July 29, 2022

Entrepreneur Finds Growth, Family, at IgniteU

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Resilience Medical has won the IgniteU NY 2022 M/WBE & VOB Startup Showcase. The showcase is an opportunity for participants of IgniteU’s 8-week business accelerator program to pitch their products to a panel of expert judges and win a cash prize.

“This win means everything to me,” said Diana Donnarumma, Resilience Medical founder, and CEO, as she held the oversized presentation check displaying the $10,000 prize. “When I first started this company, it was what kept me going.”

Diana created her company during some of the most medically challenging times of her life. It was her experience fighting complete digestive failure, multiple organ transplants, and a host of other life-threatening health issues that inspired the line of fashionable medical garments that won her the competition.

She felt that traditional hospital gowns were dehumanizing.

“They actually tend to strip patients of their individuality,” Diana said during her showcase pitch. “Just because I was sick, didn’t mean I needed to look sick.”

Along with Resilience Medical, four other companies participated in the 2022 MWBE & VOB Accelerator Program: Viridian Recycling, JobGenie, Lead Security Group Inc., and DiaM. Company founders pitched their products and services for five minutes, followed by a five-minute question and answer session with IgniteU’s three guest judges: Olivia Goldstein, COO of Upstate Venture Connect;, Mark Speedy, technical account manager at WB Games New York; and Brodi DiBuono, co-founder of Champe Handcrafted Berkshire Bubbly. 

The showcase was a hybrid event, with two entrepreneurs presenting in person and the rest joining via videoconference. The showcase was broadcast live on Facebook.

Over six weeks, the M/WBE and VOB company teams worked with IgniteU to grow and scale their businesses. They plugged into a network of manufacturers, industry experts, and other entrepreneurs, and they had lots of facetime with IgniteU entrepreneur-in-residence Bob Manasier and new venture consultant Samuel Mere.

“I know that I’m going to be able to rely on these people, like Sam and Bob, in the future,” said Diana.

Besides these professional connections, those within it get to build relationships with their fellow cohort members. When the winner was announced, Noelle Dommasch of Viridian Recycling shared a big hug with Diana, illustrating that entrepreneurs in the IgniteU program build more than professional connections—they get to build relationships.

“I never expected how positively I would feel about a group of people after a six week course,” said Diana, “but the connection I got here is incredibly strong. IgniteU is my family.”

 

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