Young Entrepreneurs Compete On “Startup U”

By Dimitra Lavrakas
Gloucester Daily Times, Mass.

How did a girl from a fishing town like Gloucester end up on pushing diagnostic kitty litter on TV show about would-be entrepreneurs?

“Well, that’s pretty cool,” Carly Martinetti thought when she found the casting call on the web for a show called “Startup U.”

Cooler still, she was one of 10 chosen for the program, which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on the ABC Family network.

Similar to “The Apprentice,” the show follows 10 potential business owners as they are mentored by business leaders on how to launch a company in a grueling, seven-week program at Draper University in San Mateo, Calif., and through the pitch of their products to venture capitalists eager to find the next big tech innovation.

Of course there is a rich person involved: university founder and billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, who investments include Skype, Tesla and Hotmail.

Martinetti’s product, Pretty Litter, combines fun with medicine.

“The color changes when there’s a problem with your cat’s health,” Martinetti said of her colorful, sparkly litter. “There’s no perfumed smell at this time, but it does provide odor control.”

Martinetti said she’s researching advanced features such as adding an anti-parasitic agent to neutralize toxoplasma gondii, which can spread to humans — especially children and pregnant women — who handle cat litter.

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