Winners Announced 2017 HatchPad People’s Choice Student Startup Awards

The winners of the 2017 People’s Choice Student Startup Awards have been selected in the for-profit and nonprofit categories. Congratulations to Detrapel (for-profit) and Transfernation (nonprofit) for taking the top spot in their respective categories. We are also delighted to announce two second place teams, Centree (for-profit) and (nonprofit). is the only high school team among the winner group.

The judges evaluated each startup based on the following criteria: feasibility, competition, go-to-market plan, and the “wow” factor. Judges also based scores on the materials presented which included an executive summary, investor deck, 2-min investor video, a financial model and links to their venture page on HatchPad and their company website. The judges are very impressed with all of the entries and felt that all of the submissions are incredibly exciting and worthy businesses.

Congratulations to all the winners!


First place winners will each receive a non-equity business grant in the amount of $2,500 and a signed awards certificate highlighting their achievement. They will also receive invaluable feedback from our esteemed judging panel and an hour consultation with HatchPad to review the feedback and make suggestions for future growth. We will also feature winners on both HatchPad and KidBacker Foundation for Entrepreneurship websites in the form of a blog as well as in HatchPad and KFE newsletters.

Winner descriptions:

Detrapeldetrapel_black, founded by a Babson college student, is a water-based, superhydrophobic spray that provides a clear, protective, and durable coating to materials. Unlike their competitors, DetraPel is eco-friendly, non-toxic, water-based, and lasts for up to a year. Detrapel serves both consumers (keep your white sneakers clean) and businesses (keep hotel fabrics safe from spilled red wine). Detrapel uses a contract manufacturer to produce their proprietary solution and distribute direct to consumers through their e-commerce website,

TransfernationTransfernation Logo on black-06, co-founded by two recent NYU grads, is a 501(c)3 non-profit which leverages technology to ensure that excess food from events goes toward supporting underserved communities. Transfernation partners with corporate caterers, event planners, and social institutions to fill the communication and logistical gaps in between excess food and those that need it. To date, Transfernation has rescued over 55,000 pounds of high-quality food which would have otherwise been discarded and has impacted 43,300 lives. They are able to feed an individual for an average of 0.65 cents per day and $20.00 per month. You can learn more about Transfernation on their website.


Second place teams will each receive a cash prize in the amount of $250 and a signed awards certificate highlighting their achievement. They will also receive invaluable feedback from our esteemed judging panel. We will also feature winners on both HatchPad and KidBacker Foundation for Entrepreneurship websites in the form of a blog as well as in HatchPad and KFE newsletters.

Second Place Team Descriptions

Centreecentree_720, co-founded by 5 college students from Georgia Institute of Technology, is an IoT Smart Cities solution that alerts emergency medical services the moment a car crash occurs. More than 1 million people die per year due to car crashes and millions of dollars are lost from the traffic caused by these accidents. Using auditory sensors and machine learning, Centree is developing smart boxes that will be placed on streets and intersections that will be listening for car crashes, detecting them and if confirmed they will report them to the police and EMS. Reporting the car crashes seconds after they happen will reduce the time of response by 2 minutes to 20 minutes depending on how remote the location is. Even 1 minute can save a life according to EMS, especially in cases when first aid treatment is needed. And according to the Department of Transportation, 1 minute of traffic caused by a car crash on the highway can cost a total of 1 million dollars to the city. Centree’s system will be able to save lives, time and money. To learn more about Centree, check out their website.,TeensGiveLogo co-founded by two high school sophomores from the New York area, is a 501c3 social venture designed for teens by teens that transforms the way high school students volunteer. Using, students can find and engage with vetted, high-impact, rewarding opportunities in a convenient manner and in doing so, fulfill required community service hours and also give back in ways that they enjoy. understands that high school students are very busy and when they volunteer, they want to make real connections, gain leadership experience and be able to interact with friends.’s solution is a win-win-win: teens are able to give back in a way that they enjoy, high schools will have a steady stream of reliable service options for their students and beneficiaries can draw on a large pool of committed volunteers.  To learn more about, check out their website.


This year’s program would not be possible without the help of our amazing panel of judges who took time out of their busy schedules to review each entry and provide valuable feedback.

2017 Judges HatchPad People's Choice Awards

This year’s competition was hosted by HatchPad in partnership with KidBacker Foundation for Entrepreneurship (KFE). HatchPad provides the platform to present ideas and promote to create social traction and KFE provides the business grants.

Are you a young founder between the ages of 13 and 25 and want to enter into our next competition? Let us know!

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About the Author: Heather Holst-Knudsen

Heather L Holst-Knudsen, a New York City area native and now resident of Sarasota, FL, is the CEO & Founder of KidBacker and HatchPad. A passionate entrepreneur, Heather has founded and led multiple business units for large organizations. She is founder and former President of Manufacturing Enterprise Communications, a B2B media platform that connects CXOs in manufacturing with senior level leaders in technology around the world. Manufacturing Enterprise Communications was sold to Frost & Sullivan in August 2012. Prior to Manufacturing Enterprise Communications, Heather was founder and President of Managing Automation Media and TechMatch Solutions, all divisions of Thomas Publishing Company in New York City. Heather is a trusted advisor to many top manufacturing and technology organizations including Cisco, AT&T, Google, SAP, Oracle, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Ford, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and more. She has 25 years of B2B media experience, is a veteran digital media expert, and has been in a C-level leadership role for over 20 years. She has won multiple awards for innovation in media. Heather believes in and respects the imagination, creativity, and fearlessness that young business minds bring to the table and is passionate about unleashing their entrepreneurial skills and spirit so they can own their own destiny. Holst-Knudsen has an SBLL from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Heather also is Chairman of the Board and Founder of KidBacker Foundation for Entrepreneurship, a new 501c3 that will award seed grants and scholarships to young entrepreneurs to help fund their education and their businesses.

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