • Saveware uses artificial intelligence to automate the sales tax refund process for businesses and tax firms. Its software identifies overpaid sales tax by mining through thousands of invoices, uncovering tax exemptions to save clients’ money. This startup is co-founded by Smeal College of Business student Brady Davidson and College of Engineering student Ryan Hokimi.

About the Summer Founders Program 

The Summer Founders Program is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative and is provided in partnership with Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank. Startup funding is made possible through the donations of successful alumni entrepreneurs interested in supporting new student ventures. To learn more about supporting student startups at Penn State through a philanthropic gift, contact Heather Winfield, director of campaign and university initiatives in University Development, at

This program was financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development.