NJIT VentureLink Startup Showcase Features Student Entrepreneurs: Featuring Andrew Elcock

NJIT VentureLink Summer 2020 Startup Showcase, held on July 30, featured five student entrepreneurs with business ideas ranging from the development of a training grip for lacrosse sticks to the creation of a mesh network for small drones doing reconnaissance work for the military.

The event was introduced by the VentureLink team, which included Will Lutz, general manager for entrepreneurship at NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII); Catherine Tsavalas, VentureLink program director; and Kelsey Samuelson, director of growth for entrepreneurship at NJII.  A video of the showcase can be found here.

Tsavalas noted that VentureLink (formerly known as the NJIT Enterprise Development Center) is an incubator run jointly by NJII and NJIT, and is open to students and the community at large. “VentureLink is the largest incubator in New Jersey, and the fourth-largest incubator in the United States,” she said.

Tsavalas explained how the VentureLink entrepreneurial success program works. She said that VentureLink offers hands-on experience, education and coaching, all of which have been proven to help entrepreneurs succeed. This includes connections to other successful entrepreneurs and investors, mentor office hours with the VentureLink team and cohort-based programs like the summer incubator.

“Like many of you, COVID has forced us to be more virtual,” she said. “We decided to launch not only our first virtual program, but our first cohort-based training. This group of impressive students and recent graduates completed our eight-week intensive course focused on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. That includes customer discovery, communications and messaging, marketing and sales and pitching to both investors and potential customers.”

Introducing H2GO

Andrew Elcock presented H2GO, a different kind of hydration product. Elcock is a student athlete and an industrial design major at NJIT, as well as the developer of H2GO. As an active person who camps and hikes with his family, Elcock has had a lot of experience with hydration packs. “The main problems I’ve had with hydration packs is that they’re always a pain in the butt to clean, and the water had a distinct plasticky chemical taste to it. And some basic customer discovery assured me that I’m not the only one who has experienced these issues,” he said.

“Our product solves this problem by removing the water reservoir entirely. H2GO features a universal valve that allows it to fit onto any off-the-shelf bottled water. This turns your bottle of water into a hands-free hydration pack with a single twist. While we’ve identified unique market opportunities for our bottled-water hydration product, we do realize that our larger target market is the environmentally conscious. So, our next product would be a variation that fits reusable water bottles. Our clear early adopters are those who own hydration packs. The hydration pack market alone was valued at $310 million in 2018, and is forecasted to grow up to about $780 million in 2025.”

Read the full article here

Learn more about Andrew Elcock’s H2GO Project here.