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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

See the 2023 Recap

It All Starts With an Idea

Five student teams make their business pitch live and compete for seed funding.
Weren't able to join live? Watch the 2023 Fairfield StartUp Showcase video below.

2023 StartUp Teams



AdXR is the advertising network of the future for brands looking to reach XR (extended reality) audiences, including augmented reality and virtual reality, by providing safe, efficient systems and metrics.

Team members (l-r): Caroline Morrisey MSBA’23, Shahnt Madalian ’23, Méabh Hartney MSBA’24, and John Addeo MSBA’23.

StartUp 2023 | Team - AdXR | Fairfield University

Affluential Clothing

Affluential Clothing is a streetwear clothing brand that seeks to inspire others to change the way they think about wealth.

Team members (l-r): Nick Aicardi '23, Kwahmyre Barbour '23, and Jared Alicea '26. Not pictured: Nadia Sempher ’20.

StartUp 2023 | Team - Affluential Clothing | Fairfield University


Copula is a community-building social media platform that enables users to find places, activities, and people who share similar interests, to build new friendships and share enjoyable experiences.

Team members (l-r): Class of 2024 Alvin Thomson, Joseph Westoff, and Sean O’Hara

StartUp 2023 | Team Copula | Fairfield University

Golden Guardian Solutions

Designed from her family’s personal experience with elder fraud, Sarah Leonetti and the Golden Guardian Solutions team is creating a web app dedicated to decreasing the number of senior fraud victims. Through an AI-driven authentication system for online traffic, community-based forums, and educational/geographical-based resources, GGS simplifies the mature user's online experience while providing families peace of mind.

Team members (l-r, back row): Ian Austin ’24, John Holt ’24, Nicole Perugini ’24, and Nicholas Brunetti ’24; (l-r, front row): Sarah Leonetti ’24, and Andrew Samarro ’23.

StartUp 2023 | Team - Golden Guardian Solutions | Fairfield University

Pantry +

Pantry + is an intuitive app that uses state-of-the-art technologies in AI and machine learning to read barcode data on the food items users purchase. The platform then provides recommendations on what to purchase next in order to meet customized dietary and health goals.

Team members (l-r): Class of 2024: Tim Ahren, Suraiya Hossain, Daniel Russo, and Christian Morgan.

StartUp 2023 | Team - Pantry + | Fairfield University

Investor Panel

Photo of Joseph Bronson

Joseph Bronson '70

Joseph (Joe) Bronson is currently principal and CEO of The Bronson Group, LLC, a business advisory group focused on operational and financial consulting.

More About Joe

Photo of Chris Hillock

Chris Hillock '00

Chris Hillock is the vice president and head of portfolio development at Dell Technologies Capital, the venture capital arm of Dell Technologies.

More About Chris

Photo of Mary Anne Rooke, P’20

Mary Anne Rooke, P’20

Mary Anne Rooke is the past president and Board Member of Angel Investor Forum, the Connecticut-based angel group. She also is founder of Rooke & Associates, a boutique management consulting firm that specializes in helping early stage technology companies on the verge of high growth.

More About Mary Anne

Photo of Padraic “Packy” Kelly ’90

Padraic “Packy” Kelly ’90

Packy Kelly is an audit partner with KPMG based in San Francisco serving tech companies in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and Tampa Bay.

More About Padraic

Photo of Ted Yang

Ted Yang

Ted Yang is the founding CEO/trustee for 4-CT, the co-founder and board member of Purple Insurance/Gather, the founder/VP strategy and digital marketing of Highclere Castle Spirits, the founder and president of Cantata Media/Daily Voice, and the co-founder and partner of SVP-CT.

More About Ted

StartUp Host

Photo of Host Alexa Curtis

Alexa Curtis

GrasshoppHer co-founder and former Radio Disney Host Alexa Curtis was born and raised in Mansfield, Conn. From a young age she knew she was different and that she didn’t fit the “normal” social mold. Following being bullied in middle school Curtis needed an outlet to escape and in 2011, at just 12 years old, she started fashion blog A Life in the Fashion Lane.

The blog became a platform for her to express her feelings around topics relating to teens including body image and mental health. As Curtis evolved as a person her blog shifted to discussing sensitive topics that teens and young adults face, and the blog transformed into a lifestyle website and podcast for teens and parents called Life Unfiltered with Alexa Curtis. She also gained sponsorships from brands including British Airways, T-Mobile, Lands' End, and more.

More About Alexa

Team Mentors

John Cain

StartUp Alum '20, '21, Engineer at SmartSense by digi

Contact John

Dan Leitão

StartUp Alum '12, Chief of Product at SKOOT

Contact Dan

Mariana Antaya

StartUp Alum '21, '22, Product Manager at Microsoft

Contact Mariana

Lorenzo Gaudioso

StartUp Alum '12, Wealth Advisor at Carson Wealth

Contact Lorenzo

Paul Horn

Founder and CEO at H2Cyber

Contact Paul

Neel Anand

President of Westchester Technology Group

Contact Neel

Jeff Hendrickson

Managing Director of Greenfield Hill Group

Contact Jeff

Winston DeMartini ’20

Founder and CEO, PhysiSens

Contact Winston

Lisa Geremia

Executive Financial Consultant

Contact Lisa

Jennifer Le

StartUp Alum '14, Strategic Account Executive at Shopify Plus

Contact Jennifer

Marty Donner

Adjunct Professor, UConn

Contact Marty

2023 Sponsors

Gold Sponsors
  • Phoenix Tower logo
  • Hugh Davis '95 and Amy Baldwin
  • Joseph '70 and Linda Bronson
  • Trish Preston ’80
  • Susan and Charles Vallone P’21
  • John P. Welch ’87
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors