Dreamit Startups Keriton and 101 Win Big at SXSW

Two dreamit startups have taken top prizes in their industry pitch competitions at South by Southwest. Keriton, a breast milk management startup, beat out 150 other companies to win the South by Southwest Impact Pediatric Health Pitch Competition. A day later, 101 EDU, which encourages active learning in STEM classrooms, won top prize at Student Startup Madness, a nationwide tournament-style competition digital media startups.

Vidur Bhatnagarand, founder of Keriton, and  Archna Sahay , Director of Investment for Philadelphia

Vidur Bhatnagarand, founder of Keriton, and Archna Sahay, Director of Investment for Philadelphia

This is not the first time Dreamit startups have come out on top in SXSW startup competitions. In 2015, Dreamit alum BioBots won top prize for being the most innovative startup. 

Justin Weinberg, Founder of 101

Justin Weinberg, Founder of 101

Upon receiving his award, the founder of Keriton gave a special shoutout to the city where he has worked to build his company. “I want to dedicate this award to the city of Philadelphia. I’m happy to call Philly our home because the entire community has been so supportive, especially folks like Penn Medicine, Penn Engineering, Wharton, IBX, BioAdvance, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Dreamit Ventures, DormRoomFund, the Mayor’s Office, Philly Startup Leaders and StartUp PHL. This is a reflection of a Philadelphia company winning at a global stage.” 

Keriton recently raised $1m to become an in-hospital solution for breast milk management in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Studies have suggested that access to breast milk can stave off diseases like retinopathy of prematurity, a malady that afflicts more than half of premature babies, stunting the growth of their eyes (the same condition that took Stevie Wonder’s eyesight when he was a child). Keriton plans to help significantly reduce prevalence this debilitating condition. 

101, which is based in NYC, launched their product Chem101 in 2016 and has received fantastic feedback from users. 88% of students agreed that Chem101 helped them learn Lewis structures, and 77% indicated that they preferred using Chem101 over any existing course tools. 101 is now expanding Chem101’s curriculum support and intends to expand to other subjects including physics, math, and biology. For its long-run, the company is looking to develop a K-12 learning tool that can be dispersed internationally.

Charles LaCalle