30 Mar 2022

Get to Know the 2022 NVC Business Track Finalists


With the New Venture Competition (NVC) Finale right around the corner learn more about this year’s Business track finalists, including what inspired their venture and how HBS has shaped their entrepreneurial journey.

Tickets are now available for the NVC 2022 Finale on March 31, 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Shardule Shah, PhD (MBA 2022)

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lime Therapeutics

Additional Team Members:
Prakrit Jena, PhD
Dan Heller, PhD

How did you come up with your idea?
Prakrit and Dan are engineers who love building things. The cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center inspired them to build something new in the cancer drug discovery space. They combined their engineering expertise with their knowledge of cancer biology to come up with Lime's proprietary drug discovery technology.

Lime Therapeutics aims to eliminate a variety of cancers by pursuing a novel approach targeting lipid metabolism. Cancers need lipids (often at high levels) in order to survive; thus, finding drugs that can deprive cancers of lipids represents an attractive therapeutic strategy. However, technological barriers have prevented high-throughput drug discovery in this area.

I joined the team and helped determine which specific cancers this technology would be most useful for (e.g. product-market fit) and Lime has taken off since then.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
The HBS New Venture Competition is an excellent way for Lime to get the word out about what we are doing. We are always looking for potential collaborators and this is great platform to help us find them. The process of preparing for NVC forces us (in a good way!) to hone our communication strategy for a broad audience.

Chase Moyle (MBA 2022)

Chief Executive Officer, Coprata

Additional Team Members:
Sonia Grego, PhD
Brian Stoner, PhD
Ben Snyder

How did you come up with your idea?

We saw a problem in the quality and ease of getting information to better inform gastrointestinal (GI) issues. At Coprata, we develop non-invasive ways to easily, safely, and discreetly monitor your health when using a toilet.

Our technology is designed to address gastrointestinal disease and monitor personalized wellness. We believe there’s an opportunity to push innovation forward in the GI health tech and smart toilet space.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
We are excited about joining the HBS community with our venture. There are opportunities within the NVC resources and via the competition that could help us achieve our objectives in 2022 and beyond.

Alex Yang (MD/MBA 2023)

Co-Founder, ClearCut Surgical

Additional Team Members:
HB Kim, MD

How did you come up with your idea?
In 2017, Dr. Kim was performing a surgery and faced a problem all surgeons have struggled with for decades—the buildup of fluid (blood) that prevents effective and safe tissue dissection. At the time, medical device companies that made standard-of-care dissectors had little incentive to improve their existing products to address the fluid accumulation issue. Alex Yang, a mechanical engineer at the time, met Dr. Kim in the operating room during one of his cases and together they prototyped a simple solution to the problem: a combination dissection and suction device.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
HBS has been pivotal in accelerating the growth of our venture. The entrepreneurship resources provided by the Rock Center network as well as the HBS alumni network have been pivotal in transforming ClearCut from a prototype to a medical device venture well on its way to commercializing a breakthrough product and backed by leading industry advisors. We are excited for the HBS New Venture Competition to add to this journey.

Francisco Barroso (MBA 2022)

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Cyclist House

Additional Team Members:
Dmitri Hennion
Cesar Rojas

How did you come up with your idea?
Last March, as the weather in Boston started to become warmer, I decided to purchase an electric bike. My budget was around $2,000, which is on the low end of pricing, and I was looking for a used bike. I went to a cycling shop and was once again confronted with the highly fragmented bicycle retail market: tiny dealerships with limited inventory, huge price variance, poor customer journey, or person-to-person classifieds that are difficult to navigate. In Europe there are three million people like me purchasing high-quality bikes each year. For about 30 percent of Germans, buying a bicycle is actually the third largest expense in their lives and yet there is not a simple process to sell and buy used bikes. That's why we are building The Cyclist House, a platform for commuters, cycling enthusiasts, and businesses to buy and sell used bicycles.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
Our team saw the HBS New Venture Competition as a unique opportunity to learn from our advisors and to work on preparing and executing our pitch. We have been able to make great connections and refine our business model as part of this journey.

Hay Teng Wong (MBA 2022)

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Allo Health

Additional Team Members:
Esther Chiah

How did you come up with your idea?
Friends for nearly 10 years, Esther and I were confiding in each other about our difficult family situations when we realized we shared many pains in coordinating in-home care for our parents. We knew we had to do something to make the experience better for our friends and their families in their time of need. Allo Health is a messaging service that connects people with our experienced caregivers to ask questions and get tips on how to care for their loved ones—from finding the right equipment or providers, to comfort care tips. Our caregivers have over 30 years of caregiving experience dealing with heart disease, cancer, and strokes, from daily living assistance to advanced care. We know it’s tough, so we’re here to help.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
We decided to participate inthe New Venture Competition after speaking to last year's teams. They said it was an extremely helpful opportunity to refine their ideas and we wanted to learn from that same experience! Indeed, it's been an amazing learning journey so far.

Janvi Shah (MBA 2022)

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hue

Additional Team Members:
Nicole Clay (MBA 2022)
Sylvan Guo (MBA 2022)

How did you come up with your idea?
Our team came together as three women across the skin tone spectrum who all struggled to find makeup products that complemented our complexion. With over 68,000 unique makeup shades on the market today, finding the right shade match for one’s skin tone is the number one pain point for consumers shopping for makeup online. Beauty brands know this is a problem and spend over 70 percent of their marketing budget on sampling or digital tools, but no one solution solves the problem, leading to low purchase conversion. That's why we started our company, Hue, a recommendation engine for beauty that integrates directly with brands' and retailers' e-commerce sites. Our proprietary skin profiling algorithm, Hue ID, matches you to micro-influencers who share the same skin profile whom we call “Skin Twins,” so you can see before and after photos, videos, and reviews from people who look like you as you’re shopping online.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
We participated in the New Venture Competition last year and found the entire experience extremely valuable, especially all the feedback from the judges.

Gwanygha’a Gana (MBA 2022)

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Garage Mobility

Additional Team Members:
Cédric Foudjet (MBA/MPA 2022)

How did you come up with your idea?
Garage was born out of a personal problem I faced, buying and shipping auto parts from eBay for my dad in Cameroon. This frustrating experience led me to reach out to Cédric, whose family had been in the auto repair business in Cameroon. Together we decided to fix the problem across the continent. Our core digital infrastructure modernizes the auto parts supply chain for Africa, our software-as-a-service offerings enable ecosystem partners and stakeholders to better manage their businesses, and our Garage members get access to parts and service at affordable rates. All of this is done through a simple mobile app.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
The New Venture Competition allows us to share our story to a broad audience, get actionable advice from investors and advisors, and pressure test our assumptions about our business.

Patrick Jiang (MBA 2023)

Chief Business Officer, InGel Therapeutics

Additional Team Members:
Pierre Dromel, PhD
Deepti Singh, PhD

How did you come up with your idea?
Our co-founders, Pierre and Deepti, have been working for years with stem cells to help blind patients regain vision. While there has been success with stem cells working in vitro, they stop working when applied to a patient during clinical trials. Coming from a unique mix of both cell biology and tissue engineering, we identified the underlying issue behind this gap—the delivery scaffold. We iterated many forms of biomaterials and engineered a gel that mimics the human vitreous. Stem cells, when encapsulated in this gel (hence the name InGel), are proven to show much greater engraftment and maturation rate.

Why the HBS New Venture Competition?
By participating the HBS New Venture Competition, we hope that we can help raise awareness for Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal disease affecting mostly kids and adolescents. Greater awareness will lead to more conversations, and more conversations will culminate in more research. The final prize of $75,000 will enable us to conduct a pivotal safety study in rabbits, a bigger animal model which would de-risk the platform and get us closer to a clinical trial in humans.

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