Woo Milk wins Paladin Pitch

The senior public health major hopes to revolutionize the plant-based milk industry.

Innovation, imagination and professionalism were on full display this week during the Paladin Pitch competition at Furman University.
Lily Woo and her startup WooMilk captured the top prize of $10,000 prize awarded to the best startup concept and pitch, as ruled on by a panel of judges. Also recognized was Alice Tyszka of Alice’s Authoring Company, who was voted winner of the People’s Choice Award by those who attended the event. Woo and Tyszka were two of  five finalists who put forth their startup plans before a gathering of friends, fellow students and Furman faculty and staff on campus at the Trone Student Center. The event is part of programing from the The Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Furman University.
2024 Paladin Pitch Winner: Lily Woo, Woo Milk
Plant-based milk with a protein punch, that’s what Lily Woo wants to accomplish with her startup. Inspired by her own journey as a dairy-free consumer, Woo realized most plant-based milk options lack sufficient amounts of protein. So, she decided its time to revolutionize the market!
“This is my first time working with the Hill Institute,” Woo, a senior, said moments before being declared the winner of the 2024 Paladin Pitch. “I’m a public health major, and I don’t really have any background in or experience in this. Everyone’s been really supportive and really great!”
Alice Tyszka, Alice’s Authoring Company
Alice Tyszka’s story is that she wants to help tell yours! The junior is also a bestselling author, and Alice’s Authoring Company is working to help aspiring authors write, publish, and market their work.
“When I know The Hill Institute, I know support,” Tyszka said. “And I know that guidance that I am so looking for as an entrepreneur.”
Conor Dowler, Palate Pal
Picking a wine shouldn’t be hard, even if you aren’t a sommelier. Enter Palate Pal: an app to guide users toward the perfect wine pairing. For Conor Dowler, this inspired idea that may have just launched a career for the soon to graduate senior.
“My girlfriend kind of jokes with me, ‘I’m just happy you’re sticking with one idea,’ because I’ve just got so many,” Dowler laughed. ”This is defiantly an avenue that I’m looking at taking after college.”
Jack Travis, Cleat Clinger
Freshman Jack Travis saw his fellow athletes’ had a problem, and thought he’d do something about it. The “Cleat Clinger” helps athletes while walking from the playing surface to the locker room by fitting a non-slip device over their cleated shoes. The device extends the life of the cleats and makes the walk on concrete and other slippery for clear surfaces safer for athletes.
“I think that it’s a great classroom to share our products and ideas,” Travis said of The Hill Institute. “From immediately walking in as a freshman they wanted me to succeed, and that was really good to hear!”
Pedro Moreira & Sawyer Sams, Enterprising Investing
Enterprise Investing is on a mission to demystify investing and empower users to take their financial future in their own hands. Pedro Moreira and Sawyer Sams want to build a platform to arm users with information on the various items that influence markets, and allow them to craft an investment strategy that works best for them.
“It’s been a great experience,” Moreira said. “The process is beautiful.”
“It’s a lot more than I expected,” Sams added. “They are trying to give us the resources we need.”
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