Resilience Medical has won the IgniteU NY 2022 M/WBE & VOB Startup Showcase. The IgniteU startup accelerator is an eight-week program that culminates with a pitch session to a panel of expert judges for a cash prize. IgniteU’s winter showcase focused on minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) and veteran-owned businesses (VOBs).
“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.”
From Medical Challenges to Startup Inspiration
Diana created her company during some of the most medically challenging times of her life. Her experience fighting complete digestive failure, multiple organ transplants, and other life-threatening health issues 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.”
Startups in the Spotlight
Along with Resilience Medical, four other companies participated in the 2022 MWBE & VOB Startup Accelerator Program. Viridian Recycling, JobGenie, Lead Security Group Inc., and DiaM. Startup founders pitched their products and services for five minutes, followed by a five-minute question and answer session with IgniteU’s guest judges. The three judges were 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.
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.
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. “The connection I got here is incredibly strong. IgniteU is my family.”