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Friday, October 26, 2018

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Monday, August 27, 2018 - Monday, September 24, 2018

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Spring Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

4/28/2017 4:10:00 PM

ShapeU Shore Hatchery Competition SALISBURY, MD---As undergraduates at Johns Hopkins University, Seal-Bin Han and Jordan Matelsky founded ShapeU, a fitness app geared toward college campuses and recreational centers.

When their focus shifted to gyms and health clubs, the app’s name changed to something a little more universal: FitMango — selected as much for its memorability as its signal that the app was not just for college students anymore.

The Baltimore-based business recently made a splash on the Eastern Shore, taking home $25,000 in the eighth round of Salisbury University’s Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery entrepreneurship competition. Administered through SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, the program’s goal is to fund entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic and have new businesses opening within six months, with the potential of employing five or more within a year.

Though FitMango is a pre-existing business, its goals have expanded significantly since its founding. The app helps users find a gym and matches them with three to five peers led by a professional trainer, providing personalized service while reducing the cost that a one-on-one session would incur. Users also may track their fitness progress.

Han and Matelsky also are branching out to provide services for gyms, including personal training branding; software to help novice trainers operate at higher levels; and an interface that allows members to provide feedback after every session, access their previous workouts and receive rewards when they hit training milestones.

SU’s program is not the only one that has recognized the duo for its innovativeness. The owners of FitMango have earned entrepreneurship honors including the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation’s Luce Leadership Award for young leaders working to better humanity and the $100,000 TEDCO Technology Commercialization Fund. FitMango also has earned $25,000 from AccelerateBaltimore, among other awards. The company has been featured in the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Huffington Post and Financial Times.

This semester’s Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery competition drew 17 entrants, including three helmed by SU students and five local to Wicomico and Worcester counties. Judges gave away $95,000 in prize money. In addition to FitMango, winners included:

•    Zest Tea - $20,000. This Baltimore-based company, winner of the 2015 World Tea Expo Best New Product award, wholesales high-caffeine flavored teas.

•    Neuro Helmet Systems - $15,000. Led by a group of SU students, this company, a 2016 Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery winner, is working to create a high-tech motorcycle helmet attachable “heads up” display to increase safety for riders.

•    Loophole - $10,000. Founded by students at Colgate and Towson universities, this Kickstarter-funded company manufactures an adhesive phone grip and kickstand that secures cell phones to users’ hands.

•    Accessmatized, LLC - $10,000. This Baltimore-based makeup studio offers services including photoshoots, and makeup-themed sip-and-paint classes, workshops and tea parties.

•    Compassionately Creative - $7,500. This sewing workshop business in Baltimore specializes not only in creating original items, but teaching do-it-yourselfers how they can, as well, with a special focus on teaching skills to at-risk youth, seniors and women who are in shelters or incarcerated.

•    Mind the Current, LLC - $7,500. Last semester’s Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery top winner, Marsha Hammond of Baltimore, returned to show the judges her progress during the past six months, with a renewed focus on marketing to pediatric units. Her Dhremo Therapy IV Decals are applied on the side of IV drip bags, sending positive messages to help cheer hospital patients.

In addition to funding, winners and participants also receive mentoring support from the program’s board. Mentors include business leaders such as Brian Ellis of the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation; Sandy Fitzgerald-Angello of Pohanka of Salisbury; Katherine Kiernan, chair of the Perdue School Executive Advisory Council; David Landsberger; Jean Sewell of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield; and Doug Wilson of Private Wealth Partners, among others.

