Hatchery People's Choice winner

The MycroActive Microscope team wins the People's Choice Demo Day Award, a recognition for entrepreneurial spirit voted on live by attendees during the event. From left are Emily Randolph '24, Rish Kumar '24 and Tyler Richardson '25.

Baker Institute Celebrates Student Entrepreneurs at Hatchery Demo Day

Twenty-five student entrepreneurs showcase their venture projects after six weeks of immersive education in entrepreneurial thinking and doing. 

Photography by

Christa Neu

An eco-friendly solution to packaging.  A better way to connect with emergency responders. A kid’s shoe that adapts and grows as quickly as the children who wear them. 

These are a few of the innovative projects recently celebrated at the eighth annual Hatchery Demo Day, hosted by the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation. In all, 25 student entrepreneurs showcased their venture projects after six weeks of immersive education in entrepreneurial thinking and doing. 

The open-house-style event, held on June 30 at the Wilbur Powerhouse, featured expo tables where students displayed their projects while answering questions for faculty, staff, alumni and area visitors as well as fellow students in summer programs.

Demo Day concluded the month-long Hatchery Student Idea Accelerator, a full-time, hands-on summer program wherein Lehigh University students learn the principles of design thinking and entrepreneurial mindset before developing solutions to real problems and testing potential business ventures. The Hatchery’s milestone-based model offers students a fast-paced approach to seeing their business venture come to fruition – from identifying problems and conducting customer research to ideation, prototyping, and testing. 

“The Hatchery Student Idea Accelerator offers students from all backgrounds and majors at Lehigh an opportunity to engage in entrepreneurial thinking and doing through a full-time, immersive experience,” said Lisa Getzler, the Baker Institute;s executive director. “Learning to identify problems worth solving and addressing the needs of future customers, whether for commercial or not-for profit use, these students have undertaken a journey toward creating real value in the world.”

Working individually or in teams, students from various majors and colleges on campus tackled problems and hatched solutions across a diverse set of industries, including technology, fashion, education, investment, housing, recreation, and food & beverage. 

“Most of the students in this year’s program entered the Hatchery with a curiosity about entrepreneurship but without an idea for a project or venture,” added Getzler. “The projects that students showcased at Demo Day are evidence of the potential that can be unlocked when students are in an environment specifically designed to help them think, innovate, and solve problems with an entrepreneurial mindset. Some of them will leave their projects behind but take with them their newly gained skills and perspectives, and others will continue to move their Hatchery projects forward through our EUREKA! ventures program.”

SkanPay is demonstrated at Demo Day

Kelly Chen '25 showcases her venture, SkanPay, a payment Gateway Service that uses a multi-element QR code that supports coupon redemption and payments.

Student projects featured at Demo Day included:

Beer Belly Recycling (Radhika Rawal ‘24, George Pentz ‘25), an eco-friendly, biodegradable, and ethically sourced solution to packaging.

Connect and Serve (Nigel Summerville ‘23), a better way to connect with emergency responders using smartphones.

Education in India (Adivi Karawat ‘25), a program that tackles an Indian education system solely based on academic performance and one entrance exam that decides a student’s future.

The Global Impact Fund (Keisha Modi ‘25, Muzammil Jawed ‘25, Adam Cheng ‘22, Bhumika Mittal ‘24), a partnership with the Global Impact Fund with a goal of identifying, tracking, and evaluating the social impact of the companies the fund invests in.

Hype Renting (Sam Sheng ‘24), a luxury and high-end clothing rental platform that connects our customers with renters. 

MycroActive Microscope (Rish Kumar ‘24. Tyler Richardson ‘25, Emily Randolph ‘24), a microscope outer shell that works in conjunction with a website full of test slides to make the microscope experience more interactive than virtual microscopes and more affordable than traditional microscopes.

Pixel Solutions (Thaksheel Alleck ‘25), an initiative  providing Tunisian software engineer talents to startups at a much lower cost while still maintaining high quality of work 

the renaissance (Karla Munoz ‘24, Amy Liao ‘25, Cindy Tran ‘24), a clothing marketplace that transforms recycled textiles into beautifully designed garments, essentially breathing new life into old clothes.

RescueGate (Mansoor Mughal ‘25), a service to consolidate the various needs of a pet into an easy-to-use app.

The Retriever (Bella Marino ‘25, Sam Miller ‘25), a bluetooth device used for bow-hunting designed to reduce wasted game. 

SkanPay (Kelly Chen ‘25), a payment Gateway Service that authorizes credit card or direct payments processing using a multielement QR code that supports coupon redemption and payments.

Spartan Shields (Matthew Crowe ‘25), a Ballistic Level Collaborative that adds another layer of protection to schools. 

Switch Kicks (Heather Wang ‘25 & Ashley Nguyen ‘25), a kid’s shoe that adapts and grows as quickly as the children who wear them. 

Welcome Inn (Jamiez Vo ‘25, Isabelle Torrijos ‘25), a program that provides a service for low-income individuals who are willing to live in a local motel where they will have to pay 30% of their income per day per usual Section 8 guidelines

In addition to networking with students and learning more about their projects, attendees voted live for the student or team that stood out the most for their entrepreneurial spirit and deep understanding of the problem they were trying to solve. The winner of the Demo Day People’s Choice Award was announced at the close of the event and presented to Rish Kumar ‘24, Tyler Richardson ‘25, and Emily Randolph ‘24 of Mycroactive Microscope. Their microscope prototypes and attention to the needs of students and teachers in the neighboring Bethlehem Area School District resonated with attendees.  

As part of Demo Day, Brian Quispe ‘20 ’22G and Sareena Karim ‘22 demonstrated their startups, Ocutrap and Foli-Q respectively, which they both advanced through the Baker Institute’s EUREKA Venture Program before running the ventures full-time post-graduation.

Quispe and Karim are part of a small group of young alumni currently testing out new resources for founders that will be offered through a partnership between the Baker Institute and Lehigh’s College of Business this fall. 

Story by Brittany Pierzga

 Ashley Nguyen ‘25 (left) and Hejia (Heather) Wang

From left, Ashley Nguyen '25 and Hejia (Heather) Wang ‘25 pose with a prototype of an extendable children's shoe for their Demo Day venture, Switch Kicks.

Photography by

Christa Neu

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