DD Headshot

Damon DeVito



FOB 112

Education: B.A. Economics, University of Pennsylvania; B.S. Finance, Wharton School of Business; MBA, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

DeVito is an angel investor, entrepreneur, adviser/director to several startups, owner of The Club at Glenmore, Venture Partner at Varsity Financial Group, mentor at UVA’s vp(x)2 incubator (formerly iLab & VentureLab), is a and Techstars All-Star Mentor designating top 1%. He teaches the Venture Velocity (VV) course at UVA Darden. VV is an applied entrepreneurship class for more serious student founders. It is taught fall and spring and requires application. VV students tend to perform well in pitch contests and many continue with the ventures beyond Darden or as a side gig. VV alums include Brandefy (The Brandery), Tall Order, Knit (formerly PurPics - Techstars Farm to Fork '19), Gamebytes (formerly Fad Mania - YC S19), Perc Coffee Roasters, and Nutritional Freedom (Techstars Austin '21). Damon regularly shares startup news and insights on Twitter @damondevito and LinkedIn.

VV s21 Team Summaries

If you want more info or can help them with intros, partnering, or mentoring, contact directly or reach Damon to facilitate.

Bravo Bikes - these guys are building premium bikes by hand in Mexico. Prototype frame #1 now done 6 months earlier than initial timeline. Though they hope to work with Titanium, this MVP uses more conventional materials at the moment. They'll get feedback from cyclists and repeat a few prototype cycles. Anyone with relevant production experience on bikes or titanium would be helpful.

Burro - Patagonia + Chubbies meets Cotopaxi in the form of durable, comfortable shorts in colorful throwback designs. In the throes of moving from hand sewn to manufacturing which means sourcing headaches (Taslan in bright colors please) and manufacturing partner selection. Right now, producing in the US & chewing on the working capital challenges on MOQ vs. student balance sheets. Just launched www.goburrogear.com where t-shirts (only $30) are available for sale to build the brand and generate cash for the shorts side. @goburro on instagram.

Grome - Automatic watering device to help you not kill plants from neglect or vacation. Functional, jangly prototypes being tested now. Hardware & software w loT expertise welcome especially where water and electricity coexist. Collecting emails for beta testers and early adopter customers. Solo fdr open to co-fdr.

InColorStock - Getty Images for the underrepresented. Founder is Politico employee who has been mulling this problem since heading video at WashPo. Two-sided marketplace and many variables. This has strategic partnership potential and intense focus is on architecture and procurement for the supply side (photos, videos).

Learn to Win - SaaS for better training. Born in athletics from UNC basketball walk-on learning plays. Since added defense, enterprise, and healthcare. Norwest Venture Ptrs led 4m Seed Round. Seeking intros especially to DoD and life science trainers. Also have some SBIR $ avail Re: Covid because they were chosen in 2020 as "selectable, non-funded" for up to $1m in a Covid emergency SBIR (a specific type of "Small Business Innovation Research" contract) - this means any DoD entity that has SBIR dollars and would be interested in bringing in Learn to Win to their training environment can do so through this SBIR vehicle. Hiring biz development with mil experience.

Million Word Challenge - Teaching pre-Darden, this solo fdr had a group of students in Miami at an 8% reading proficiency. He challenged them to read one million words, tracking it with post-its, and gamified with "bonus points" as a reward. 9x reading results in short order. Now transforming to an app for that same audience, and potentially broader. Need beta testers. If the test works out, this one is going to need a grant or some money to ramp up full scale app or else some additional tech talent. eCup Discovery Winner. Solo fdr open to co-fdr.

NitroGrub - Milorganite has been a success for decades. Yet most post water treatment biosolids still go to the landfill instead of flower beds for fertilizer. NitroGrub's fdr brings relevant experience and expertise to do fix that in cooperation with other municipalities. Next up: Digging into Virginia regulations and distribution channel interviews. He has a municipality inclined to supply him.

Resep - Cancer is the #2 cause of dealth and early testing could cut that considerably. A bright group of PhDs has discovered a technology that may substantially reduce the cost of testing and deliver on some of Teranos' empty promises - albeit in an entirely difference process. We need some help with industry expertise and intros to oncologists and other providers.