[Related Links] This semester, they also had the opportunity to record video pitches aboard the STRT1UP Road Show bus, which parked outside SU’s Perdue Hall during the event. The videos will be uploaded the organization’s YouTube site, where the public may view them and vote on their favorites. Winners receive mentorship and automatic bids into selected venture competitions as part of the Startup Maryland regional initiative. For more information visit

The five-year Shore Hatchery program was established in 2013 through a $1 million gift from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation of Baltimore with a goal of providing $200,000 per year in funding for entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at and the Shore Hatchery site at

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery Winners Announced

Dr. Memo Diriker, director of SU’s Business, Economic and Community Outreach
Network (BEACON), left, and Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery board member Mike
Cottingham, president and CEO of Rommel Holdings, right, congratulate Charles
White and Mike Boylan of PaverGuide on receiving $35,000 in funding from this
spring’s competition.

SALISBURY, MD---Members of Salisbury University’s Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery board of directors spread the wealth — literally — during the fourth round of the semiannual competition.

Eight Maryland-based startup businesses, representing more than half of this semester’s 15 competitors, received funding from the initiative, established with a $1 million gift from the Ratcliffe Foundation in 2013 to assist entrepreneurs and help them create new jobs. Winners included:

•    PaverGuide - $35,000. Producing a lightweight, low-cost pervious paving system, this company hopes to help contractors save on construction labor and materials while providing a high-quality, low-maintenance alternative to traditional brick and stone pavers. Production is planned to take place in Hurlock, MD.

•    NUVU- $25,000. Creators of this app hope it will serve as a nightlife guide and social interaction tool for young adults while providing real-time analytics and advertising opportunities for bars and clubs.

•    Kitchology - $25,000. This app will provide substitution suggestions in recipes for diners seeking to lose weight or managing dietary restrictions.

•    Oasis Marinas - $20,000. Winning $30,000 in last fall’s Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery competition, this upscale marina management company returned this semester with a new idea: a “Snag a Slip” website that will allow boaters to reserve marina slips in advance online.

•    Gold Leaf Academy - $5,000. This accredited child care program and private school would serve children ages 6 weeks to 4 years.

•    Kanga Trash and Energy Systems - $5,000. Conceptualized by University of Maryland student Cody Branchaw, this company plans to produce under-seat garbage cans for stadiums and arenas, reducing the number of hours required to clean the facilities after events and decreasing the amount of electricity needed to keep the venues illuminated during cleaning periods.

•    Operation Precision Systems, LLC - $5,000. This company is developing a cloud-based drinking water quality monitoring and management service, with an eye toward expanding into air quality, ground quality and waste management monitoring.

•    IPPS Mentoring Program - $5,000. The first non-profit organization funded by the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery, this Salisbury-based program provides mentoring services at the Wicomico County Detention Center in hopes of keeping inmates from returning once they have served their sentence. With the funding, IPPS board members plan to expand the initiative to the Poplar Hill Pre-Release Unit this summer.

In total, the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery distributed some $125,000 this semester for a total of $200,000 this academic year. The fifth round of the competition is scheduled next fall, with some $200,000 in seed funding available.“The judges continue to be impressed with what they’re seeing each semester,” said William Burke, SU director of entrepreneurship competitions. “They had an especially tough time this round, and the number of prizes awarded reflects that.”

Administered through SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, the goal of the Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery program is to fund entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic and have new businesses opening within six months, with the potential of employing five or more within a year.

In addition to funding, winners and participants also receive mentoring support from the program’s board. Members include business leaders such as Jim Perdue of Perdue Farms, Dave Rommel and Mike Cottingham of Rommel Holdings, Frank Gunion of South Moon Under, Laura Baker of Draper Holdings, Jennifer Layton of Layton’s Chance Vineyards and Winery, Bruce Rogers of Sherwood of Salisbury, Katherine Kiernan of APPI Energy and Sandy Fitzgerald-Angello of Pohanka Automotive Group, among others.

This semester’s Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery competition was part of SU’s inaugural Entrepreneurship Week, which also featured the University’s annual student Entrepreneurship Competitions and, in connection with 47 ABC, a casting call for the ABC-TV hit series Shark Tank.

The next Ratcliffe Shore Hatchery submission period is August 17-September 21. For application materials and more information visit

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